Category Archives: astronomy

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have several contributors today; the first is Anne-Marie Cournoyer from Montreal: These photographs were taken at at the Parc National du Mont St-Bruno (on the south shore of Montreal), and the last squirrel (the one with the nuts) was taken in Brossard. While walking close to a lake, we saw some turmoil on the water, […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have a diverse set of photos today, including a dramatic rescue of a raptor by one of our regulars. First, Dave Molloy from Oz sent some photographs of the evening sky and of wombats: I knew there was a planetary conjunction to be seen in the dawn sky for the last few weeks. However, surprisingly for the eastern […]

NASA animation: black hole sucks in passing star

On the NASA site you can find this description of a new piece of research about a star encountering a black hole, and observations from X-ray spectral analysis of what happened when it did. Predictably, the results are dramatic, though some of the star stuff doesn’t get sucked all the way in. I haven’t read the paper (reference […]

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 […]


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