December 12, 2017

Space Video Of the Week: Watch Today’s EVA Live!

Its back… we’re resurrecting our “Video of the Week” posting here on Astroguyz. Expect nothing but the best, as we cull ye’ ole Web for historical footage, astronomical simulations and live events, such as today’s Extra Vehicular Activity outside of the International Space Station.

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March 2013 Life in the Astro-Blogosphere: Living the NASASocial Experience.

Smartphones in Action!

(All photos by author.)

Ah, the romantic life of a free-lance science writer. Writing offers you the freedom to set your own hours and wake up slowly when you feel like it; it also earns one the right to “sing for their supper” and starve feral and in the wild, often on their very own time table. But along with the triumphs and tragedies that go with modern day writing online, you also tend to miss human interaction and that convergence of like-minded souls. [Read more...]

Astro-Event: A possible Draconid Outburst?

Path of the Earth through the Giacobinid streams. (Graphic by Author).

A total wild car meteor shower may be just around the bend. The Draconid meteor shower is usually obscure even on a good year, with rates in the 5-10 per hour doldrums. This peak usually occurs on or around October 8th, and passes with nary a notice. This shower has, however, been prone to sporadic outbursts of storm level intensity. 2011 might just be one of those years. [Read more...]

AstroEvent: A Solstice, an Occultation and More!

Summer Noctilucents over Astroguyz HQ… (Photo by Author).

Astronomy lovers of the northern hemisphere take heart; the summer solstice occurs this Tuesday June 21st at 1:16 PM EDT/5:16 PM UT as the Sun reaches its most northerly point in its journey as viewed from Earth.  Of course, this motion is apparent (at least, to all but geo-centrists and flat-Earthers!) as our northern rotational pole is now tipped towards the Sun. [Read more...]

11.06.11: ARGOSY: The Solar System Now?

Nautilus-X, one of the ideas for manned solar system exploration! (Credit: NASA).

Some fascinating papers have come our way via the Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest that I thought I’d share with you, the space-mongering public. As the shuttle program comes to an end, there’s this sort of unspoken dread out there that NASA & America are turning away from manned spaceflight. [Read more...]

04.06.11: MPCV=Orion Reborn?

MPCV in Martian orbit. (Artist’s concept/NASA).

NASA may just have new marching orders for the post-shuttle era. Recently, NASA and Lockheed Martin announced a re-designation of its Orion (That OTHER Orion, not the Dyson one that shoots nukes out the back!) capsule as the MPCV, or the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. The project had been in the doldrums since the cancellation of the Constellation program, and fans of manned spaceflight had wondered what was next for NASA with only one space shuttle flight remaining. [Read more...]

28.05.11: Spiders in SPACE (…ACE).

A Terrestrial Golden Orb Spider. (Image Credit: NASA & Danielle Anthony).

The recent final mission of the space shuttle Endeavour brought some very special residents to the International Space Station. Delivered in the cargo manifest of STS-134 was the Commercial Generic Bio-processing Apparatus Science Insert -05 containing a pair of golden orb spiders. [Read more...]

Review: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach.

Consider our bags packed!

Behind every modern day manned mission to space is a fascinating tale of how we got there and what it’s truly like to live and work in such a bizarre and hostile environment. If the average American does bother to watch NASA TV, they rarely stop to think of what amount of planning and preparation goes in to putting humans into space. [Read more...]

25.05.11: Catching Moon Shadows.

Two each shadows on the Jovian cloud tops. (Photo by Author).

This morning, the astro-news turns towards our very own personal exploits at the eyepiece. That’s why we all blog in the end, right? To keep a sort of diary of our experience in this magnificent universe and so forth? I awoke at 5 AM EDT to begin gear load-out and setup. This is what folks who don’t have an observatory typically do; an hour or so of lugging, prepping, and aligning only to find out that clouds are rolling in or the batteries are dying, or the scope is fogging up, or a million other things that send us headed back indoors. [Read more...]

21.05.11: Student Project catches STS-134 launch…from 100,000ft!

Endeavour on her way the orbit one last time…(Credit: Quest for Stars).

A unique sentinel was on hand to witness the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour this past Monday. Senatobia-1, an airborne observatory equipped with still and video cameras, lifted off the morning of the launch to snap the above picture from a unique vantage point. [Read more...]

19.04.11: AMS-02: A Preview.

AMS-02…Good to Go! (Credit: NASA.gov). 

A very special payload will be aboard the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, one that had a long hard road to launch. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is destined for installation early next month on the S3 Upper Inboard Payload Attach Site on the International Space Station. Once aboard the ISS, the AMS will begin doing real science almost immediately, utilizing a large permanent magnet and no less than five detectors to perform astrophysical experiments. [Read more...]

02.03.11: Rise of the Robonauts.

The International Space Station (ISS) has a new permanent resident, one that will assist astronauts and become a valued member of the space station team. Robonaut 2 (R2) arrived at the ISS this week, delivered by STS-133 on the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Initially, Robonaut 2 will be a stationary resident, to be installed in the Unity Node until it can perform more complex mobile tasks.

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17.02.11: A Busy Season at ISS Central.

As construction work at NASA’s International Space Station winds up, some real science projects are starting to bear fruit. Yesterday, cosmonauts Dmitry Kondratyev & Oleg Skripochka completed a under 5 hour spacewalk to deploy two key instruments: Radiometria and Molniya-Gamma.

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09.02.11: A (Virtual) Martian Landing.

Ever hoped man would walk on Mars in our lifetime? For the past eight months, a six man crew based in a simulated environment has been headed towards a mock up of just such an event. The program is none other than the Mars 500 mission, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) 500 day “voyage” to the planet Mars. On June 3rd, 2010, six volunteers sequestered themselves in an experimental facility at Moscow’s Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) to take part in a study of the physiological and psychological impacts such a long mission would have.

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06.02.11- A “Sail-Flare” Contest!

NanoSail-D2 unfurled in the lab! (Credit: NASA/MSFC/D. Higginbotham).

I have wanted to give a shout out to a cool contest that came to our attention a few weeks back, and this weekend seemed as good a time as any. Last month, NanoSail-D2, everyone’s favorite solar sail test-bed in low Earth orbit, stunned the satellite-spotting community with its amazing comeback. [Read more...]

2010: The Year in Science

2010 has been a tumultuous year in space and astronomical science. We’ve seen the beginning of a huge transition for manned space flight, as well as a look ahead at what astronomers would wish for if they had their say. What follows are a baker’s dozen of the biggest, weirdest, and most controversial science articles that made our astro-radar in 2010;

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Observing from the ‘Hood’: Good Targets for Bright Skies.

 

 

 

 

Stove Pipe scope ready for action...(Photo by Author).

If you’re like us here at Astroguyz HQ, you find yourself in the ‘burbs under increasingly brightening night skies. But you want to use that shiny new Christmas telescope, right? What follows is a list of objects that you can view tonight from the comfort of your backyard, can of beer and barbeque in hand. This list also serves as a peek at our star party faves, which can frequently occur under less than optimal skies; [Read more...]

Review: Starry Night Pro 6.

Astro-candy for your desktop!

Astro-candy for your desktop!

 

   Let it never be said that you can run too many planetarium programs… this week we look at Starry Night Pro, a comprehensive desktop sky simulator. We were lucky to receive this bundled with one of our Earth Science courses in pursuit of our teaching degree with Western Governors University, and it has become a standard short-cut on our desktop. Just how does it stack up against what’s out there? [Read more...]