December 18, 2014

July 2013-Life in the AstroBlogosphere: Who’s Who in the AstroTwitterverse

Astrophoto-shoot take 2;

note inclusion of AstroLab!

Recently, we wrote up an article on The New Social Face of Astronomy for the August 2013 issue of Sky &Telescope. Among the many cyber-corners and crannies of ye ole Internet that we explored was the world of Twitter. Twitter is a great source of fast breaking information, tailor made for certain aspects of astronomy such as meteorite falls, satellite reentries, new comet discoveries and nova flare-ups. [Read more...]

Remembering Carl.

(Editor’s note: Some may think that this week’s big post and book review are redundant, because they both cover the same famed scientist. Faithful followers of this site will however recall that we’ve done the same for such similar greats in the past, most recently Robert Burnham Jr. We’d like to think that the book review out this Friday covers the life and accomplishments as told in the biography of the man, while this piece relates Carl’s influences, both universal and personal. Let Carl Sagan week at Astroguyz begin!)

Carl at the Very Large Array in New Mexico. (Credit: PBS/COSMOS).

Carl at the Very Large Array in New Mexico. (Credit: PBS/COSMOS).

Some of my greatest heroes are scientists. Frequently maligned by the public and the media, few before or since have been able to convey the awe and wonder in science as Carl Sagan. A planetary scientist by trade, he might also be properly remembered as the first true exo-biologist. Like so many others, I was first introduced to the true modus operandi of science not in school, but by his ground-breaking series Cosmos. Its still worth digging up, and free for viewing on Hulu.com! Over the years, I’ve heard the same sentiment echoed over and over again by countless scientists; Carl got me into science. I first learned what the idea of evolution by natural selection was from Cosmos; how easy it all seemed! In a time that the world was posed on the brink of nuclear Armageddon, Carl showed us another way; a future in a universe that could be just the beginning for mankind, if only we chose it to be so. [Read more...]

Astrotunes.

Startrails.

Star Trails over Las Cienegas, Arizona. (Photo by Author).

Astronomy is often a solitary, contemplative activity. Sure, our passion for the night sky can have some communal facets, such as star parties and the like, but ultimately, we all find ourselves at one time or another alone under the skies. I believe this type of outward reflection is vital to a well rounded perspective, and necessary in today’s fast paced world. For this reason some astronomers I know abhor the idea of bringing any background music at all into the field, preferring instead to let the “music of the spheres” do the talking. [Read more...]

2009: The Year of Astronomy.

Star Trails.

Star trails over the former Very Small Optical Observatory in Vail, Arizona. (Photo by Author).

This is a shout out to the world; 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. Check with your local astronomy club, observatory or planetarium to find out what events are near you; if they aren’t planning anything, ask them why not!

[Read more...]

Are you a Planet? A humble proposal.

UB313

UB313/Xena/Gabrielle/Eris/Dysnomia!

(NASA/Artists’ Conception) 

   Here’s a fun proposal. Next time you find yoursef bored, go into the science department of your local university and just casually pose the question “gee, maybe Pluto should/shouldn’t be a planet.” Then stand back and watch the slide rules fly (yes real science geeks still pack slide rules, for when the apocalyspe comes!)    [Read more...]

View your own Star of Bethlehem.

    Over the years, much ink (real and cyber) has been spilt over the astronomical origins of the Star of Bethlehem. Biblical references are scant in regards to what the wise men may have seen; we know that the star “went before them…” every morning until it lay over the manger; the rest was history. But what was it?

[Read more...]

My Personal Connection with the Universe

Even since I was young, I’ve looked towards the stars. One of my earliest memories was looking up at the cresent moon, in conjunction with some bright planet (probably Venus) as my Aunt Lorraine carried me up to our apartment in Mapleton, Maine. Not that I knew what any of these objects were. I just thought that they were bright and shiny, and due my rapt attention. All these years later, a rising moon still draws me outdoors. [Read more...]