December 15, 2018

Declassified: The True Tale of Project Orion.

Artist's conception of an Orion vessel about to depart from Mars orbit. (Credit: NASA). Ever wondered if man will ever head to the stars? Certainly, the magnitude… [more]

Declassified: The True Tale of Project Orion. Declassified: The True Tale of Project Orion.

Astro-Challenge: Daytime Planet Spotting!

A daytime Venus post-occultation in 2007! (Photo by Author). Here’s a fine neighborhood experiment to try. Next time the Moon is around 1st or Last Quarter, show… [more]

Astro-Challenge: Daytime Planet Spotting! Astro-Challenge: Daytime Planet Spotting!

Astro-Event: What’s in a Name? Black & Blue Moons through 2020.

The August 2011 Full Moon rising as seen from Astroguyz HQ. (Photo by Author). (Note: This week’s lunar-related event is a fitting tribute to the life of astronaut… [more]

Astro-Event: What’s in a Name? Black & Blue Moons through 2020. Astro-Event: What’s in a Name? Black & Blue Moons through 2020.

30.10.2012: A Weekend of Apocalyptic Fun at the NecronomiCon!

How many Baktuns in a Pectun again? (Credit: Stone Hill.org). The “busy ‘Con season” for Astroguyz has arrived. Sure, it may have came and went with only one event,… [more]

30.10.2012: A Weekend of Apocalyptic Fun at the NecronomiCon! 30.10.2012: A Weekend of Apocalyptic Fun at the NecronomiCon!

Week 4-The Quest for Dark Skies: Into the Appalachians.

A very slender Moon... (All photos by Author). The mountains always beckon. In the end, all astronomers must heed the call of dark, pristine skies and head into… [more]

Week 4-The Quest for Dark Skies: Into the Appalachians. Week 4-The Quest for Dark Skies: Into the Appalachians.

The Top Astronomy Events for 2013.

It has arrived. Welcome to our official guide to the fascinating, the unique, and the down right bizarre in the realm of astronomy coming to a sky near you in 2013.… [more]

The Top Astronomy Events for 2013.   The Top Astronomy Events for 2013.

Featured Posts

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Review: Interplanetary Robots by Rod Pyle

On sale now. What’s up in space exploration? We just passed to 60 year mark for the Space Age late last year, with the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in October 1957. In 60 years, humanity has gone from having a tough time hitting the Moon, to sending spacecraft out of the [...]

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Friday Review: Wishes Edited by Rebecca Moesta

Wishes: on sale now! Quick: what are you wishing for this coming Christmas day? Here’s a funny but true story: I almost opted not to read and review this week’s book selection. And not for the reason that we do (albeit rarely) turn books down, as in we’re leery of giving prospective pseudoscience non-fiction books [...]

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Review: Keepers by Brenda Cooper

On sale now. What might the ecology of Earth look like in a post-apocalyptic world? We recently read a science fiction tale that tackled this precise question. We’re talking about Keepers by Brenda Cooper, out now from Pyr Books. Book 2 in the Project Earth saga, Keepers looks at a world with a dichotomous face, [...]

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Review: Isaac Newton: The Asshole Who Reinvented the Universe

On sale now. There. We said it. So, you think you know Sir Isaac Newton? Some of the most fascinating tales of science and history lurk in the footnotes, down the tiny side avenues and rabbit holes that most traditional biographies only hint at. Rittenhouse passed out during a transit of Venus. Tycho had his [...]

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Review: The Phantom Atlas by Edward Brooke-Hitching

On sale now. Love maps? Looking for something a bit unconventional and unique? We recently finished a fascinating compendium of the world as it never was, and lands that were thought to be. We’re talking about The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps by Edward Brooke-Hitching, out from Chronicle Books. The [...]

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Why DC’s Legion of Superheroes Deserves a Home in CW’s Arrowverse

Long Live the Legion… Credit: The CW. Been watching Supergirl lately? We’ve just about made it through Season 3 on ye ole Netflix, through the story arc featuring the battle against Reign and the Blight. Along with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl is one of the best superhero sagas in the CW Arrowverse. I really [...]

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Tracking Tales of Transits in Lewes, Delaware

Seen in Lewes, Delaware… photo by author. I had to stop. As we always love to say, astronomy and history is where you find it, even in a graveyard in Delaware beside the road. The Delaware coast is an unlikely birthplace for modern American science. But back in the mid-18th century, it was the site [...]

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Friday Review: Searching for the Fleet by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale on September 18th, and available for pre-order now. One of the most amazing science fiction series in recent years now has an exciting new installment. We’re talking about Searching for the Fleet, the latest chapter in the Diving Into the Wreck saga by Kristine Kathryn Rusch out September 18th, 2018 from WMG Publishing. [...]

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Observing Like an Eight-Year Old

Our second telescope: a 60mm refractor. (note the 8-track player in the background!) It’s true: we destroyed our first telescope before its first night out. Flashback to the summer 1977, and our ninth birthday. Returning home from church, I was greeted by a shiny new Newtonian reflecting telescope, lovingly assembled by my Mom in my [...]

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Review: Nebula Awards Showcase 2018

On sale August 7th! Ready for the best of the best? Every year, one of the biggest and best reads that we look forward to are the Nebulas. Not only are these tales a great read, but they also serve as a fine look at the state of modern science fiction, a cross-sectional look at [...]

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Coming Clean: Tales of Astronomical Wins and Woes

Beware of the “Pacman Moon…” It’s true: I once slept through an eclipse. Well, OK. I didn’t sleep all the way though. Hard to believe, there was a phase of my life where I didn’t eagerly await every occultation and conjunction. Like many skywatchers who return to amateur astronomy later in life, an early interest [...]

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Pluto at Opposition 2018: Transit Dreaming

Earth and the Moon in transit as seen from Pluto. Credit: Starry Night. What sorts of celestial scenes would you witness, if you could magically sit on some far flung space rock? An interesting upcoming alignment was recently brought to our attention by our friends over at Earth & Sky and astronomer Anne Verbiscer at [...]

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Downsizing Astronomy: A Rough and Ready Astronomy Rig

Our current travel gear: ready for an upgrade? The circle is nearly complete. Late last year, we took on a book project presented to us by Fraser Cain over at Universe Today. Numerous edits, rewrites and deadlines later, the book out from Page Street Publishing this October is nearly now on autopilot. I do want [...]

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Cosmic Watch: An Update

Cosmic Watch screen grab. Who wouldn’t want your very own Earth and Solar System to play with? Recently, we reviewed the Cosmic Watch App. This application (available for Android and Iphone for $4.99 US)… released last year gives you a unique “outside looking in view” of the apparent sky along with the planets, Moon, Sun [...]

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Friday Review: Blood Orbit by K.R. Richardson

On sale now! Solving a crime is never easy… especially in space. This week’s scifi review marries up two time-honored fictional genres: the mystery/police procedural, and sleek cyber-punk. We’re talking about Blood Orbit by K.R. Richardson, out now from Pyr Books.

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In Defense of Space: 1999

An Eagle, ready for launch. Credit: ITC Entertainment. Remember the 1970s? We recently found a vein of free episodes on ye ole YouTube of one of our childhood favorites: Space:1999. For those of you who aren’t old enough to remember, let me explain the good old/bad old days of science fiction and the vast intellectual [...]

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Mars Cube One: Exploring Pale Blue Dot Redux

A ‘pretty pair…’ credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. What’s in a picture? A brand new robotic scout recently looked homeward, snapping a portrait of our place in space. The view was courtesy of the Mars Cube One mission, which launched with the Mars InSight lander recently from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 5th, 2018.

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Review: My Plastic Brain by Caroline Williams

On sale now. Looking to change your brain? Sure, we’d all like to be smarter, more math savy, or simply able to flip automatically into creativity mode on command… but are such changes possible? Science writer Caroline Williams takes us on a fascinating personal journey through the modern world of neuroscience to see if such [...]

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The Urban Astronomer

Living on the flight path – an aircraft approaches the Full April Pink Moon. Photo by Author. Quick: where’s your very own personal observatory? In an ideal world, most amateur astronomers would simply live in an iconic dome observatory, perched on a windswept mountain under perpetually clear dark skies.

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Review: The Genius Plague by David Walton

On sale now! Could we be too smart for our own good? We recent finished a real page-turner, a near future science fiction thriller in an all too plausible future reality. The Genius Plague by David Walton out late last year from Pyr Books is a tale of a fungal spore out of the Amazon [...]

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Review: Beyond Earth by Charles Wohlforth and Amanda R. Hendrix

On sale now! What’s next in space exploration? We are literally at a crossroads now at the end of the second decade of the the 21st century, a time of crisis and opportunity. Sure, technology has come a long way, as we all carry exponentially more computing power in our pockets than was used to [...]

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Dating Artemis: An Astronomical Sci-Fi Mystery Solved?

On sale now. I love it when a hard science fiction book presents an astronomical mystery. I came across just such a mystery reading Artemis, the latest science fiction novel out late last year from Andy Weir. Artemis presents the story of Jasmine Bashara, a young girl trying to make her way in the first [...]

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Book Review: The Castle in Cassiopeia by Mike Resnick

On sale now. There’s nothing like the swashbuckling action of jumping from one globular cluster to another. We recently came across just such a fast-moving tale, with The Castle in Cassiopeia by Mike Resnick, the latest in his Dead Enders saga out from Pyr Books.

Review: Cosmic Watch

Cosmic Watch screenshot. To understand the motions of the sky is to understand our place in the Universe. We recently came across a neat new App available for Apple and Google Play named Cosmic Watch, ($4.99 US) which simulates the sky view from a unique perspective. The App: Cosmic Watch allows you to toggle between [...]

Review: Blockbuster Science by David Siegel Bernstein

On sale now… So. The future is now. Is it what you expected? As a child of the 1970s, 2017 seemed like an imaginably far off date. Heck, 2000 seemed impossibly remote, a year straight out of science fiction. And while we’re not vacationing on Phobos and traveling via teleporter just yet, we are all [...]

Review: Raining Fire by Rajan Khanna

On sale now… There’s one small plus to the current worldwide wave of jingoistic nationalism currently sweeping the world: dystopian science fiction is sure to do really well. Science fiction tends to reflect the hopes and fears of contemporary society, and you can often chart the swing from a shiny white, Star Trek outlook, to [...]

Reader Feedback, New Changes and More

Observing ‘scopes are happy scopes… (photo by the author). You responded, and we listened. Well, maybe complained is more the term. But after a short bit of consideration, we did indeed implement a few changes that we felt were warranted. Anyhow, if you’ve read this far, you’re not a spam-spewing robot, and maybe while you [...]

Review: Masterminds by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale now… Never let it be said that we don’t get around to each and every review book sent to us… eventually. Such is the case with this week’s featured review, Masterminds by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, out from WMG Publishing. A Retrieval Artist novel and the final climatic installment of the Anniversary Day saga, [...]

Life Lessons From the Classic Strategy Game RISK

Prepare for battle… Credit: Risk/Hasbro/SMG Studio Leave it to technology, to bring back an old friend in a new way. We’ve recently joined the realm of the online gaming community, about a decade plus behind the rest of the world. I know, we finally got tired of having our computer beat us at chess. Anyhow, [...]

Astronomy Video of the Week – Howling at Totality

Our grim view, moments before totality. “Screams break the silence…” So, where were YOU last Monday? If you were like us, you made the pilgrimage to stand in the path of the total solar eclipse. We’ll admit, we — like many viewers east of the Mississippi River — battled touch and go views of the [...]

Astro Video of the Week: Making a Binocular Solar Filter

From eclipse glasses to binocular solar filter… Scrambling to prepare for the Great American Eclipse at the last minute? This final Friday before the August 21st 2017 total solar eclipse, we thought we’d share with you a fun and easy project. Lots of folks across North America just recently got their hands on a pair [...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Hunting for the Oldest Eclipse

Totality from the 1914 eclipse over Sweden. (Credit: N. Nordenstrom) An astronomical mystery came our way this past week. If you’re like us, you’re gearing up to meet the shadow of the Moon in just 10 short days. While interest in the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse crossing the United States runs high, we [...]

Ghosts of Eclipses Past

Trouvelot’s classic view of the 1878 eclipse over Wyoming. Image in the Public Domain. Are you ready? There’s a great line from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the Three Stages of Sophistication which every civilization must pass: “1. How can we eat? 2. Why do we eat? And 3. Where shall we [...]

Astro Video of the Week: NASA Opens the Archives

What a fun circus ride… Ever wonder what sort of secrets NASA is REALLY sitting on? We got an early birthday surprise early this past week, when the Armstrong Flight Research Center (formerly the Dryden Space Center) released hundreds of old videos on YouTube, some of these have existed around the web on various sites, [...]

Review: The Forgotten Genius of Oliver Heaviside

On sale for pre-order now! Quick: who was the father of modern electrical theory? Talk about the early age of electricity and names such as Thomas Edison, James Maxwell and Nikola Tesla come to mind… all of these pioneers deserve their due, sure, but chances are, you have never heard of Oliver Heaviside. The Forgotten Genius [...]

Review: No Humans Allowed

On sale now! “Your droids,” says the unnamed bartender in a famous sci-fi flick, “they’ll have to wait outside.” Perhaps, cyber-discrimination is a pressing social issue in a “galaxy, far, far away…” But what if those protagonists ever manage to turn in table on humanity?

Astro Video of the Week: White Dwarf, Brown Dwarf

+19th magnitude white dwarf WD 1202-024. (SDSS) Wanna see a wacky planetary system? A recent discovery by MIT, Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Bishop’s University researchers was announced at the 200th AAS meeting in Austin, Texas and made the news rounds last week, but I don’t think folks really got a good grasp on just [...]

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