NASA’s Launching Rockets in Alaska to Study Ozone-Killing Compounds

A Black Brant IX sounding rocket was launched 175 miles high early Friday morning, Jan. 27, 2017, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Poker Flat Research Range to study levels of nitric oxide in the atmosphere as part of the Polar Night Nitric Oxide Experiment (PolarNOx). “The aurora creates nitric oxide, but in the polar night there is no significant…

What’s So Super About a Supermoon?

You’ve probably heard the news or read the headlines: the full Moon on November 14 will be a “supermoon,” and in fact the biggest and brightest one since 1948 and until 2034. But what does that really mean and what can we expect to see in the night sky? In all honesty it won’t be…

Supermoon Eclipse 2015

Last night a large part of the world’s population was treated to a relatively rare variety of a not-so-rare night sky spectacle: a total lunar eclipse that happened to coincide with the closest perigee Moon (aka “supermoon”) of the year. The last time these scenarios lined up this way was in 1982, and it won’t occur…

Mars Will NOT Be As Big As The Moon In The Night Sky

No, no, no…a thousand times NO: Mars will not become a “second Moon” in the sky on August 27. It won’t this year, it didn’t last year, and it didn’t in the past dozen years since this silly yet strangely perennial cyber-legend (yes I just used the prefix “cyber”) first started circulating on teh interwebz. I don’t know…

Three Worlds, One Shot: a February 2015 Conjunction Event

Did you have clear skies last night? If so, you may have been able to catch the sight above: a conjunction of the crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars in the western sky! I captured the photo above with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 150-500mm lens. Venus is the brighter object at…

Book Review: The Star Book

If you’re still looking for that last-minute gift for the astronomy fan in your life (and let’s be honest; that may very well be yourself — I won’t tell) may I suggest this little gem: The Star Book: How to Understand Astronomy published by David & Charles. The latest book by amateur astronomer and astrophotographer…

Are You Ready For Saturday’s Supermoon?

Can’t see the video below? Click here. If you think this weekend’s full moon looks larger in the sky than usual, you’re not a lunatic… it IS larger in the sky! 14% larger, to be exact. Why?

NASA: In Pursuit of Light

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Here’s a new video from the folks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD that will make you fall in love with the Universe…for the first time, or all over again. It’s a good reminder that, even though the shuttles are retired, NASA still has its…

Orion Versus the Space Station

I captured the Space Station careening toward the Hunter on the night of March 2, 2012, just a little after 7:50 pm. A half-moon illuminated the event… who won? Well, let’s just say Orion’s still up there and the ISS faded away shortly after! (I’m sure they’ll be back for another go! They’re a plucky…

Daytime Moon, Hello Venus!

What a weekend for sky gazing! As promised in Friday’s article on Universe Today, Venus was visible during the daylight hours this Saturday, very close to the crescent Moon. If you had clear weather you too may have been able to catch a glimpse of the scene above, photographed from my location in north Texas at…

More ISS Awesomeness!

This just in: new time-lapses from the ISS, by way of the Image Science & Analysis Lab at Johnson Space Center and The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Enjoy! (Descriptions from JSC.)