Astronomy magazine editors share their unique insight from behind the scenes of the science, hobby, and magazine.
0

How I Became a Freelance Photographer

Posted 5 days ago by Jake Parks
Meet Marcus Cote, a 19-year-old freelance photographer with a knack for capturing captivating launch photos from Florida's Space Coast. Guest blog by Marcus Cote One of the hardest aspects of photography is finding inspiration. Technical know-how can be learned and mastered over time, and equipment can be acquired through hard work and short-term savings; however, finding the creative drive and motivation to turn ideas into pictures is not as easy. I am Marcus Cote, a 19-year-old fr...
0

Wow! Opportunity rover reaches 5,000 days on Mars

Posted 10 days ago by Michael Bakich
I just received this note from Karly Pitman, Executive Director of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado: On Friday, February 16, 2018, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, will be conducting its 5000th martian day of operating on the Red Planet. NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program landed Opportunity and her twin rover, Spirit, on the martian surface in January 2004.  Though a wheel failure caused Spirit to become mired in a sand trap and cease operations i...
0

The Great Galactic Mashup: What can we expect?

Posted 17 days ago by Jake Parks
Spoiler alert! The Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy will collide in four billion years. But alas, the Sun will be a red giant and neither Earth nor the solar system will be here to witness the collision. Guest blog by Sharmila Kuthunur It’s rare to find neighbors that don’t meet up every once in a while. So is the case with two of the largest galaxies in the Local Group — the Milky Way and Andromeda. But unlike antisocial neighbors, these two galaxies have a plan to get toge...
0

Do magnetic fields really care about what's in a planet's core?

Posted 27 days ago by Jake Parks
Guest blog by Sharmila Kuthunur. Although the geodynamo residing in Earth’s core is critical to maintaining our protective magnetic field, the composition of the core itself seems to have little to do with the structure and alignment of the field. Earth’s rotation, on the other hand, plays a surprisingly important role. The very existence of a magnetic field depends on there being enough energy to drive the dynamo, which in Earth’s case comes from the convection currents th...
0

Moonshots collects NASA photos snapped with Hasselblad cameras

Posted 29 days ago by Alison Klesman
Moonshots: 50 Years of NASA Space Exploration Seen through Hasselblad Cameras by Piers Bizony is a stunningly beautiful and insightful book that brings the story of America’s journey into space to life. And with each passing year, its message will only grow more poignant. “Time is doing what it always does: separating us from the tangibility of events,” the introduction reads — and it’s true, especially for those who, like me, were born into a world where man had...
0

Celebrate this month's "Super Blue Blood" Moon with a virtual race

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
If one of your New Year’s resolutions this year was to get active but you’re still struggling for motivation, you’re in luck — the Virtual Running Club, in partnership with Celestron, is offering the 2018 Inaugural Moonlight Virtual 5K/10K. And the reward for completing the race is a super-cool “Super Moon” medal to commemorate the Blue, Blood, and Super Moon of January 31, 2018. What is a virtual race? It’s a race that you can run at any time and at ...
0

CES goes out with a bang

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
This week, I’m at CES (the gathering formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), which is taking place in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. Today was my third day, one I’ll call “the last hurrah.” It was also the final day of CES. I headed to the convention center early because I wanted to at least stop by and see some of the manufacturers whose products Astronomy’s readers use. First up was Canon. To this day, in excess of 90 percent of the DSLR ima...
1

So much to see at CES

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
This week, I’m at CES (the gathering formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), which is taking place in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. Today was my second day, one I’ll call “return of the tourist.” Yesterday was full of eye-opening sights, but I spent the early part of the day (before the power went out) only in the South Hall one of three giant venues side by side at the Convention Center. Today was filled with meetings in all three giant halls, but ...
0

The 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Day 3

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
Thursday morning at the AAS pulled space telescopes into the spotlight with a morning press conference highlighting the work our instruments in space have helped astronomers to complete. Keith Gendreau of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center spoke about the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) aboard the International Space station, and how its data is working to provide a completely independent method for navigating deep space using the pulses received from millisecond pulsa...
0

CES equals OMG!!!

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
I thought I was used to big conventions. After all, this summer will be my seventh trip to San Diego Comic-Con — the biggest and best pop-culture convention on the planet. More than 160,000 people attend it. Enter a new reality. This week, I’m at CES (the gathering formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. I gotta tell you, CES is like ten Comic-Cons smashed together, shaken violently, and emptied into a venue larger than some asteroids. Today was my first day,...
0

The 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Day 2

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
It’s Wednesday at the AAS! This morning, I got a fascinating look deeper into the nature and environment of the mysterious fast radio burst FRB121102 — the only known repeating fast radio burst to date. I also had a chance to speak with a team member working with the Thirty Meter Telescope to hear more about the challenges this project has faced, and those it has yet to overcome. Studying an FRB and its homeFast Radio Bursts, or FRBs, are brief, bright flashes of radio energy from...
0

The 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Day 1

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
Hello from Washington D.C., the site of the 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which officially kicked off Monday evening. The AAS’s winter meeting is typically very well attended, so there are plenty of people to talk to and things to see. Plus, some pretty exciting announcements about new discoveries and upcoming projects. Monday afternoon, I had the chance to speak with Patrick McCarthy, director of the GMTO organization responsible for the Giant Magellan Telescope (...
0

It's time for Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places 2

Posted one month ago by Alison Klesman
Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking! Today, the renowned physicist turns 76, and CuriosityStream is celebrating with the release of Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places 2. This followup to the Emmy Award-winning series Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places is half-documentary, half-science-fiction adventure, and one hundred percent fascinating.   I had the opportunity to preview this amazing space adventure, and it was a wild, interesting ride. Hawking begins his journey on Earth, ...
1

Is the Earth’s magnetic field due for a pole reversal?

Posted one month ago by Jake Parks
Guest blog by Sharmila Kuthunur We take for granted Earth’s reliable magnetic field, which unceasingly protects us from calamitous radiation. Without it, life as we know it would most certainly not have been possible. Lately, however, the intensity of our magnetic field has been decreasing at an alarming rate. And given its history, a pole reversal may well be brewing deep within our planet. Magnetic pole reversals are a relatively common occurrence on Earth, where one occurs every few t...
0

ACEAP 2018 applications now being accepted

Posted 2 months ago by Alison Klesman
This June, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Chile as media liaison for the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program, or ACEAP. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this program represents the collaborative effort of several major organizations and observatories that you likely know about if you check our news feed regularly: Associated Universities, Inc., the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the N...
1

Guest Blog: Sailing through space

Posted 2 months ago by Alison Klesman
By William Zhu A history of space sailing You cannot exactly describe Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer born in the year 1571, as a handsome man. His premature birth contributed to his sickly childhood and smallpox weakened his vision. Yet he was a visionary. Mathematics set him free from his restrictive physical conditions to model and explain the universe. When his Italian colleague Galileo first published news of his discoveries of jovian moons using his telescope, Kepler responded ent...
0

Check out a great new book about stargazing

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
I just received a new book that I think will appeal to beginners who want to observe the sky.  100 Things to See in the Night Sky by Dean Regas (222 pp., softcover, Adams Media, New York, 2017, ISBN 978–1–5072–0505–1) is an easy-to-understand book that will serve as a great first guide to the heavens.  Regas has been the astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory since 2000, and the cohost of the syndicated astronomy program Star Gazers since 2010. He’s w...
0

Eclipse Megamovie Project launches two new citizen science projects

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
The Eclipse Megamovie Project, a first-of-its-kind citizen science effort that brought together thousands of volunteers across the United States to capture the August 2017 total solar eclipse, received over 60,000 images! We've been pouring through them and thinking about all the different ways we can take this project to the next level. As a result, we've launched two new opportunities for the public to get involved in our on-going scientific investigation. These brand new online citizen scien...
0

A guide to the seven major meteor showers of 2018

Posted 2 months ago by Amber Jorgenson
Which meteor showers in the upcoming year are worth viewing? We’ve created a guide to help you decide.  Glowing pieces of galactic material falling into Earth’s atmosphere can be a sight to see for those making strategic astronomical observations, or those just hoping to wish on a shooting star. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of a meteor on a whim, as they can occur at any time, but keeping an eye on the celestial calendar could save you from observing ordinary ...
0

An astronomer's name you should know, but probably don't: Hisako Koyama

Posted 2 months ago by Amber Jorgenson
Small-scale astronomers had recognized her work for quite some time, but it took many years for Hisako Koyama’s name to become renowned in the profession science community. A recently published paper outlines how her work impacted the documentation of sunspots over the last century. Koyama’s name lingered in the back of Delores Knipp’s mind for years before she decided to conduct a detailed study on her work, outlined in the American Geophysical Union journal, Space Weather....
0

2017's only supermoon to occur on Sunday, December 3. Is it really that super?

Posted 2 months ago by Jake Parks
Guest blog by Amber Jorgenson If you check your celestial calendar, you’ll notice a pretty stellar galactic event is coming up this weekend. The only supermoon of 2017 is scheduled to descend upon the sky on Sunday, December 3. Though they have been non-existent in 2017 thus far, two more supermoons are set to follow in January 2018. With the surge of supermoons in the coming months, people may be wondering what’s so super about them anyway, and if they’re worth keeping an e...
1

CuriosityStream now paired with VRV

Posted 3 months ago by Alison Klesman
I’ve had the opportunity to review several CuriosityStream series in the past; each one has been engaging, fun, and left me wanting more. Some are straightforward documentaries, exploring what we do — and don’t — know about our universe. And some are more playful adventures, imagining what it’s like to stand on a distant planet or what the solar system’s giant planets would look like hanging in our sky. Currently offering more than 1,500 documentaries on de...
0

What is so interesting about TRAPPIST-1?

Posted 3 months ago by Jake Parks
Guest blog by Sharmila Kuthunur The TRAPPIST-1 system crams seven planets into less than the distance at which Mercury orbits the Sun. // NASA/JPL-Caltech Back in 1999, when astronomers first discovered an ultra-cool red dwarf star safely tucked away in the constellation Aquarius (the Water-bearer), they simply catalogued it under the name 2MASS J23062928-0502285 and quickly forgot about it. Stars this small were not considered important to the hunt for extraterrestrial life. It wasn’...
1

"Are we alone in the universe?" Find out this weekend!

Posted 3 months ago by Alison Klesman
We have entered an exciting time in the field of astronomy — and, indeed, in the history of humankind. Every week, it seems, we read new announcements increasing the number of known extrasolar planets circling other stars. And as our instruments and observing techniques allow us to probe ever-smaller ranges of mass and size, we’re now discovering planets that could potentially provide suitable environments for life — Earth-like and otherwise. Which, of course, begs the quest...
0

Vintage NASA photographs set for sale

Posted 3 months ago by Jake Parks
On November 2, nearly 500 vintage NASA prints taken from 1961 to 1972 (including the three pictured above) will be auctioned off. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn achieved two huge milestones for humankind within just a few short hours. First (and maybe most impressively), he became the first American to orbit the Earth by circling it three times aboard his Mercury Friendship 7 spacecraft, reaching speeds of more than 17,000 miles per hour. Second (and maybe most importantly), he snapped ...
2

Where are the extraterrestrials?

Posted 4 months ago by Alison Klesman
By Richard Talcott While discussing the possibility of intelligent life in the universe over lunch with his fellow scientists, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi asked the simple question: “Where are they?” The line came to be known as the “Fermi Paradox,” and the argument boils down to this: If the universe is teeming with life, and some reasonable percentage of that life has developed advanced technology, then these civilizations should have populated our cor...
0

How the Sun creates asteroids

Posted 4 months ago by Alison Klesman
By Richard Talcott From its position at the center of the solar system, the Sun spews harsh radiation and energetic particles whose effects are felt well beyond the realm of the planets. In most cases, these emissions are forces of destruction, but not always. On Wednesday at the 49th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Provo, Utah, Apostolos Christou of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland showed how sunlight can be creative. Christou and his team ...
0

Small bodies loom large

Posted 4 months ago by Alison Klesman
By Richard Talcott As their name implies, planetary scientists spend much of their time studying the biggest bodies in the Sun’s family: the planets and their large moons. But on Tuesday at the 49th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Provo, Utah, researchers turned some of their attention to the smaller bodies in our solar system. Vishnu Reddy of the University of Arizona reported on his team’s observations of Earth’s quasi-satellite, 2016 HO3. Althoug...
0

Saturn takes center stage

Posted 4 months ago by Alison Klesman
By Richard Talcott While most of the astronomical world spent Monday celebrating the incredible discovery of two neutron stars merging, planetary scientists held their own celebration. On the first day of the 49th Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Provo, Utah, scientists with the Cassini mission to Saturn reported on the latest discoveries to come from the spacecraft before it plunged into the ringed planet’s atmosphere a month ago. During Cassini’s “Grand Finale,&...
1

Could Planet Nine really exist?

Posted 4 months ago by Jake Parks
All right, I know. I was extremely skeptical too. And I’m still not completely sold. But I have to admit that the evidence is mounting. There just may be a so-called Planet Nine lingering in the dark, icy graveyard that is our outer solar system.  And if it’s there, its subtle influence could help explain some of our solar system’s most mysterious characteristics — like the highly elliptical orbits of comets and asteroids, or the slight tilt of the plane of our sol...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook