Category Archives: Astronomy

Ask Astro: How often do two different solar eclipses intersect?

The next total solar eclipse in the United States, which will take place in 2024, intersects the path of the 2017 eclipse and the duration of the totality will also be close to that of 2017. Is it common for two eclipses to intersect in their midpoint with similar maximum total durations? Launie Wellman Festus, […]

The sky this week from October 1 to 8

Tuesday, October 5The moons of Jupiter are playing hide and seek tonight. Shortly after sunset, point your telescope at the brilliant gas giant, which now lies nearly 2 ° northwest of magnitude 2.9 Deneb Algedi in Capricorn. At 9:48 p.m. EDT, Io escapes from Jupiter’s long shadow, reappearing about 20 feet east of the planet’s […]

New Director of Astronomy at University of Hawaii seeks balance on Mauna Kea

Barely three weeks after taking office, the University of Hawaii’s newest director of astronomy, Doug Simons, is juggling a multitude of issues. Two telescopes atop Mauna Kea are slated to be demolished. The university is embarking on a renewed effort to balance competing interests atop the mountain considered sacred by many native Hawaiians. And plans […]

Bad astronomy | How the rings of the dwarf planets Chariklo and Haumea are maintained

The four giant planets in the solar system have rings. Those of Saturn are the most obvious, of course, but Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have them too. But they are not alone. Two minor planets also have rings made up of countless ice particles. Their discovery came as a shock to astronomers, as it was […]

How did this collision between neutron stars impact the history of astronomy? – The clear people

In October 2017, astronomers announced something historic: the first detection of a collision between two neutron stars. The just 100-second event created something known as a kilonova, but perhaps the impact this recording had on astronomy is not fully understood. Gravitational waves can reveal the shape of black holes after a collision The mini gravitational […]

Understand how big solar flares can be

To be clear, Proxima Centauri is not like the Sun. It’s a dwarf M, a little orb that glows red. And these little stars are famous for their oversized flares. But some solar stars can also send super flares. This achievement came from telescopes in space designed to search for planets around other stars. NASA’s […]

Carolyn Shoemaker obituary | Astronomy

Carolyn Shoemaker was a housewife without a science degree when, at age 51, she began researching comets and asteroids with her astrogeologist husband, Gene Shoemaker. By the time of her death at the age of 92 from a fall, she had established herself as one of the leading hunters of such bodies of her generation. […]

Bad astronomy | Planetary-scale collisions may have shaped the Earth, Venus and the Moon

A big problem when trying to figure out how the planets were formed is that it happened 4.55 billion years ago. The file is a bit hazy now. We have a lot of science and understanding of the planet building processes, and can model them on computers by solving the various equations involved. But these […]

InSight lander detects strongest earthquake yet – Astronomy Now

The InSight Mars lander’s ultra-sensitive seismometer is protected from the elements by a wind and a dome-shaped heat shield. The instrument, provided by the French space agency, detected three major earthquakes in the past month. Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech On September 18, the 1,000th day of the InSight Mars, or ground, lander on the surface […]