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Skywatching

Living on Mars

Aug 7, 2020 / 11:00 am

At some point in the next decade or two, one of us is going to plant a space-suited foot on the surface of Mars and make that first footprint. However, that...

Planet still missing

Jul 31, 2020 / 12:00 am

In the 18th Century, Johann Bode and Johann Titius came up with a strange procedure for predicting where to look for planets. It seems more like a numbers game...

The world that never was

Jul 24, 2020 / 11:00 am

Neptune was the first planet discovered by detecting and measuring deviations of known planets from the predicted orbits. From these measurements astronomers...

Hairy star passing through

Jul 17, 2020 / 6:00 am

Through binoculars, a few nights ago comet NEOWISE looked like a blurry star that had been smeared upward by the artist before the paint was dry. At 3:45 a.m.,...

The search for planets

Jul 10, 2020 / 11:00 am

How we managed to discover planets orbiting other stars is quite a story. Actually, how we came to find the planets in our own Solar System is an interesting...

How can we be alone?

Jul 3, 2020 / 6:00 am

The latest estimate is that there are around six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone. However, when we really dig into the issue regarding what makes...

Star will collapse, explode

Jun 26, 2020 / 11:00 am

In science and technology, we are now fairly used to the idea of achieving things today that were unthinkable even a few years ago. This applies to astronomy,...

How far away is that?

Jun 19, 2020 / 11:00 am

Our telescopes can spot galaxies that formed soon after the birth of the universe. We can measure with great precision whether they are moving towards or away...

Stories from the stars

Jun 12, 2020 / 11:00 am

Almost everything we have learned through our optical observations of the universe is due to starlight. We see galaxies because of the light from the billions...

It came from outer space

Jun 5, 2020 / 11:00 am

The only planet known to bear life is ours. We are looking hard for evidence of life in our solar system, and on planets orbiting other stars that are suitable...

Volcanos in space

May 29, 2020 / 11:00 am

Volcanoes are important things. They play a part in recycling the surface rocks of a world, and in building new land. For example, all the Hawaiian Islands are...

A long and winding road

May 22, 2020 / 11:00 am

Life here on Earth depends on our supply of heat and light from the sun. A question with a suprising answer is how long does the energy produced in the core of...

A surprise in the attic

May 15, 2020 / 11:00 am

An international team of astronomers may have discovered the closest black hole to us so far. A thousand light years away might sound like a huge distance, but...

How bad can sun behave?

May 8, 2020 / 11:00 am

We depend on the sun. Without it our world would be very cold, dark, and lifeless. It provides our light and heat. Since we are so dependent on it, we are also...

Before the beginning

May 1, 2020 / 11:00 am

Current thinking is that the universe started just under 14 billion years ago. At that moment everything we see around us in the universe now, including space...

Through Galileo's telescope

Apr 24, 2020 / 11:00 am

A few years ago, at one of our observatory's open houses, we were lucky enough to be loaned a replica of one of the telescopes that Galileo first trained on...

The 'shrinking planet'

Apr 17, 2020 / 6:00 am

Until plate tectonics came along, the most widely accepted theory to explain the Earth's mountains was shrinkage. The idea was that the Earth was once...

Is the moon a child of Earth?

Apr 10, 2020 / 8:02 am

The moon is unusual. There are bigger moons in the Solar System, some with under-ice oceans and at least one with a thick atmosphere. However, all those other...

Star light, star bright...

Apr 3, 2020 / 11:00 am

On the moon, the sky is black and if you shade your eyes from the bright sun and Earth, you can see stars during the day. Here on Earth, it is sometimes...

Why we look for water

Mar 27, 2020 / 11:00 am

In 2005, the Huygens lander separated from the Cassini spacecraft and soft-landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan is unique in the...

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