Tag Archives: astronomy

Constellations

March 11, 2018

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The sky is divided into 88 parts. If you play connect-the-dots within these boundaries, some of the patterns resemble the names, but most were never meant to. Just like Washington State doesn’t look like George Washington. Click on the names below for a snarky review of the starlore of the constellations and the stuff we […]

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Ursa Minor – the little bear

July 31, 2016

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Ursa Minor, the lesser bear, is a very important constellation because it is home to Polaris, the north star. It is also home to the Little Dipper which is very easy to find once you’ve actually found it. If you don’t see it right away just nod and say “Yeah. yeah I see it” but […]

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Telescopes 101

February 15, 2015

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Have you ever discovered a telescope eyepiece in the pocket of your pajamas? Have you ever measured your roof for a dome? Do you know how to pronounce Cassiopeia? If so, you may have wondered, “is there hope for someone like me?” The answer is no. But you can help others learn the basics of […]

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Galaxies

March 16, 2014

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“The infinitude of creation is great enough to make a world, or a Milky Way of worlds, look in comparison with it what a flower or an insect does in comparison with the Earth.” ~ Immanuel Kant Galaxies are monstrous collections of stars, plus dust, gas, light matter, dark matter, and gray matter. In a […]

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Cosmology

March 9, 2014

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“The drum in a dream pounds loud to the dreamer.” ~ Carl Sandburg Anisotropy: This term is frequently used to describe the temperature fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background. The word means not uniform, or not the same. Like if you dressed a calico cat with a plaid kilt then filled it with dark energy […]

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Celestial Coordinates

March 2, 2014

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I must go down to the seas again, To the lonely sea and the sky. And all I want is a tall ship, And a star to steer her by. ~ John Masefield Suppose you lived in olden times and you joined a fleet of wooden ships and iron men. Or maybe it’s wooden teeth […]

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Comets

February 23, 2014

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Comets are essentially big dirty snowballs, the kind you throw at someone you really don’t like. They are mostly made of muddy stinky ice, and bits of dust and little rocks. Comets are about the size of cities and towns, sort of like frozen lakes in space. We’ve had a few that were the size […]

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Bode Titius Rule

February 16, 2014

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Johann Bode and Johann Titius were best buds and they made a rule about planets. Okay first of all let’s call it what it is. It’s not really a rule. And it’s not a law. It’s not even a theory. It’s more of a thingy. It’s the Bode Titius Thingy. It all started in the […]

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Black Holes

February 9, 2014

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A black hole is a region of space where the force of gravity is so intense that it is best pictured as having curvy criss-crossing lines on it. Nothing can escape, not even snarky comments. If you’ve ever thrown a baseball into the air, you probably noticed it quickly returned to the Earth. The harder […]

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Aurora

January 26, 2014

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Aurora is a pretty thing, a real pretty thing. If you haven’t seen it, and want to, I’ll tell you how. Call your local astronomy club. Those geeks will go on and on about it, and put you on a list to be called if someone sees it happening. You have to agree to receive […]

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Asteroids

January 19, 2014

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The majority of asteroids are just silly little rocky bits of junk between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the crumbs that fell from the plate as those planets were served up on the solar dinner table. This crumby region is known as the Asteroid Belt.[insert suspender joke] There are other tribes of asteroids gathered […]

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Analemma

January 12, 2014

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24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? Well yeah, maybe. Or maybe not. It probably has something to do with those pesky ancient Babylonians and their obsession with overwrought symbolism. Somehow they got onto a kick about how magical the number 60 is, and how that divides nicely by 12, and […]

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