Tuesday, January 31, 2017


More hints about the structure of our "local" universe has come to light: a vast empty area that seems to exert a repelling force on the Local Group. Toss in the Shapely Concentration and the Great Attractor and you have the makings of a Olaf Stapledon, E.E. "Doc" Smith or Peter F. Hamilton space opera!


During the last USA-wide total (and partial, depending on your location) solar eclipse, I remember reading articles about the next USA-wide total (and partial) solar eclipse in 2017. The far future!

How did I get here so fast?

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the path of totality (and historical cloud cover) for the 2017 solar eclipse.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cosmic Marble

Hey, remember marbles? Remember trading them? Remember which ones were considered valuable? Nah, me neither. Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is NGC 6543, The Cat's Eye Nebula.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Huddle Around the Valve

And, we're back! Join me, John E.O. Stevens and Jeff Patterson as we attempt to drain money from your wallet! Episode 40 is up!

Galactic Australis

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day features galactic and extra-galactic wonders plus the Aurora Australis. "Mouseover" the image in the link for a guide!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Southern Wonders

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day showcases one of the wonders found in the skies of the southern hemisphere: N159, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (one of the satellite galaxies to our own Milky Way).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

More Like Grand Slam Finale

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the final stages of the Cassini Orbiter's Grand Tour at Saturn. The initial Grand Tour was extended several times into the Extended Cruise and looking at those final orbits: stay seated, as it's going to be scary.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Gaming the Sky

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the Winter Hexagon over the skies of Maula Reservoir. "Mouseover" the image (in the link) for a constellation guide.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Keeper of the Gap

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows Saturn's tiny shepherd moon Daphnis as imaged by the hard-working Cassini orbiter. As the mission winds down, NASA and JPL are taking a few chances.

Buckle up for the ride.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Touching History

The last of the Apollo astronauts to walk on the Moon (hopefully, not the last person ever) has passed away.

Dark Planet

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows the night skies over the Earth...from over the Earth. "Mouseover" the image (in the link) of the International Space Station to get a guide to what you are seeing.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video showing satellites in geosynchronous orbit moving through the constellation of Orion.

Close to Tears...

Was Clarke disappointed with the film of 2001: A Space Odyssey? This recollection probably (well, yes definitely) should be taken with some grains of salt. We no longer can ask Kubrick or Clarke for their recollections, but this contradicts the thousands of words written by them, or others involved with the production, or covering the production.

Update: A different posting of the same article throws a different light in emphasis.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


An interesting look at a game series that has caught my eye: The COIN series from GMT Games.

(The image above is more than COIN, but you get an idea of where my buying habits have been the past two years!)

Dusty Edges

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day shows NGC 891 in the constellation of Andromeda (home of Messier 31). Seen edge-on, the more familiar spiral shape you see in Messier 31 is changed to a view of the stars and obscuring dust clouds embedded in the spiral.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

Active Regions

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day brings us a Hubble Space Telescope view of the center of NGC 5033, an active galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Private Space

Via The Planetary Society, a write-up about a private effort, Axiom Space LLC, to (first) attach a module to the International Space Station and then (second) become a private free-flying space station. Will they succeed? Fingers crossed!


Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a close-up brought to us by the Cassini Orbiter (now entering the final stages of a very successful mission) of Saturn's moon Pandora.