History of Astronomy: Then Something Else Happened

Well-positioned conjunctions of bright planets are fairly rare.  The recent meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky provided a wonderous sight that we won’t see again for many years.  Even though these two planets technically have a conjunction once a year, according to Dr. Patrick Hartigan of Rice University the next Jupiter-Venus conjunction that … More History of Astronomy: Then Something Else Happened

The Asteroid Threat

I began reading this book by William E. Burrows a couple weeks ago.  The subject, the title, and the cover art, are all very appealing, but I just could not connect with this book, and my reading slowed to a crawl.  Then I began skipping paragraphs, soon whole sections, and finally I was skipping whole … More The Asteroid Threat

Crossing the River Styx

Today New Horizons, the space probe launched more than 9 years ago, makes its fly-by of Pluto, the traditional ninth planet. I’ve experienced a couple personal fly-bys concerning Pluto, the first whimsical and the second substantial. Several years ago the science teachers convention was held in Greensboro, and our astronomy club decided to provide some … More Crossing the River Styx

Mini-Reunion of First Hosts at Cline Observatory

In 1997 I was lucky enough to be included in the first group of hosts at Cline Observatory.  I got to work with some excellent folks, including Robbie Royals.  Robbie has moved on to bigger and better, but he came back to visit this week. Professor Martin, our teacher way-back-then, has since retired but still … More Mini-Reunion of First Hosts at Cline Observatory