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14 September 2019

Planet walk puts things in perspective

With the sun warming our backs from 93 million miles away, Pete shows me the first of 10 signs spread out along Yukon Drive, on the northwest part of the UAF campus, overlooking the flats of the Tanana River. This signpost represents the sun.


26 July 2017

Summer Heat Too Much for You? NASA has Just the Place for You!

The James Webb telescope is designed to detect light in the infrared portion of the spectrum, and its instruments will only work at a temp. of just a few degrees above absolute zero! But how do you test them?? This is how! The room will keep getting colder and colder. NASA has a live webcam of the room online with a look at the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the …


22 March 2017

Comet 67P: a large landslide on another world

In a paper just published in Nature Astronomy, Pajola et al (2017) describe a 22,000 cubic metre rockfall on Comet 67P, observed by the ESA Rosetta Mission


16 June 2015

Don’t Miss This June Sky Show

Kelly Beatty is my “go to guy” for astronomy questions, and he’s been kind enough to come to the AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology for years ( he was an invited talk again this year by the AMS Committee on Station Science of which  I’m chair). Kelly writes for Sky and Telescope, and he has a cool podcast about a real sky show later this month. He told us about …


16 April 2014

Can’t Get Enough of Cosmos? Netflix Has 6 Hours of Neil deGrasse Tyson

I have mentioned the lectures you can buy from the Teaching Company before here, and one of those lecture sets is a six lecture series called The Inexplicable Universe, by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s worth the money IMHO, but before you buy it, Netflix has made available this entire series for its customers. That’s a pretty good deal. Now, this series does not have all the flash bang the COSMOS …


5 March 2014

Sutherland Sky: Part I

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about my recent visit to Sutherland, a small town in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. In October 2013 my husband Jackie and I visited Sutherland for a long weekend. Sutherland is famous because it is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) research station, which has a number of telescopes that are used for astronomical and astrophysical research. …


23 February 2014

Can Neil de Grasse Tyson Bring His Own Magic To Sagan’s Cosmos? Oh Yes!

The first episode of the new COSMOS airs on March 9th (worldwide on Fox, and National Geographic Channel in many countries).  Neil de Grasse Tyson (Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York) has been thought of by many of my fellow science geeks to be THE person to do a much-needed update of Carl Sagan’s epic tour of the Universe, and that means filling some big shoes. Sagan died …


29 December 2013

iPads for addressing astronomy misconceptions in scale

Many individuals and even entire schools and school districts are quick to jump on technology bandwagons when a new piece of technology is released.  The excitement and the hype of bringing new technology in to the classroom at time will override the more important questions – will this technology improve student learning?  Or could the technology actually hurt student learning? Apple products are commonly found in schools, especially the K-12 …