Archive for March, 2009

Scenes from 30,000 meters above

Posted in astro blogs, observing, robotic astronomy, space, Student Astronomy with tags on March 21, 2009 by bellaireastro

Teen science apparatus sees space

Teenagers make a space probe with a cheap digital camera and a weather balloon and then recover the data. Check out these images from “The Big Picture”: Scenes from 30,000 meters above.


WorldWide Telescope Puts the Night Sky in Your Browser

Posted in observing, robotic astronomy, software, space, stellar astronomy with tags , , on March 19, 2009 by bellaireastro

From Lifehacker: WorldWide Telescope Puts the Night Sky in Your Browser.

Over at Lifehacker, I saw a post about the new Microsoft World Wide Telescope Web Client. Microsoft created a pretty darn cool Windows-only desktop version of World Wide Telescope and now they have created a Silverlight-based web-application that should run in any browser if the computer has the Microsoft Silverlight framework installed.

Give it a try. It’s pretty neat.

GLOBE at Night Light Pollution Awareness

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2009 by bellaireastro

The GLOBE at Night program starts today, March 16th and runs through April 7th. This is the 2nd year of the GLOBE at Night program but this year they are part of the IYA2009 effort to report on light pollution around the world.

2008 Observations

2008 Observations

The cool thing is how easy it is to participate. You need no telescope, just your eyes, a clear sky, and some information about your location.

The website guides you through the process of getting your latitude and longitude and then tells you how to find the constellation Orion, and then has you compare the pattern of stars you see to some templates that represent how light polluted your skies are so that data can be added in to help give a clearer picture of how much light pollution there is.

You are encouraged to participate more than once and hopefully from different locations, so give it a try.

Looking W from Lat 20N

Looking W from Lat 20N (click to enlarge or print)

GLOBE At Night: March 16th – April 7th; Location: Earth

TodayInAstro 3.14 Albert Einstein

Posted in astro blogs, astronomical history with tags , on March 14, 2009 by bellaireastro

Today in Astronomy: March 14: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
March 14, 1879 – April 18,1955
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, expressed by the equation E = mc2. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

Bad Astronomy Talks about Deimos

Posted in astro blogs, Mars, observing, robotic astronomy, space with tags , on March 10, 2009 by bellaireastro

The Bad Astronomy blog has a post up about the HiRISE imaging of Deimos with a cool new image of the smaller Martian moon.

HiRISE view of Deimos

From BA:

Deimos is the smaller of the two moons, a lumpy ball 15 x 12 x 10 km in size (Phobos is 27 x 22 x 18). Deimos has incredibly weak gravity; its escape velocity is only about 20 km/hr, so you could throw a baseball right off into space, and biking without taking an unintentional EVA would be difficult.

Springtime observing targets from blog

Posted in astro blogs, observing, podcasts, urban skies with tags , on March 10, 2009 by bellaireastro

Check this out this post from the blog with a cool video about naked-eye sights this month. Good stuff.

Springtime observing video

Sky & Telescope – Imaging the Orion-Eridanus Superbubble

Posted in astro blogs, galactic astronomy, observing, space, stellar astronomy, urban skies with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by bellaireastro

There is an AWESOME web-extra over at all about the efforts of 2 of the staffers to image the Orion-Eridanus superbubble from suburban Boston.

The story and technique information is great but the images are absolutely astounding. They require that you zoom in and pan around the various parts to see all the amazing details of these very familiar areas in our night sky.

Click to enlarge

You can see the massive amount of interstellar gas spread over this vast area. It is unbelievable what amateur astronomers can accomplish in this day and age. Citizen scientists indeed. Very impressive work by Dennis di Cicco and Sean Walker.