Hello from the Southeastern Planetarium Association. I’m currently at the SEPA 2015 and while I’m here I participated in a brief story-telling workshop where planetarians got together to share their favorite stories of the night sky. I chose to tell the story of the largest star ever observed (so far): UY Scuti.
Tonight marks an interesting alignment of two bright planets in the sky with our moon. Through the rest of June you can look up and see Jupiter and Venus, along with the moon, in a triangular fashion just after sunset.
Since Pluto’s discovery by Clyde Tombough in 1930, it has remained a great mystery. It’s difficult to study since it’s about 3 billion miles away from the sun. The Hubble Space Telescope has been able to capture images of the dwarf planet, but Hubble is really geared towards taking pictures of giant objects like galaxies, not dwarf planets–so the images we have of Pluto are fuzzy. However, Pluto is about to get its first sharp images courtesy of the New Horizons spacecraft as it passes the dwarf planet by 7,800 miles by July 14th. With this date looming only next month, let’s take some time to take a fresh look at Pluto and the seven biggest misconceptions that people have of it.
For over six decades, scientists have speculated that there might be structures of plasma residing in the upper atmosphere of Earth, affecting civilian and military satellite-based navigation systems. Thanks to Australian researcher, Cleo Loi, this theory has been confirmed.