We had a successful evening observing session on Monday 5/5/14.  The sky cooperated eventually, and perseverance payed off one more time.  We took out our 3.5 inch computerized Maksutov and our 6 inch Dobsonian.  Have a look at our observation diary entry, and the photos we took.

Starry Night Gadget

Scientists at MIT created the most detailed simulation that reproduces to remarkable detail the evolution of the present-day structures in the universe from the Big Bang.  Here is the article that describes their findings and the revolutionary techniques they used.

Astrophysics PhD student Tom Hands created this simulated flyby of all 1082 confirmed extrasolar planetary systems around single stars.  

Check out the new entry in my blog on Fundamental and Particle Physics!  It explores questions about the nature of the expansion of the universe.

A short NASA video on astronomical events in May 2014.

TW@N (This Week at NASA) video.

Celebrate Star Wars day with NASA.

Ganymede, the solar system's largest moon, may harbor a global underground ocean, sandwiched between two layers of ice.

The NASA Spitzer space telescope has discovered the coolest brown dwarf known, among the Sun's closest neighbors, with a surface temperature of between -48C and -13C, only about 7.5 lightyears away.

The Cassini spacecraft team announced the detection of an underground ocean in Saturn's moon Enceladus!  The ocean is estimated to have a depth of about 10Km, below 30-40Km of surface ice.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory observed a mid-level solar flare on 4/2/14.

An asteroid about 30m wide passed a little closer to the Earth than the Moon around 4pm on Wednesday 3/5/14!

The Kepler team announced the confirmation of 715 new exoplanets, some of which more similar to the Earth than any previously found.

Here is a nice NASA video about how light comes to us from our nearest known stellar neighbor.

ESA's Gaia mission to map one billion stars!

The Kepler space telescope has found the wobbliest exoplanet ever!

Here is the 4th issue of the 2013 Planetary Report, published by the Planetary Society.

The ESA led Rosetta spacecraft has awakened from the longest hibernation in history (almost 3 years), and is gearing up to approach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will land a probe, Philae, by November 2014.

The Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn has captured this video of a mysterious, giant "hexagonal storm" that is raging on Saturn's north pole.

NASA's NuStar X-ray space telescope has been in orbit for only a few months but it is already revolutionizing our view of the high energy universe, including the search for black holes.

A short video on astronomical events in January 2014.

NASA has revamped its astronaut selection office website.  Have a look

The 6th grade stargazing event was a great success!  We enjoyed watching the nearly full Moon, Saturn, the constellations Leo and Ursa Major, the double star Mizar and Alcor, Polaris, the setting Gemini Castor and Pollux and the rising Vega.  We even caught a fleeting meteor!  Check out the entry in our Observation Diary.  Thanks to everyone who participated.

During the week of 3/18/13 we had our first virtual observation project.

We had another successful observing session in front of the school at lunch time on Friday 5/6/11.  Here are some pictures from this event.

We had a successful solar observing session in front of the school at lunch time on Friday 4/29/11.  Here are some pictures from the event.

Don't forget to send your observations to us via email.

  • The Moon passes 5 degrees south of Jupiter on Sunday, 5/4/14.
  • The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on Monday night, 5/5/14 to 5/6/14.
  • The Moon is at apogee during first quarter Moon on Tuesday, 5/6/14.
  • Saturn shines brighter than at any other time in 2014 on Saturday, 5/10/14.
  • The Moon passes 3 degrees south of Mars on Sunday, 5/11/14.
  • The Full Moon passes less than a degree south of Saturn on Wednesday, 5/14/14.
  • The Moon is at perigee on Sunday, 5/18/14.
  • Mars appears stationary on Wednesday, 5/21/14.
  • Last quarter Moon passes 5 degrees north of Neptune on Wednesday, 5/21/14.
  • The Moon passes less than a degree north of Uranus on Saturday, 5/24/14.
  • Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation (easiest to observe in the early evening) on Sunday, 5/25/14.
  • New Moon occurs on Wednesday, 5/28/14.

Moon phases,
two week period in August 2013,
Bar Harbor, ME (TT)

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