Lore of the Constellations: Leo

In this special video series, Jay Lamm, Planetarium Producer and Technical Manager at the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium in the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, will take you on a historical stroll through how some of the most notable Spring constellations got their names.  After all, have you ever wondered what “Boötes” meant or why we honor “Virgo” with a special group of stars?  There will be four videos for four notable constellations.  The first involves the easy to find Leo, the Lion.  Continue reading

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon, Supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers.

This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

This is also the third of four supermoons for 2020. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

 

Jupiter’s Awesome New Image

The Juno spacecraft is a space probe orbiting Jupiter and it’s been sending back some amazing pictures of the gas giant.  Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno only arrived at Jupiter as of 2016 and its been in orbit ever since.  It dives between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming about 3000  miles from the cloud tops at its closest approach.

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The First Exoplanet Discovered: A Zombie World

Today we know of over 4000 exoplanets, or extrasolar planets:  worlds orbiting around stars not our sun.  But in 1992, possibly the first exoplanet ever discovered came in the form that scientists did not expect.  It was a pulsar planet, or a zombie planet, formed from the matter and debris in the aftermath of an exploding star.

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Top 5 Nearest and Habitable Exoplanets

Back in 1995, astronomers had detected a planet orbiting around a Sun-like star.  This was a huge deal.  And today, we have discovered more than 4000 extrasolar planets.  They come in a wide variety of sizes and characteristics.  By the most optimistic projections, only about 50 are habitable, and only 20 have Earth-like temperatures.  So, if we were to send off a probe to explore some of these worlds, what would be the top 5 nearest choices to visit?

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How Would a Viral Outbreak Be Handled in Space

As Covid-19 spreads across the globe, it’s interesting to think about how NASA would handle a viral outbreak in space.  In fact, there have been rare occasions that astronauts have fallen ill while on a mission.  The question is, how did NASA handle these situations, what’s changed since then, and how will this affect future missions in space?

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The Sky Tonight Update: March Equinox

The March equinox occurs at 03:50 UTC (9:50pm Central time). The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon, Supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.  This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear.

This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon. This is also the second of four supermoons for 2020.

The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon, Supermoon

full moon supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year.

Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.

This is also the first of four supermoons for 2020. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

 

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.

This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps.

This moon has also been know as the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule.