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Skywatching

A new look at Neptune

A new look at Neptune

Sep 30, 2022 / 4:00 am

When the James Webb Space Telescope was launched, we all had great expectations as to what the telescope would show us. The instrument is living up to those...

Gauging ‘planetquakes’ and ‘moonquakes’

Gauging ‘planetquakes’ and ‘moonquakes’

Sep 23, 2022 / 4:00 am

When the Apollo astronauts went to the Moon, among the instruments they installed were seismometers, devices for detecting vibrations in the...

The North Star is not the constant we think is

The North Star is not the constant we think is

Sep 16, 2022 / 4:00 am

Most of us know how to find the Pole, or North Star. We find the Dipper and follow the line indicated by the pair of stars opposite the handle. It is the star...

Large asteroids are a danger to earth

Large asteroids are a danger to earth

Sep 9, 2022 / 4:00 am

At 07:17 local time on June 30, 1908, something entered the atmosphere over Tungusca, Siberia and exploded. The blast, equivalent to about 17 million tonnes of...

Searching for the 'holy grail' of planets

Searching for the 'holy grail' of planets

Sep 2, 2022 / 4:00 am

The holy grail in our search for exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) is to find one with water and at the right distance from its star for that water to...

Sputterling light from a star does not always mean its death

Sputterling light from a star does not always mean its death

Aug 26, 2022 / 4:00 am

In 2019, the astronomy world was keeping a close eye on Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star marking the left shoulder of Orion, the hunter, the most spectacular...

Radio telescopes and the world's electronic devices need to coexist

Radio telescopes and the world's electronic devices need to coexist

Aug 19, 2022 / 4:00 am

Light pollution — light pointlessly being directed in useless directions, usually upward — is a big problem for optical astronomy. The situation for...

The days are getting longer...literally

The days are getting longer...literally

Aug 12, 2022 / 4:00 am

How long is a day? At the moment, days are getting longer and we don't know why. The Earth is taking a bit longer to rotate on its axis. We have known for...

Planets, stars and things between

Planets, stars and things between

Aug 5, 2022 / 4:00 am

If you want to make a comet, asteroid, planet, star or many other bodies, the recipe is the same. There is just one ingredient: the cosmic clouds of gas and...

James Webb Space Telescope showing how soon galaxies began

James Webb Space Telescope showing how soon galaxies began

Jul 29, 2022 / 4:00 am

One of the objectives for the James Webb Space Telescope is to find out how soon after the Big Bang galaxies began to form, and when stars started manufacturing...

Observatories in space

Observatories in space

Jul 22, 2022 / 4:00 am

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is almost at its parking place, 1.5 million kilometres from Earth. It is in full operation, and sending back beautiful...

Radio astronomy has its roots in early telecommunications

Radio astronomy has its roots in early telecommunications

Jul 15, 2022 / 4:00 am

Back in the 1930s, radio communication was opening up the world. For the first time it was becoming technically possible for a person in any country to...

New radio telescope to 'see' the stars

New radio telescope to 'see' the stars

Jul 8, 2022 / 4:00 am

A new radio telescope project is under way at our observatory. It is called CHORD (Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio-transient Detector). Flashy acronyms...

'Up there' is like 'down here'

'Up there' is like 'down here'

Jul 1, 2022 / 4:00 am

The picture shows Galileo showing a cardinal one of his drawings of the Moon, obtained using his telescope. Another cardinal is looking through the telescope....

Why are craters on the Moon round?

Why are craters on the Moon round?

Jun 24, 2022 / 4:00 am

Some of the most important discoveries in science have come from people asking obvious questions—things so obvious nobody before bothered to ask. Sir...

Newton’s telescope was a game changer

Newton’s telescope was a game changer

Jun 17, 2022 / 4:00 am

Years ago, one of the U.K. observatories had a replica of a telescope made by Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th century. It was marked "For use in case of...

Students helping shape our astronomical future

Students helping shape our astronomical future

Jun 10, 2022 / 4:00 am

Every Friday we hold a Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) science meeting. At the moment, these are mainly done using Zoom. After the usual...

A radio stethoscope on the Sun

A radio stethoscope on the Sun

Jun 3, 2022 / 4:00 am

Three times a day, a measurement is transmitted from the National Research Council's Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory to a list of recipients around...

Flashes of light from far away stars are like cosmic 'lighthouses'

Flashes of light from far away stars are like cosmic 'lighthouses'

May 27, 2022 / 4:00 am

Sometimes a semi-serious comment turns out to be prophetic. An example of this is related to the discovery of pulsars. We now know these to be rapidly rotating...

Searching for the Milky Way's Black Hole

Searching for the Milky Way's Black Hole

May 20, 2022 / 4:00 am

When we look into the southern sky close to the horizon on summer evenings, we are looking towards the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is lurking...

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