Category Archives: astronomy

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have a grab-bag of diverse photos from several readers, some sans wildlife. The first is from Brandon Cooper, who collaborates with my ex-student Daniel Matute collecting Drosophila flies in Africa: I recently returned from Zambia, Malawi, and Namibia where Matute and I collected a nice transect of melanogaster and simulans. While collecting in […]

Big announcement by NASA about Mars today: 11:30 a.m. EDT

Reader Tom C. calls our attention to a big announcement today, and he speculated a bit about it: There’s a NASA press conference regarding something cool on Mars at 11:30 EDT.  I’m hoping for HD images of brachiopod-like fossils embedded in a dry stream bed, but I’ll bet on the discovery of liquid water on […]

Readers’ wildlife (astronomy) photographs

As most of you know, last night there was a special total lunar eclipse, one producing a large reddish”blood moon.” It’s not the red color that was unusual, for that occurs during all lunar eclipses (it’s due to the scattering of reflected light by our atmosphere), but that the moon was at its perigee: the lowest […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

I’m slowly starting to catch up with my cache of readers’ photos. Here are four of birds from reader Colin Franks (photo website here; Facebook page here): Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens): Great Grey Owl  (Strix nebulosa): Double Crested Cormorant  (Phalacrocorax auritus): Wood Duck (Aix sponsa): And an astronomy photo from Diana MacPherson: I took this nice […]

A pale blue marble: The first accurate scale model of the solar system

This video, made by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, is apparently the first attempt to make a model of the solar system completely to scale: that is, the sizes of both the planets and their orbits must be on the same scale of measurement. The one constraint is that they start with a model Earth the […]

So you think you knew Pluto?

NASA has put up some stunning pictures of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft that did its amazing and recent flyby. I won’t duplicate everything the article says, but will show you just a few sections of text and some images (more at the site) that justify the URL’s bit that “it’s complicated”. The text from the NASA […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Mark Sturtevant sent three photos of insects, one engorged with his blood. The third photo has a “spot the spider” feature. A completely adorable grass skipper [species unidentified]. Just look at this little cutie! Skippers are traditionally classified in their own suborder, separate from true butterflies and the moths. I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes […]

The dark side of the moon

Have you ever seen the other side of the Moon? This is usually impossible, as the moon rotates at exactly the speed it orbits the earth, so we see only one side. However, a GIF tweet from NASA shows it wonderfully (click on the arrow to begin): h/t: Grania

Sunsets, Arizona

I have a whole passel of photos from Arizona, but the margins of this post are too small to contain them. A larger post will appear very soon. For now, let me just put up a few photographs of sunsets, all taken from the home of Mike and Karen Houle (Kelly’s parents) in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, between […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Yesterday we had three photos from reader Jon Meddings. I prepared this post with the rest of his photos, but he hadn’t yet sent the names and background information. Since he’s temporarily absconded to Europe, I’ll simply present the pictures and leave the unidentified species and subspecies to the readers. Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos alascensis): Alaskan […]


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