Black Forest Star Party Notes!

I just returned from a wet but spirited Black Forest Star Party at the wonderful Cherry Springs State Park in north-central Pennsylvania. I was one of the event’s speakers and my topic was The Night Sky As Story: Astronomy Outreach with a Purpose. I described my approach to sidewalk astronomy as well as the insights…

Bicycle Astronomy Makes a Housecall!

Yesterday was my first day on the Bicycle Astronomy cargo bike in many months. I rode to work and then to the grocery store to reprovision the Spartan Manor travel trailer. When I left the store with three bags of groceries and loaded them into the giant pannier on the cargo bike, it was a…

Visit Vesta on a Vespa…

…okay, not really. But Dawn, NASA’s ion drive-propelled space probe launched in 2007 is a better ride anyway. Dawn visited Vesta, a protoplanet in the asteroid belt, in 2011, and just arrived around another protoplanet, Ceres, on March 6th. Asteroids are of keen interest to solar system scientists, who are keen to unlock the origin…

A Journey of the Imagination

Erik Wernquist, a Swedish computer animator, has produced a remarkably beautiful little film called Wanderers. A labor of love, Wanderers, which refers to the ancient Greek names for planets (wandering stars), imagines humanity’s eventual colonization of the solar system. It resonates nicely at this time when we seem to need as a people to dream…

Philae probe bounces on a comet…

Rosetta and Philae are now in contact again, and we have more detail on yesterday’s landing, including the first part of a panoramic image of the probe’s surrounding, including what looks like a craggy cliff. Yesterday mission team members told us that they think that Philae bounced, and now they believe it bounced three times…