Tag Archives: astronomy

Little green men

You see a little bit of everything here in New York City. I’ve always chalked it up to our open-mindedness and the spirit of creativity that is so much a part of this, the greatest city in the world.

Turns out — it could be aliens.

Did you know that that the state of New York ranks #5 in the Top 10 states reporting UFO sightings?  It’s true.

There’s a chart:

UFO sightings

So, if you’re celebrating World UFO Day, NYC potentially has a lot to offer.

Plus Broadway.

Lunar lament

How was your day?

If you’ve had far better (like me), I have a two-word explanation:

Mini Moon

mini moonIt’s a full moon, but the Earth is at its farthest distance away, making tonight’s full moon appear its very smallest in the night sky. But that doesn’t lessen its impact…at least in my case.

I had a bad headache most of the day. My dog seemed to feel a bit punky, too.  And I was running from appointment to appointment all day…so I am wiped.

Seems logical to blame the moon, right?

Out of this world

mercury

See you on the flip slide.

Starstruck

Like nostalgia?

This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, captured by four NASA telescopes, is estimated to be millions of years behind.

Wrap your head around that one, and have a nice day.

Star map

While Kentucky was busy winning a national championship, the world kept turning.

And the planet Mars has come for a visit.

In fact, last night around 8:30pm ET, the moon, Mars, and the bright star Regulus formed a ‘cosmic triangle’ in the night sky.

Isosceles, from the look of it.

This is the closest Mars has been to the Earth in a month, and when it returns next month, it will only appear half as bright (something to do with its current retrograde motion, blah blah).  So this is a good time to take a look-see.

In the triangle , Mars is the reddish object, Regulus the blue.  And the moon…well, I think you can figure that one out for yourself.

Hmmm.  Red and blue ‘stars’ appear in the sky…right after the NCAA Finals?  I’m sure astronomers will simply point to the celestial calendar.  But I think this is proof positive:

There are college basketball fans on other planets.

Star date

My favorite class in college was astronomy.

I initially took it just to avoid chemistry and ended up loving it.  A lot of the credit goes to my professor, Dr. Tom Troland.  His lectures were always filled with jokes, obscure facts, and interesting stories.  We students were so busy having fun, we were surprised to discover how much we’d learned at the end of each class.

I learned a lot…like the fact that May Day, 1930 is the anniversary of the naming of the ninth planet Pluto.

Well — the former planet, I should say.  It was stripped of its major planet status in 1906.

Sucks to be the last child — I’ve always said it.

Pluto lost its status because the International Astronomical Union changed the rules in 2006. According to the new guidelines, Pluto didn’t have enough mass relative to the other objects in its orbit to be considered a major planet.

Now it’s a dwarf.

A lot of people protested the reclassification; many scientists chose to ignore it.  The New Mexico House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate both passed resolutions that Pluto will always be considered a planet in their night skies.

The American Dialect Society even chose “to pluto” — “to demote or devalue something” as their Word of the Year in 2006.

Did you know that Pluto wasn’t a planet anymore?  Today is a good day to learn more about it.