ISS Emergency: Potential Ammonia Leak has led to Partial Evacuation

This morning at 4am EST on the International Space Station, an Ammonia leak alarm went off, leading the crew to perform an emergency evacuation from the American capsule of the ISS.  All of the astronauts are currently safe and secure in the Russian capsule of the ISS. The hatch between the two capsules has been […]

Two Supermassive Black Holes are Merging

A vast number of Galaxies in the Universe have a central black hole that is incredibly massive.  The Black Hole at the centre of the Milky Way, dubbed Sag A*, is estimated to have a mass as high as three Million Suns.  We generally can’t see black holes, but when they start to pull in […]

Observers Delights for the Week: Venus, Mercury, Comet Lovejoy

For Christmas I was given a green 200 mW laser! A couple of AAA batteries later and the laser can point out any star or object in the night sky, with the beam clearly visible the entire way up to infinity.  Its the epitome of an Astronomer’s toolkit, at least in my eyes, and it […]

SpaceX Launch: Successful! SpaceX Landing: Needs Work!

Saturday Morning, 4:47am, Launch: Confirmed.  SpaceX launched another successful resupply mission to the International Space Station this morning.  The successful launch comes in the wake of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket explosion back in late October, and is the fourth mission as part of a 12+ Mission contract with NASA worth 1.6 Billion dollars.  The Dragon […]

The Pillars of Creation: Hubble’s 25th Anniversary

The Hubble Space Telescope’s just had its 25th Anniversary of bringing us the greatest Astronomical images the world has ever seen.  To celebrate, the Hubble team revisited one of Hubble’s most iconic images by pointing the cameras at the Eagle nebula once more.  The image, dubbed the ‘Pillars of Creation’ show columns of star forming […]

Exoplanets are Hot! Travel plans and 1 Million new Destinations!

NASA is sure to start selling trips to these fabulous space destinations! The only problem is that we have no way of getting there, or more importantly, back home.  Still the posters give a great homage to the ‘see America’ posters of the 1920s, and they sure make me want to visit. Kepler 186f is […]

2 Million Kph Wind from the Milky Way Core!

I thought Hurricanes had powerful winds.   The strongest wind ever recorded was a gust up to 400 Kph near a tropical cyclone in Australia.  But Earthbound wind has nothing on Galactic wind. Around the time when our ancestors were just learning to walk upright, the core of the Milky Way Galaxy unleashed a blast […]

Simulating the Universe and Everything in it

You might think simulating the entire Universe is difficult, and it is, but not for the reasons you would think.  The Physics is actually somewhat straightforward.  We know the math behind star formation, Gravity, and fluid dynamics, and throwing in a few other effects is not too bad.   The hard part is finding a […]

Questions Series: How do we know the size of the Universe?

A set of questions I get from kids and adults alike while doing my Astronomy in Action planetarium shows consists of the following: Does the Universe have an end? How big is the Universe? Where is the center of the Universe? What is the ‘Observable Universe?’ How is it different from just saying ‘the Universe?’ […]