Once in a Blue Moon, Twice in a Month

Hey hey! It’s a blue moon today!  For all those people who have used the phrase ‘Once in a blue moon,’ it finally happened.  Turns out that phrase means ‘about once every 2-3 years.’  A blue moon doesn’t mean the moon is changing colour anytime soon, just like a supermoon doesn’t mean the moon actually […]

What is between a Star and a Planet? Brown Dwarfs

Categorizing objects in the universe can be difficult.  The fiasco with Pluto over the last decade is more than proof of that.  We generally look to location and then to size as the two main methods for classifying the stuff that permeates the cosmos.  Galaxies contain stars, which host orbiting planets, which host orbiting moons; […]

Ceres Full Maps

Since the Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres in March of this year, it has slowly been taking high resolution maps of the surface from several different altitudes. After each successive mapping run it moves into a closer orbit of the icy world for a higher resolution glimpse. After two successful mapping runs, we finally have […]

Galaxies at a Glance

I just discovered a new YouTube channel that has been running for awhile.  It has astronomers from all over the world who talk about their work on the biggest and most intense pieces of telescope technology that we have on this Earth.  If you have a bit of time, a bit being about 15 minutes, […]

UV Andromeda

Looking at the universe in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum can reveal features and structures that are invisible to human eyes.  The vast black emptiness of space explodes into a sea of colour when we use cameras to expand our vision.  Looking at a galaxy through human eyes can be a simple and seemingly […]

Earth’s Twin Discovered!

Since the explosion of exoplanet science in the late 1990s, our entire understanding of the universe beyond our own solar system has changed.  We have confirmed over 1,000 planets orbiting other stars, with another 3500 waiting to be confirmed by subsequent observations.  As we search, our prime directive has always been to improve our technology to […]

Gamma Ray Raindrops in a gorgeous animation

I love data visualization.  If I didn’t love astronomy and explosions so much, I would probably be in the art form of visualizing data in fascinating ways.  Who knows? I may change my life’s work some day. A recent APOD takes the art to a new level.  By looking at time sensitive measurements of Gamma […]

The Sun in Another Light

The Sun, stars, nebulae, galaxies, planets; We can see them all from our lonely cosmic address, but not all is revealed in the light our eyes see.  We need to look at the entire electromagnetic spectrum to understand the range of objects we see in the universe.  Our closest star shows us how different it […]