Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short film derived from a computer simulation depicting the evolution of the universe.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the night sky over the plains of Spain. "Mouseover" the image for a guide to the constellations and a few wandering planets.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Slippery Detector

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows a very odd astronomical instrument: a neutrino detector buried under the rock, seeking anti-neutrinos.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Winds Stream

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the star-driven winds of The Great Orion Nebula. Look to the short story Bow Shock by Gregory Benford for an interesting play on what might be happening.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Anderson's Worlds

A Flickr album of the worlds of Gerry Anderson. Courtesy of the efforts of Derek Meddings and Crew.

The Under 10K Club

Round objects of the Solar System (under 10,000 kilometers in diameter). Images adjusted for scale. How many have we visited?


A proposed orbital laboratory for Mars, designed to control ground rovers, analyze samples from those rovers (and launched from Mars by other robots), and allowing for the exploration (by the crew) of the moons of Mars.

Final Tour

It's sad to think that Cassini is on it's final tour of Saturn Space. The band won't be able to get back together, as the orbiter will be destroyed to avoid contaminating any of the potential abodes of life out there (other than Saturn itself...). What's up for the last orbits? Take a look.

Status Report

What's going on in the solar system in May 2016?

100,000 Stars

An interactive observatory (requires Chrome, it appears). Even a sountrack!


Over at Gizmodo, a collection of cutaway illustrations of spacecraft and space stations. I remember most of these (and even had more than a few as posters or pictures on the wall).

Center Approach

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Mars and Saturn near opposition and approaching the Milky Way in the skies of Turkey

Friday, May 20, 2016

Almost Stereo

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows two views of the Sun with Mercury in Transit. I tried defocusing my eyes to combine the images into a stereo view, but can't quite manage that.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Stains of Life?

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Jupiter's icy moon Europa, as imaged by the Galileo orbiter in 1998. Recent studies indicate that there might be enough chemical energy to produce conditions favorable for life. What lies beneath?

A Few Words

Theodore Krulik writes about his friend Roger Zelazny. Exciting news is buried at the end: We may see a new book from Krulik on Zelazny in a few years!

Addendum: And a few more words about Roger Zelazny.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Backyard Hobbyists

An article about the amateur astronomer from New Scientist. Are they really "dying" out (or "aging out")? Or is it more an issue of urban sprawl, light pollution and fragmented interests or lack of free time?

Crimson Peak

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day combines images from different frequencies of light to show the complexity of Messier 42, The Great Nebula of Orion, and surrounding regions.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pulling Back

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day gives us a unfamiliar view of a familiar subject. Normally we get a view of Eta Carinae, the central star of this complex. Sometimes we pull back a bit. Today's view shows us the whole complex (or as much as we can fit in one frame!).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Again: A Look at What We Are Missing

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the sky. Which most of us never see because we don't look up or we live under a washed-out light dome. What have we lost? Look up.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Flight of the Falcon

In Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day a Falcon IX launch vehicle arcs across the Milky Way on the journey to Earth orbit.

Job Security

122 years on, work on the "ultimate" Latin dictionary marches onwards! You can't hurry perfection.

Taking the Plunge

At some point the International Space Station will be deorbited. Hopefully, it will be a planned event rather than an emergency. Meetings are underway to develop a way of "controlling" reentry.

The downside: NASA is so underfunded that there are no plans, right now, for a replacement as the money will be put towards the expedition to Mars. No return to the Moon, no exploration of the Asteroids, no other station, just one thing at a time, folks.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fuller View

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is another view of the recent transit of Mercury, giving us a much larger view of the Sun and how small Mercury appears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows visitors to the Milky Way Star Clouds: Saturn and Mars pass by some spectacular sights. "Mouseover" the image for a guide to what you are seeing.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Classics Never Go Out of Style

Cloudy Dash

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows transiting Mercury racing across the face of the Sun, as the Sun itself is obscured by clouds. If that's not an early Pink Floyd album song title, I don't know what is!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Monkish Skies

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an artist depiction of the worlds of star system TRAPPIST-1. Will it turn out that much of the planetary real estate is around dwarf stars?

The Greatest RPG Ever

It is asserted that Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu is the greatest roleplaying game ever. I wouldn't argue.

A Difficult Upbringing

Apparently books like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter result in difficult children. In fact, asserts one gentleman, one should be required to have a license to buy such books!

Perhaps one should be required to have a license to wear those pants.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Eye of Cepheus

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Iris Nebula in the constellation of Cepheus. The size of five full moons! Imagine if it were bright enough to be observed like this with the "naked" eye.

Fire in the Lake

Another look at the GMT Games Fire in the Lake title, covering the Vietnam War.

Addendum: A after actions review. Lots of positive stuff on this game of late!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sky Bridge

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows auroral activity over Sweden. "Mouseover" the image to get a guide to the constellations visible in the image.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Looking for Clues

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the rugged terrain of Mars as imaged by a ground-based investigator. As it continues to make the way towards Aeolis Mons (more popularly tagged as "Mount Sharp"), Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity hunts clues as to how wet Mars was, for how long, and whether conditions could have supported life.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


A group observes the partially-eclipsed Sun in today's Astronomy Picture of the Day. Imagine if she Sun really was that large in the sky!