Tag Archives: astronomy

11 Aug 2009
Be alert for parachuting elephants!

Something weird is going on out there. Phil Plait says, “Deep in the outer realms of our solar system, well over a billion kilometers away, something bizarre happened at Saturn’s F ring. I mean, seriously: what the hell happened here?” Read his post “Like the fist of an angry god” at Discover Magazine’s Bad Astronomy […]

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11 Jan 2009
Galileo’s Eyes

Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei started an astronomical revolution by using a telescope to (among other things) discover four moons of Jupiter and thus reinforce the heliocentric view of the solar system, removing Earth from the center of the universe. Sadly, it took the Catholic Church nearly that long to forgive him for it. […]

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05 Jan 2009
IYA2009 – International Year of Astronomy

“The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery.” —(about) In case you need to ramp up […]

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03 Oct 2008
Target Earth

“Unfortunately, for SV11 the alarm is not over, the date of possible impact has shifted to April 1, 2009, but it is NOT an April’s fool.” — minor planets mailing list, hat tip to Technocrat. Look on the bright side — you may not have to fill out that 1040 after all. Actually, things aren’t […]

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09 Sep 2008
Missing Link in Space

Researchers have discovered an unusual object, named ‘2008 KV42’, that orbits the Sun backwards at a 104 degree tilt. Study of this strange configuration may lead to understanding the origins of some comets. For example, it’s unclear how objects transition from the Oort Cloud to become comets such as Halley’s or Hale-Bopp. The article “A […]

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03 May 2008
Alien Overlords

It’s time to reassemble the interocitor and send “I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords“, if I can just find the schematics. Oh, wait…. It’s too late, baby, according to Dr. Alexander L. Zaitsev’s Detection Probability of Terrestrial Radio Signals by a Hostile Super-civilization. We don’t need to worry about the dangers of actively […]

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13 Apr 2008
The Star II

This is a followup to my previous post The Star. The most powerful explosion ever observed may have been even more powerful than first thought. Nearly three weeks after the bright ‘gamma-ray burst’ occurred, it is still outshining its host galaxy, dumbfounding astronomers with its amazing longevity. […] For a brief period on 19 March, […]

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01 Apr 2008
The Star

“Yesterday [March 19], the gamma ray burst GRB 080319B was observed. What is so special about this one is that it has been determined to have happened at a distance of 7.5 billion light years, and yet its optical afterglow was briefly visible with the naked eye!” —Giant cosmic explosion visible for an instant at […]

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