July 27, 2017

Life in the Astro-Blogosphere May 2013: They’re Out There, Man…

Why yes, we HAVE seen the ISS!

You just never know when you’ll come face-to-face with Woo.

We recently wrote about Comet ISON on Universe Today and how conspiracy crackpots are already lining up to capitalize on the projected “Comet of the Century.” It’s really win-win for them; if the comet lives up to expectations, there’ll be lots to hype, and if it’s a fizzle, hey, NASA’s “secret mission” must’ve taken it out…

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05.01.11: A New Supernova Record for the Books.

 
Supernova sn2010It

 Supernova SN2010It discovery image. (Credit: David Lane/Abby Ridge Observatory).

A unique discovery was made by Canadian Kathryn Gray over this past Christmas break. While scanning desktop images with her father, the Birdton New Brunswick native noticed something amiss; the tell tale sign of a newly erupted supernova. [Read more...]

25.05.10- Ad-Hoc Imaging and the Tale of Copland Crater.

Copland Crater as imaged by Messenger. (Credit: NASA/JPL/Messenger).

Copland Crater as imaged by Messenger. (Credit: NASA/JPL/Messenger).

 

   Oh, how far we’ve come… time was when the family portrait of the solar system included blurry images snapped from world class observatories. Fast forward to the 21st century, and amateur astronomers now routinely delete pristine images from memory cards for tiny flaws that would have been the envy of astronomy text books a decade ago. Professional and amateur astronomers have always run a technological arms race of sorts, and the tale of the planet Mercury over the past decade is a good case in point. [Read more...]

04.03.10- The Edgar Wilson Award: A Look at Last Year’s Winners.

One of the Wilson Awards more illustrious winners...(Credit: IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams).

One of the Wilson Awards more illustrious winners...(Credit: IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams).

 

   In this age of astronomical automation and ever increasingly deeper sky surveys, many believe the era of the amateur comet discoveries to be over. A look at last year’s Edgar Wilson Award winners, however, tells a different tale. Established in 1998, this award has historically split a $20,000 purse among 2 to 6 individuals who have discovered a comet in an amateur capacity. [Read more...]

Review: Burnham’s Celestial Handbook.

A three volume classic! (Photo by Author).

A three volume classic! (Photo by Author).

A few decades back, I mentioned to a friend at a local planetarium of my enduring interest in astronomy. “Surely, then, “ he said pulling out a three volume set, “you have these…” I did not at the time, but I had indeed heard the legends. The books were Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, a three volume compendium on observational astronomy. A few weeks back we did a piece on the man, Robert Burnham Jr. and his tempestuous life; now I’d like to break with tradition a bit a provide a review of this indispensable astronomical classic. [Read more...]

Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris

UPDATE! PBS will be airing “Seeing in the Dark” once again on Wenesday, June 11th at 8pm.

Most astronomers are amateurs at heart. To be sure, some come into the field via theoretical physics, but few can resist the urge to peek through a telescope. The PBS Documentary “Seeing in the Dark” by Timothy Ferris does a huge service to the passion of astronomy. [Read more...]