Category Archives: astronomy

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Three oddments today, the first a trio of rescue birds from reader Joe Dickinson (and yes, non-domestic rescue animals count as wildlife!): Didn’t know rescue birds counted as wildlife.  Here are three from the Sitka Raptor Center, Alaska.  First, a Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnoma), then a Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) and, of course, a […]

The eclipse with lagniappe: the International Space Station goes by!

Here’s a swell time-lapse picture and real-time video of today’s solar eclipse that fortuitously captured a transit of the ISS. Photo and video by Thierry Legault from the Real Time Eclipse Gallery. Legault’s words; I had to drive a lot trying to find clear sky, finally the sky was covered with thick high clouds but I […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

From reader Gaurav Shah, a new contributer, we have a robber fly (species unidentified). Robber flies (also called “assassin flies” for obvious reasons) are in the family Asilidae; Wikipedia gives a curt but accurate description: They are powerfully built, bristly flies with a short, stout proboscis enclosing the sharp, sucking hypopharynx. The name “robber flies” reflects their […]

Aurora segues into sunrise

Filmed from the International Space Station, this totes amazeballs video shows the aurora borealis merging into a sunrise. The Washington Post gives more details: NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore captured this humbling view of East Coast lights as the sun was just beginning to creep above the horizon earlier this week. The faint, blue glow of the […]

Readers’ wildlife (and astronomy) photographs

Well, astronomy isn’t wildlife unless there are creatures out there, but I’ll include this photo because a. it’s very good and b. I don’t know where else to put it. It comes from reader Tim Anderson, an astronomy buff, who took it Thursday night from Tumut, New South Wales, Oz: This is a photograph of […]

Look at all those damn stars!

I was led to this video through a tw**t by Sam Harris (yes, I do occasionally look at tw**ts): The religion link goes here—a list of empirical claims about Christianity. The science link goes to this stunning video of Andromeda (make sure you’ve put it on full screen). You may have seen it given that it’s received […]

Google celebrates Annie Jump Cannon

No, I hadn’t heard of her either, and probably only astronomy buffs know much about her. But I became aware of Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) when I saw this doodle on Google this morning (click on the screenshot to go to her Wikipedia biography). You can read yourself about how instrumental Cannon was in classifying stars (she herself […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have not only animals, but one of my favorite natural phenomena, the aurora borealis.  The first set of photos was taken by reader Roel Wijtmans: I send you some wildlife photographs that I took while hiking in northern Norway and Sweden last August and September. The first one is one of my favorite animals, […]

Philae has landed!

by Greg Mayer Qapla’!! Philae has landed! The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has successfully landed on Comet P67, and begun transmitting data. If you rewind the live feed, the success signal is received at exactly 3:00:00 (17:03 CET in Darmstadt), so you can see the reaction in the control room. Here’s the BBC coverage, […]

We land on a comet today! (10:47 EST)

[UPDATE] Some more links to watch: Here is the website of the team who are operating the lander, they also have livestream footage on their site. Their Twitter feed is: or @DLR_de for updates in German. And don’t miss the Lander’s twitter feed : And the current xkcd update:   Make your plans now to be […]


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