May 1st, 2017
Waxing Crescent Moon
moon
Amy Oliver

Night Vision: Comets and Meteor Showers

Imagine, if you can, back ~5 billion years to the beginnings of the solar system: a giant, diffuse cloud of dust and gas collapsed, resulting in the formation of our solar system and everything in it. Not a very romantic way to…

Duke Johnson

Night Vision: Awesome Aurorae

In two different years, near peak solar activity, I had the good fortune of being able to travel to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territory and then Tromso, Norway in search of the aurora. Conditions tested our little expedition and our…

Paul Gibbs

Night Vision: Mercury

Named for the Roman messenger of the Gods, Mercury is unique among the planets of our solar system. A planet of extremes, its relative proximity to the sun and lack of atmosphere causes enormous differences in temperature on opposite sides…

Night Vision: Exoplanets

“Extrasolar planets?” I hear you cry. “We’re still having trouble finding things in our own solar system! How can we spot planets around stars light-years away?” I’m glad you asked that, my friend! After all, extrasolar planets were only theories…

Night Vision: Glorious Galaxies

What do you really know about your own stellar neighborhood? Most people know what block they live on, what the grocery store a few streets over is called, and whether they live on a third, half, or full acre, but…

Nick Jarvis

Night Vision: Uranus & Neptune

In this week’s Night Vision, we’ll explore our solar system’s outer ice giants: Uranus* and Neptune. While the nearer planets are easy for anyone to find in the sky, these distant and still-mysterious planets were only detected after the invention…

Robert Bigelow

Night Vision: Observing the Sky as an Astronomer

Many people mistakenly believe that they must own a telescope to get started in astronomy. In reality, there are many astronomical phenomena that are observable with a tool you already own: your eyes. These include stars and constellations and how…

Nick Jarvis

Night Vision: Earth’s Moon

In this week’s Night Vision, we’ll be exploring our near and dear neighbor; our committed partner, with whom we’ve do-se-do-ed our way through the heavens for a couple billion years now. From the its fiery and explosive history in the…

Amy Oliver

Night Vision: Reasons for the Seasons

Punxsutawney Phil is a liar (maybe) and whether you think the groundhog lied to you this year or not, the Spring Equinox is coming, and that means two things: it’s time for a reminder about how the seasons work, and…

Nick Jarvis

Night Vision: Space Technology Spinoffs

Dear reader, If you’re viewing this, we probably share many sympathies for astronomy and space flight. I mean, if you’re reading a newsletter for an astronomy museum, I’m probably preaching to the choir to say, “Holy cow, oh-wow-oh-wow-oh-wow human beings in…