Sunrise on TRAPPIST-1d Update: NASA Discovery Reveals Largest Group of Earth-Size Planets In Habitable Zone Earlier this month, Belgian astronomers from the University of Liege announced the discovery of the first Earth-Like planetary system found in the solar neighborhood. Originally published in the Journal Nature for 2 May, 2016, the announcement describes the initial discovery … More First Earth-Like Planetary System Found in Solar Neighborhood
Yesterday, the New Horizons team released another dramatic video sequence, perhaps the most detailed of all to date A progression of four views as we proceed southeast to northwest along the encounter hemisphere The view extends from Pluto’s limb at … More New Horizon’s Best Close-up of Pluto’s Surface
Today is the first of two dates when the sun sets aligned with New York’s east-west street grid. Known as ManhattanHenge, the name derives from the famous structure “StoneHenge”, located in Wiltshire, England, where neolithic man marked the passage of the seasons with stone monoliths aligned with the seasonal changes of the sun’s rising and … More ManhattanHenge
“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” From a passage in Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita Those words were quoted by one of the 20th century’s most brilliant, most productive, most controversial physicists, the eminent J. Robert Oppenheimer in the television documentary The Decision to Drop the Bomb. Oppenheimer is one of a number … More Applause for President Obama on Historic Hiroshima Visit
This article is in response to a recent piece attacking leading planetary scientist and well known advocate for scientifically sound, sensible climate measures, Bill Nye (the “Science Guy”) that appeared in Watt’s Up With That, a well known climate skeptics blog maintained by Anthony Watts. By sounding the clarion call for more meaningful solutions to … More In Defense of Sound Science, Bill Nye and Climate Change
Tomorrow, May 22nd, Mars will be at opposition, the point in any planet’s orbit where it is opposite the sun relative to the observer. Well placed high in the southeast at around 9:00 PM, EDT, and located in Scorpius, Mars, being relatively close to us at opposition, rivals giant Jupiter in brightness, further to the … More Stunning Celestial Display with Full Moon and Mars at Opposition!
This is a follow-up piece to my original article on this month’s transit of Mercury Many images and videos of the 9 May transit of Mercury were captured with many of them noteworthy for their quality, composition and perspective. Some of them illustrate the 7-1/2 hour transit in a progression of one-hour, 30-minute or shorter-interval … More Perspectives from Mercury’s Rare May 9 Transit
For the first time since 2006, a rare transit of the planet Mercury will occur tomorrow, May 9 for most of the earth’s surface. Observers in the Eastern Time Zone (Continental US East Coast, SE Atlantic and most of South America) are favorably located to witness the transit in its entirety. With a duration of … More Rare Transit of Mercury