Posted on January 17, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Astronomy Jargon 101: Black Holes

Astronomy Jargon 101: Black Holes

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll never want to stop learning about today’s topic: black holes! Ah, black holes. Basically the worst things in the universe. Nobody likes them. Nobody wants to be them. Nobody even wants to get close to them. If it weren’t for black holes, the cosmos would be a much brighter place. The German physicist Karl Schwarzschild first discovered black holes in 1916, by total accident. He had … Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Black Holes”

Posted on January 17, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Messier 96 – the NGC 3368 Spiral Galaxy

Messier 96 – the NGC 3368 Spiral Galaxy

Welcome back to Messier Monday! Today, we continue in our tribute to our dear friend, Tammy Plotner, by looking at the barred spiral galaxy known as Messier 95! During the 18th century, famed French astronomer Charles Messier noticed the presence of several “nebulous objects” while surveying the night sky. Originally mistaking these objects for comets, he began to catalog them so that others would not make the same mistake. Today, the resulting list (known as the Messier Catalog) includes over … Continue reading “Messier 96 – the NGC 3368 Spiral Galaxy”

Posted on January 17, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Astronomy Jargon 101: Aurorae

Astronomy Jargon 101: Aurorae

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll ooh and ahh over today’s topic: aurorae! The aurorae are also known as the northern and southern lights. They appear in the sky at extreme latitudes, and they are caused by charged particles from the Sun slamming into our atmosphere. Our Sun constantly pours out buckets of charged, fast-moving particles called the solar wind. The solar wind strikes the magnetic field of the Earth. Since those … Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Aurorae”

Posted on January 17, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Look Up and Watch Asteroid 1994 PC1 Fly Past Earth This Week

Look Up and Watch Asteroid 1994 PC1 Fly Past Earth This Week

This week’s apparition of asteroid 1994 PC1 offers observers a chance to see a space rock moving in real time. In a slow moving universe, asteroids give us a rare chance to see things moving in real time. We have such a chance coming right up on the evening of Tuesday, January 18th, when 1.1-kilometer asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 passes 1.23 million miles (1.98 million kilometers) from the Earth. This is about five times the distance from the Earth to … Continue reading “Look Up and Watch Asteroid 1994 PC1 Fly Past Earth This Week”

Posted on January 16, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Tonga’s Incredible Underwater Volcano Eruption Seen From Space

Tonga’s Incredible Underwater Volcano Eruption Seen From Space

An undersea volcano erupted near the Pacific island of Tonga, and several satellites caught the incredible explosion in action. The blast of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano created a  plume of ash, steam and gas mushrooming above the Pacific Ocean, with a quickly expanding shockwave visible from orbit. Japan’s Himawari-8 weather satellite recorded this dramatic video: Each frame in this video is less than 10 minutes long, so the plume expanded quickly. Some experts estimated the shockwave expanded at … Continue reading “Tonga’s Incredible Underwater Volcano Eruption Seen From Space”

Posted on January 16, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Astronomy Jargon 101: Celestial Sphere

Astronomy Jargon 101: Celestial Sphere

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll see from one side to the other of today’s topic: the celestial sphere! We live on the surface of the Earth, which is a globe. To help us orient ourselves and navigate around, we draw pretend lines on the globe. The lines of latitude run parallel to each other from east to west, and the lines of longitude run from north to south. You can name … Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Celestial Sphere”

Posted on January 16, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Astronomy Jargon 101: Bolide

Astronomy Jargon 101: Bolide

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be struck by today’s topic: bolide! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…bolide? The word “bolide” has two main definitions, and even then it’s never used in a consistent way. The International Astronomical Union, for example, hasn’t established a definition for the term. So if you encounter the word out in the wild, you’re just going to have to use context to figure out what … Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Bolide”

Posted on January 15, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Nearby Supernovae Exploded Just a few Million Years Ago, Leading to a Wave of Star Formation Around the Sun

Nearby Supernovae Exploded Just a few Million Years Ago, Leading to a Wave of Star Formation Around the Sun

The Sun isn’t the only star in this galactic neighbourhood. Other stars also call this neighbourhood home. But what’s the neighbourhood’s history? What triggered the birth of all those stars? A team of astronomers say they’ve pieced the history together and identified the trigger: a series of supernovae explosions that began about 14 million years ago. A series of stars in our neighbourhood exploded as supernovae starting about 14 million years ago. They created a vast bubble of gas about … Continue reading “Nearby Supernovae Exploded Just a few Million Years Ago, Leading to a Wave of Star Formation Around the Sun”

Posted on January 15, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on “TrekTalks” Telethon Calls upon Star Trek Fandom to Meet the Needs of the Many

“TrekTalks” Telethon Calls upon Star Trek Fandom to Meet the Needs of the Many

I grew up watching Star Trek inspired by what Trek imagined the future could be. Earth had done away with poverty, disease, war. Humanity, in cooperation with other alien civilizations, explored the Galaxy on ships like the USS Enterprise doing good where possible. Diplomatic missions, crisis relief, medical aid. Star Trek is a view of what humanity could be if we were brave and bold but also empathetic and kind – us at our best. Lately our 21st century world … Continue reading ““TrekTalks” Telethon Calls upon Star Trek Fandom to Meet the Needs of the Many”

Posted on January 15, 2022Categories News   Leave a comment on Astronomy Jargon 101: Cepheid Variable

Astronomy Jargon 101: Cepheid Variable

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be surprised by today’s topic: cepheid variables! In 1784 astronomer Edward Pigott discovered something strange about the star Eta Aquilae. It pulsed, getting brighter and dimmer regularly over the course of a few days. A few months later, another astronomer by the name of John Goodricke saw the same thing happen with the star Delta Cephei. By the end of the 1800’s, astronomers knew of a … Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Cepheid Variable”