Calling All Volunteers to Help Digitize Astronomical History

by Shannon Hall September 12, 2014

An old brick building on Harvard’s Observatory Hill is overflowing with rows of dark green cabinets — each one filled to the brim with hundreds of astronomical glass plates in paper sleeves: old-fashioned photographic negatives of the night sky. All in all there are more than 500,000 plates preserving roughly a century of information about […]

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45 Years Ago Today: Relive the Historic Apollo 11 Launch

by Nancy Atkinson July 16, 2014

45 years ago today — on July 16th, 1969 — the Apollo 11 crew left Earth for the first human mission to land on the Moon. Launching on at Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, the mission sent Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin into an […]

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Why Einstein Will Never Be Wrong

by Brian Koberlein January 13, 2014

One of the benefits of being an astrophysicist is your weekly email from someone who claims to have “proven Einstein wrong”. These either contain no mathematical equations and use phrases such as “it is obvious that..”, or they are page after page of complex equations with dozens of scientific terms used in non-traditional ways. They […]

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55 Years of NASA

by Nancy Atkinson October 1, 2013

Today is NASA’s 55th birthday. Unfortunately, the celebration is muted due to the government shutdown, forcing much of NASA to shut down as well for the time being (see our overview of what’s still running at NASA and what’s not). Before having to close the door (temporarily) today, NASA put together this nice graphic of […]

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Apollo 15: “Stand by for a Hard Impact”

by Nancy Atkinson August 7, 2013

On this day in history, the crew of Apollo 15 returned home from their mission to the Moon. But the splashdown in the Pacific Ocean wasn’t without a little drama. One of the three parachutes failed to open fully, but astronauts Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin didn’t know it until they were almost […]

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