November 16, 2018

Review: Miss Leavitt’s Stars by George Johnson.

An outstanding read!

Sometimes, the greatest discoveries in astronomy can come from those willing to interpret the data in a new way. Just such a paradigm shifting discovery was the result of the diligent work of one Henrietta Swan Leavitt, the subject of a biography by George Johnson which in turn is the topic of this weeks’ review, Miss Leavitt’s Stars out from Norton/Atlas Books. [Read more...]

AstroChallenge: Beta Monocerotis: A True Triple.

This week, we’d like to turn your attention towards an interesting object in an often overlooked constellation; Monceros. Sandwiched between the flashier constellations of Orion and Canis Major, this rambling constellation sports an interesting multiple star that should be part of your spring repertoire; Beta Monocerotis.

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Review: How Old is the Universe? By David A. Weintraub.

Probably the toughest questions an astronomer ever has to field with the public are those in cosmology. How old/how big/how far are truly mind bending questions, and difficult to explain to the average man on the street in sound-bite style. This week, we look at David Weintraub’s latest, How Old is the Universe? out by Princeton Press. Fans of this site will remember our review of Is Pluto a Planet? also by Mr. Weintraub a few years back.

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Astro-Event: A Very Old Moon Pairs with Venus.

This week’s astronomy challenge ties in two potential visual challenges: sighting a very slender crescent Moon and a daylight occultation of Venus. A grouping of the next two brightest objects in the sky after the Sun is always a treat; the challenge comes from the fact that the celestial pairing will be very close to a brightening dawn horizon. Venus just passed inferior conjunction on October 28th; it will sport a 2% illuminated crescent about 60” seconds in size at magnitude -4.2. The Moon, meanwhile, will be about 1% illuminated and reaches New on November 6th at 04:52 Universal Time.

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