Tag: astronomy

  • Educational Graphics

    Educational Graphics

  • How to See Satellites in Low Earth Orbit at Night

    How to See Satellites in Low Earth Orbit at Night

  • Arcturus and Spica

    Arcturus and Spica

  • Fire in the Sky

    Fire in the Sky

    From a letter to a friend shortly after 9/11 Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 10:03:47 -0500To: DaveFrom: DeafScribeSubject: Fire in the Sky That was 3 hours well spent. I just returned from the beach. Got the bike out at 3:30, mounted the night light, added a bit of air to the front tire, and set…

  • The Inner and Outward Gaze

    The Inner and Outward Gaze

    Ever seen those delightful Russian matryoshka dolls, the ones where each doll opens to reveal another, smaller but identical doll, which opens to reveal yet another smaller, identical doll, and down it goes to a doll the size of a peanut? Likewise, the films Inception and the Matrix portray realities within realities within realities, scrambling…

  • Three Bright Lights

    Three Bright Lights

    Last night the sky over Washington, DC was unusually clear, so we had a spectacular view of three planets low in the pre-dawn east. Venus, Jupiter and Mars were all pointed toward the coming sunrise. It reminded me of one of the early geometry puzzles I sorted through while learning astronomy. Venus orbits closer to…

  • How to Pop a Parachute on Another Planet

    How to Pop a Parachute on Another Planet

    The Martian atmosphere lies low and thin. There’s not enough of it to land softly by parachute alone. But when you come screaming in a little over 3.5 miles per second, it’s almost more like water than air. The Mars Science Laboratory hit the atmosphere at 13,000 mph and slowed to 900 mph on atmospheric…

  • Martian Geology

    Martian Geology

    This image from India’s MOM mission highlights a region with stress fractures – cracks – in Mars’ crust that can run as much as 3 miles deep.  They’re called fossa, sometimes grabens, and they exist on Earth too. Yes, you are riding on a cracked surface. Have a good day. http://www.isro.gov.in/pslv-c25-mars-orbiter-mission/breathtaking-pictures-mars-colour-camera-mcc-of-india%E2%80%99s-mars-orbiter Elsewhere on Mars, there’s…