Posts treating: "Astronomy"
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
By Ralph Phillips, Docent at HMNS Sugar Land, introduction by Chris Wells A few years ago everyone’s heart went out to our littlest neighbor when Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. This sentimental feeling was interesting because it revealed a burgeoning sense of extraterrestrial community among us earthlings. Instead of only identifying ourselves as
The Big Dipper is above the North Star, with its handle pointing up. From that handle, you can ‘arc to Arcturus’ and then ‘speed on to Spica’; those stars are in the south at dusk. Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the night sky, but the brightest one we see from Houston
As mentioned the week before last, Walter Alvarez has a new book out. I’ve read it. It’s good. It’s Alvarez’s take on what he calls “Big History” – the story that spans the cosmos, the Earth, life, and humanity. It’s pretty great for the reasons that Alvarez’s other books are excellent – his voice is calm, appreciative, and patient. His language is accessible and appropriate (though I will grouse that …
The post <i>A Most Improbable Journey</i>, by Walter [...]
In May, you can watch as the Dog Days begin! We are in the Dog Days when the Dogs have vanished from the sky. As May begins, Orion, the Hunter is clearly visible due west right after sunset. To his left, aligned with Orion’s belt, is Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star we
By Ralph Philips. HMNS Sugarland Docent, edited by James Wooten, HMNS Astronomer May the fourth is coming, and with it some positively stellar events hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science to mark the occasion. There’s the May the Fourth mixer at our Main campus, and a Stellar Wars presentation with crafts and games
April is the last month to see the full set of brilliant winter stars which now fill the western evening sky. Dazzling Orion is in the southwest at dusk. His three-starred belt is halfway between reddish Betelgeuse and bluish Rigel. Orion’s belt points rightward to Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. To Orion’s upper
Brilliant winter stars shift towards the southwest during March. Dazzling Orion is almost due south at dusk. His three-starred belt is halfway between reddish Betelgeuse and bluish Rigel. Orion’s belt points up to Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. To Orion’s upper left are the twin stars Castor and Pollux, marking the heads of Gemini,
The Great Square of Pegasus sets in the western sky. Taurus, the Bull, is almost overhead. Dazzling Orion, the Hunter is high in the southeast, with his two dogs behind him. Sirius, the Big Dog Star, is the brightest star we ever see at night. Leo, the Lion, rises in the east.
This time of year, most planetariums (including ours) are offering shows explaining what the Christmas Star might actually have been. Of course, to have this conversation we must make two assumptions, each of which many dispute: 1) the star was a true historical event and 2) it has a natural scientific explanation and is not
. Mars is higher in the southeast at dawn than it was last month. It is in Virgo, leaving Spica and approaching Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter is low in the southeast at dawn; watch Mars approach it this month. Saturn is lost in the Sun’s glare and out of
The Summer Triangle now shifts towards the west as the Great Square of Pegasus appears higher, approaching the zenith. As the autumn ‘intermission’ in between the bright stars of summer and winter continues, Houstonians with a clear southern horizon can try to find a star that few Americans get to see. Due south and
Celestial Happenings This Month Autumn represents sort of an ‘intermission’ in the sky, with bright summer stars setting at dusk, while bright winter patterns such as Orion have not yet risen. The ‘teapot’ of Sagittarius sets in the southwest early in the evening. The Summer Triangle is high in the west.
Lecture – Timeline of the Universe by Carolyn Sumners The space-time continuum–the joining of two, once separate, concepts have allowed science to understand how the Universe works. Dr. Carolyn Sumners, HMNS VP of Astronomy, will explain our personal sense of time, Earth time, star time, and finally, cosmic time–including the time scale of the Big
The Summer Triangle is overhead. This consists of the brightest stars in Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila. Scorpius, the Scorpion, is in the southwest, with the ‘teapot’ of Sagittarius to his left. Saturn is between these two constellations. From the Big Dipper’s handle, ‘arc to Arcturus’ in the west. The Great Square of
It’s Throwback Thursday and today we are going all the way back to 2009 to discuss a scientific fail. Galileo Galilei is famous for his astronomical observations and discoveries, but he could have been famous for one more thing! He was technically the first astronomer to observe Neptune while studying Jupiter’s moons in 1612 and
Total Solar Eclipse The New Moon of Monday, August 21 casts its shadow onto the Earth, causing a total solar eclipse! And this time, the Moon casts its shadow across the USA, allowing Americans to join in the experience much more easily than in recent memory. (The last total eclipse visible form the contiguous
Jorge Cham will likely be known to most of the folks who read this blog as the cartoonist behind the spot-on examination of grad school called Piled Higher and Deeper / PhD Comics. If you’ve read this comic, you’ll know that Cham’s visual style is simple and engaging, and his sense of humor is terrific. In a new book about the unknown territory of physics that we still need to
The Summer Triangle is high in the east. This consists of the brightest stars in Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila. Scorpius, the Scorpion, is in the south, with the ‘teapot’ of Sagittarius to his left. Leo, the Lion, sets in the west. From the Big Dipper’s handle, ‘arc to Arcturus’ and ‘speed on to
The New Moon of Monday, August 21, 2017, aligns with the Sun and the Earth well enough to cast its shadow onto the Earth. The umbral shadow, where the Moon completely blocks the Sun, passes across the center of the USA, causing a total solar eclipse on a path from central Oregon to Charleston, SC.
This star map shows the Houston sky at 10 pm CDT on June 1, 9 pm CDT on June 15, and dusk on June 30. To use the map, put the direction you are facing at the bottom. The Big Dipper is high in the north. From the Big Dipper’s handle, arc to Arcturus