While many of Leonardo's statements proved eventually to be wrong, some of them do demonstrate his immense intellectual curiosity, his unusually keen power of observation, and his ability to distill simple conclusions even from complex data.
For 25 years as an astronomy educator, I have informally polled hundreds of students, teachers, and the general public regarding their awareness of the night sky. Invariably, no more than 25 percent have ever seen the Milky Way with their own eyes.
Ever since astronomers discovered Comet ISON a year ago, bloggers, science writers, and soothsayers have jumped on the bandwagon, proclaiming the comet will be "as bright as the Full Moon" or, more recently, a "complete and utter dud."
The really tricky part about retirement -- once you get passed whether you can even afford it -- is figuring out what you actually do with your time every day. My husband probably spent every day of his work life dreaming about a retirement where he sat in his easy chair watching endless baseball games on TV with a remote in one hand and a can of Diet Coke in the other.
On any average night, away from urban light, five or six such fiery space fragments appear as shooting or falling stars every hour. When our annual revolution takes us through zones heavily littered with disintegrated comet trash, we see the spectacular sky shows called meter showers.
August is the month to take all of this in. Whether you're a kid or an adult, this is the time to lie back in the grass, get out of town to experience a meteor shower, view the stars of summer, and share the universe with those you love.
Because comets contain large amounts of water and other ices, the notion that bombardments by comets deposited much of Earth's water has seemed to be almost a measure of faith. But a variety of recent studies place this idea into a somewhat harsh context.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is wrong. It pains me to write it but the world-famous astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and superstar of our field is a Supermoon hater.
Events of the Boston University Spring 2013 term I'm not sure what possessed me to stare at the sidewalk at that moment, but I did so just in time. A...
Friday, June 21st was the 2013 summer solstice. As I have posted previously, Austin College's new IDEA Center is a very large ...
While I'm astonished by the diversity of Earth's oceans, I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system.
The deep ocean is not the only place where we can marvel at the wonders of nature. The heavens are another such place, and the Hubble Space Telescope, in particular, has captured for us some images about which we can truly say that they are "out of this world."
Could it be that our planet isn't typical at all? If so, then maybe life isn't typical either. On the other hand, if there are plenty of planets similar to Earth, we can reasonably hope for lots of cosmic company.
Let's watch the video and then discuss how you could use it to inspire and fascinate a student to think about scientific principles and material behavior.
It seems that the frequency of planets able to support life is roughly one percent. In other words, a billion or more such worlds exist in our galaxy alone. That's a lot of acreage, and it takes industrial-strength credulity to believe it's all bleakly barren.
It's that time of year again--a time of year space fans love! Those of you who saw my posts last year will remember that April 12th is Yuri's Night, t...