Slim sliver of a moon as I was leaving the office tonight.
For the first time in recorded history, Comet NEOWISE is visiting the inner solar system solar system. The last time it was here, streaking through the Earth’s skies in the year 4745 BCE, in the midst of the Neolithic period. I’ve seen a number of comets in my life — Halley, in 1986; Hale-Bopp inContinue reading “Searching for Comets”
I went to Big Lots yesterday. I didn’t intend to go to Big Lots — it was T.J. Maxx I wanted to visit — but while at Big Lots I snapped the photo above, of the crescent moon and Venus just after sunset. I wanted to go to T.J. Maxx because I’ve seen reports thatContinue reading “The Cosmic Dance”
Driving home, north on 74, the moon was over my shoulder. It was eerie through the light clouds, and just to the east, shining brightly, was Jupiter. Astronomical pictures from a smartphone often fail. More luck than skill that anything turned out at all.
The soles of my feet are numb. Tonight is a full moon. Not only that, it’s a lunar eclipse. I went outside to look, and part of the moon was missing. “But that’s true most of the time!” you say, and that’s true; most of the time the moon shows a phase, a waxing gibbousContinue reading “Full Moon”
The Winter Solstice coincided (roughly, by about twelve hours) with the full moon this year. I thought, at work, that I’d miss the full(-ish) moon due to heavy rain storms that passed through all day, made work feel quite bleak every time I looked out the window, and made the drive home an adventure, but,Continue reading “Winter Solstice Moon”
On New Year’s Day, the New Horizons probe, the first space probe to visit Pluto, will zip past the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 which will become the furthest object in our solar system visited by a space probe. Unfortunately, 2014 MU69 isn’t an easy designation to remember, nor does it roll off the tongue,Continue reading “Ultima Thule”
My alarm clock is set for 6:15. It’s a good time to get up. Sometimes for my bladder, 6:15 is simply too late. Twenty or thirty minutes before the alarm clock goes off, my bladder will be insistent that now is the time to get up. “Now!” it screams. “Now!” This was one of thoseContinue reading “Greeted by the Moon”
While I’m excited that Facebook has taken an interest in astronomy today, I’m also a bit irked by its announcement about seeing Mars with the naked eye. First, Facebook doesn’t explain why it made this announcement. Mars is at opposition tonight; it will be at its closest to Earth. Second, when Mars is in theContinue reading “Facebook Notices and Tonight’s Mars Opposition”
A few weeks ago, I attended the open house at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Air and Space Museum at Dulles. As part of the open house, people were allowed to go into various restoration areas where they show how they conserve and restore various materials, including things like John Glenn’s Mercury capsule, wings andContinue reading “One World, One Sky”