Skywatching: The Iconic Summer Triangle

Look directly overhead at 10:30 pm EDT and you will see Vega- the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and the fifth brightest in the night sky. Using Vega as a reference point, Altair is located to the lower left (southeast) and Deneb to the left (east). Together, these three …

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Origins: The Hubble Space Telescope

Since the 1920s, astronomers have struggled to deal with the very thing that keeps humanity alive: the atmosphere.  Although it provides a relatively stable and hospitable climate on Earth, it also makes studying the cosmos from Earth challenging.  The atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays, an important attribute …

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Your Guide to the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower

Considered by many as the best annual sky watcher’s event, this August the Perseid meteor shower dazzles dark skies.  Even though the shower reaches its peak the 11th through the 13th, often the best time to view, do not neglect the nights leading up to shower’s climax. Often they can …

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The Search for “Earth Proxima” Inspires Magical Short Documentary

One of the most complex, and often controversial, questions mankind has ever faced: Are we alone? When asking such a question, it may be in reference to spirituality or even theories such as the possibility of ghosts. However, we are discussing the existence of another Earth-like planet, potentially leading to …

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Hello Jupiter! NASA’s Juno Mission to Explore the Planet Soon Begins

Hello Jupiter! This Independence Day not only marks the formation of the United States of America, but also the day NASA’s Juno spacecraft will reach Jupiter.  After nearly five years and 1,740 million miles (20 meters), Juno will be pulled into orbit around the gas giant, beginning its year and …

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Upcoming Summer Solstice

Summer is one of the most popular seasons, and for great reason.  Students have a vacation away from their studies, snow and cold weather stay a distant memory, and we can reemerge to the outdoors without having to wear layers of clothing.  Although the warmer weather starts early for many, …

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How to See Upcoming Meteor Showers: Summer 2016 Edition

With warmer weather and longer days comes equally awaited summer nights.  Arguably one of the most beautiful spectacles in astronomy, annual meteor showers- when the earth passes through the dust or debris of comets or asteroids orbiting the sun- give great reason to take a few nights and escape to …

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The Relationship Between Easter and the Full Moon

Whether you receive an Easter basket in late March or April depends not on Peter Cottontail, but rather the lunar cycle.  The date of Easter, according to the Christian Bible, must fall on the Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal- or spring- equinox. Some years, Easter seems …

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Beautifully Destructive Nacreous Clouds

Sightings of colorful nacreous (or polar stratospheric) clouds are well above average in the UK and Ireland.  Common during the winter in northern regions such as Scandinavia and Canada, many who witnessed the phenomena for the first time mistakenly reported the clouds as aurora borealis (the northern lights).  However, the …

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Icebergs on Pluto’s Sea of Frozen Nitrogen

  Data from NASA’s New Horizons mission continues to answer mysteries surrounding Pluto.  Since the spacecraft’s flyby last summer, scientists are analyzing large amounts of data being sent back to earth. Scientists suspect mountainous icebergs of water float across an area within Pluto’s heart-shaped region known as Sputnik Planum.  According …

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