Category: astronomy

On the naming of exoplanets

  “Using a combination of space-based and ground-based telescopes, scientists have revealed more than 100 new exoplanets. The discovery may prove useful for the search for life elsewhere in the universe” [digitaljournal.com]   As sightings of them exponentially grow, There’s little about exoplanets I know. But if I were able The next one to label,... Read more »

In memoriam: Stephen Hawking

  “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Stephen Hawking   Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking Released from earth’s bars; Now in space-time you’re walking In the realm of the stars.    

Mission: Coition

  “It may sound taboo, but one of the most popular questions fielded by astronauts is about sex in space. People wonder if somebody has already “done it” up there. If so, who and how? Many more wonder if it’s even possible. Some argue that it must have happened by now, what with all the... Read more »
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Venus takes a powder: A triolet

  “Venus typically passes north or south of the Sun’s disc at inferior conjunction, transitioning from the evening to morning sky. On March 25, the planet passes well north of the Sun and early risers may like the challenge of trying to spot it in the morning sky before sunrise. ”   [telegraph.com.uk]   Say... Read more »

Is the biggest moon since 1948 a reaction to the election?

  Is the supermoon shining tonight What the cosmos is thinking of  Trump? On reflection is our solar light Showing him its contempt with its  rump?  

Jupiter takes one for the team. An asteroid, that is.

  One thing our planet must avoid: A visit by an asteroid. Our neighbor two doors down was hit; But no one I know lives on it.  
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To those (like Bonnie McGrath) who still lament the demotion of Pluto

  I wrote this after reading the following in Bonnie McGrath’s ChicagoNow blog, Mom, I think I’m poignant:  “So Clyde [Tombaugh]  and his story have always been a family story for us. When Pluto was downgraded from planet to dwarf planet, it stung our whole family.  My mother cried.”   Though it’s true no one’s... Read more »

Fair and Balanced Images of Pluto on the Horizon

  New Horizons will show us good  views Of the surface beneath the red hues Of the dwarf planet Pluto Now considered more pseudo, Which they all seem to be at Fox News.    

A small cottage in a vast universe

  Years ago my  wife’s grandparents owned a cottage in Wonder Lake northwest of Chicago.  We cherished our time there. At the lake during the day and after a hearty meal playing cards in the evening on the enclosed back porch. It was pure rest and relaxation. We estivated there for years, many after her... Read more »
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If You Can Channel Carl Sagan, You Might Do Well On This Test.

In the vastness of space are spectacular tracts of dust, gas, and ionized hydrogen and helium. Astronomers have given them evocative names. Can you guess what they are? A perfect score will give you a place among the stars.  Answers follow a picture of Charles Messier who catalogued some of the following.   1. a)... Read more »