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Rising Rainbow

Aysun Ülger is, like me, someone who loves atmospheric optical phenomena. Halos, glories, aurorae, iridescent clouds … so much so she created a Facebook page where she collects such photos. She just started it, but there are already a few lovely examples there. And this includes, of course, rainbows. Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Venus

There but for the grace of physics goes us: Venus, second rock from the Sun, could be said to be Earth’s twin… but it’s the evil one. Find out why on this week’s episode of Crash Course Astronomy! I love the fact that you can learn all...Show More Summary

Aurorae Out an Airplane Window

It’s fun to look out an airplane window at night and try to identify stars above and cities below. But I’ve never had as good a view as this: That time-lapse video is by Paul Williams, a systems designer based in London. He flies toShow More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Mercury

Quick: What’s the hottest planet in the solar system? You might think Mercury, because it’s the closest to the Sun. But in fact, it’s not! Venus is hotter due to its runaway greenhouse effect. But that’s not to say Mercury isn’t loaded with astronomical goodness. Show More Summary

SpaceX Launch Today: Space Station Supplies and Another Booster Landing Attempt

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket today at 20:33 UTC (4:33 p.m. Eastern) from Florida. The primary goal: Send a Dragon capsule loaded with two tons of supplies to the International Space Station. The secondary one: Land the first stage booster on a barge floating in the Atlantic Ocean. First things first. Show More Summary

April Is Global Astronomy Month

If you love astronomy, do I have a month for you. April is Global Astronomy Month (GAM), an informal but planet-wide celebration put together by Astronomers Without Borders, a wonderful group that promotes astronomy worldwide. AmongShow More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: M-O-O-N, That Spells MOON

Some may think the Moon a cold-hearted orb that rules the night, but for me, the Moon will always be the first step to the rest of the Universe. It’s the closest object in space to us, with features big enough to examine and be curious over. Show More Summary

How Critical Thinking Affects Society

Critical thinking is important. If we blindly believe everything we hear, well then, we’re in for a world of hurt. Science is based on critical thinking, on asking questions, making sure suppositions are supported by evidence, and above all else being willing to admit mistakes and change conclusions based on that. But it goes far beyond science. Show More Summary

The Entire April 4, 2015 Lunar Eclipse in One Minute

On Saturday, Apr. 4, 2015, the Moon very briefly slipped into the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. It was the shortest total eclipse this century, with totality lasting just under five minutes. I saw lots of lovely pictures...Show More Summary

The Large Hadron Collider Is Back in Business!

Over the weekend, the huge Large Hadron Collider—the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and collider—became even more powerful. After a two year hiatus in research to perform upgrades, the LHC is once again up and running, and...Show More Summary

Yellowstone by Moonlight

It’s been a while since I posted a time-lapse animation just because it’s heart-stoppingly beautiful. Let’s fix that. This is “Yellowstone by Moonlight”, shot by photographer Christopher Cauble. As the name implies, the only source of...Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Earth

Astronomy as a science is pretty tough to define these days. I actually point that out in the first episode of Crash Course Astronomy; if I observe Mars using my backyard telescope I’m doing astronomy, but what if I’m a professionalShow More Summary

Watch Me Live Tuesday Night With Felicia Day Talking about Fortune’s Pawn

I’m pretty excited to let y’all know that I’ll be a guest on the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club! Yes, you read that right. It’s a video hangout/podcast hosted by Felicia Day, Bonnie Burton, Veronica Belmont, and Kiala Kazebee, where they drink wine, talk about a romance-fantasy novel they’ve read, and make dirty jokes. Show More Summary

The Top of the World Sinks Ever Lower

Ever year around the end of February, after a long winter, Arctic ice reaches its maximum extent. This year that happened around Feb. 25, when it encompassed 14.54 million square kilometers of ice around the North Pole. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy Outtakes

When you watch an episode of Crash Course Astronomy, you no doubt marvel at how clearly cut, professional, and perfect it is. The thing is, what you don’t see are the 18 bazillion times I stumble on a word, say things out of order, realize the grammar is wrong, and so on. Happily, or embarrassingly, we get a lot of that stuff on camera. Show More Summary

The Catastrophe That Must Not Be Named

By now you may have heard that Florida Governor Rick Scott is a flat-out global warming denier, even though his state is arguably the most vulnerable to sea level rise and other problems that are surely to come if we do nothing. But even doing nothing is too much for Scott. Show More Summary

Flying High During a Solar Eclipse

I should know better by now: Whenever I post a bunch of pictures from some astronomical event and say they were the best I saw, someone comes along and proves me wrong. The photo above was taken by frequent BA Blog contributor GeoffShow More Summary

Where Are the Pictures of Ceres?

I’ve been getting some emails and tweets asking why, if the Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres on Mar. 6, haven’t we seen any new close-up pictures for nearly three weeks? The answer is not that NASA is covering up alien bases or Obama’s birth certificate or any other such nonsense. Show More Summary

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in Celestia

5 months agoAcademics / Astronomy : Astroblog

Comet 67P//Churyumov–Gerasimenko and the Rosetta orbiter rendered in Celestia.As usual, I have been trying to make a Celestia file for comet 67P.And failing miserably. I tried to convert the ESA public shape model to celestia 3Ds format and failed miserably. Show More Summary

Tomorrow we Land on a Comet

6 months agoAcademics / Astronomy : Astroblog

Small bodies landed (or about to be landed on) by spacecraft. Asteroid Itokawa size 540m x 270m x 210m (image Credit JAXA) Comet 67P size 4.1×4.5 Km (image credit ESA) Asteroid Eros size 34.4×11.2×11.2 Km (image credit JPL/NASA) Tomorrow...Show More Summary

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