Monthly Archives: July 2013

Quick Follow-up

Last July, I posted about the possibility that the Curiosity spacecraft might be captured during its parachute descent to the Martian surface by another spacecraft in Mars orbit, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Indeed it was, and the resulting image is

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Hurray For Plutonium!

Wait a minute! Isn’t plutonium that nasty stuff they make bombs from? Radioactive? The stuff Doc Brown stole from Libyans to fuel the Back to the Future DeLorean time machine? Well, yes…but there’s more to it than that. Plutonium exists

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Posted in Planets, Spacecraft

Flying With Cassini

In the post just previous to this one, you saw some views of Earth and Saturn generated by a very useful online tool, Solar System Simulator. I thought I would use that tool to show you the Cassini spacecraft’s changing

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In Saturn’s Shadow

One of the most astounding images of the space age is about to be replicated. Take a look at this image of a backlit Saturn eclipsing the sun. This is a mosaic of images taken over three hours in September,

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Posted in Planets, Solar System, Spacecraft

My Favorite Things

“What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen through a telescope?” People who know—or who learn—that I taught astronomy and was the director of an observatory with a half-meter telescope often ask questions like this. Variations on the theme include “What’s

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Posted in Observatory and Telescopes, Sky Phenomena