It’s one of the stranger observations in ancient literature, and one of the earliest recorded tales of daytime astronomy.
A curious account comes to us from the 1st century AD Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, concerning the exploits of Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus, who notes that:
“The Sun’s radiance makes the fix’d stars invisible in the daytime, although they are shining as much as in the night, which becomes manifest at a solar eclipse and also when the star is reflected in a very deep well.”
Think you know everything there is to know about the famous Canadarm, and the story of the Canadian space program? A new book out next month delves deep into the fascinating backstory of the Canadian Space Agency.
A new technique may prove to be a powerful tool in the battle to mitigate space debris.
As the Space Age continues into its seventh decade, space debris is now growing at an exponential rate. Most of this debris is in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and ranges from bus-sized discarded rocket boosters and defunct satellites, to tiny millimeter-sized fragments.
What would we look for in a distant exoplanet in the hunt for Earth-like worlds, and perhaps life? A recent observation carried out by the Hubble Space Telescope found tell-tale signatures from our home planet by looking at a familiar source under extraordinary circumstances: Earth’s Moon, during a total lunar eclipse.
It’s August once again, and that means the Perseid meteors are inbound. This shower is a sure-fire bet starting this weekend, though 2020 sees the spectacle go down under somewhat challenging circumstances.
There’s no finder, and often no eyepiece… and ‘goto’ is as simple as the push of a virtual button. Welcome to the new generation of smartscopes. This new crop of telescopes promises to put the Universe and the night sky at your fingertips, or at least, on your smartphone screen.
Comet F3 NEOWISE continues to dazzle in these spectacular images.
Just. Wow. If you’re like us, your space-feed has been inundated with some pretty spectacular images of Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE as of late. F3 NEOWISE broke from the pack of good binocular comets for 2020 early this month, to become one of the best northern hemisphere comets in a generation.
Watch for comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE at dusk in late July… if it survives perihelion.
Update – Friday July 3rd: Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE reaches perihelion today at 16:18 UT/12:18 PM EDT. As of writing this, several observers worldwide have recovered the comet at dawn, and it seems to be holding steady at magnitude +0.5. The dawn apparition is, however, a tough catch, as the comet stays very low to the northeast at dawn in early July. We’ve added in a finder chart (below) for this brief dawn apparition; things improve greatly towards mid-July, as the comet shifts over to the dusk sky and heads out away from the Sun. Let’s hope it stays bright, and maybe throws an outburst our way! We’ll continue to post updates on Twitter as @Astroguyz as the celestial situation warrants.