From The Director

by Rex Parker, PhD

Spring Is Coming!  We’ll convene at Peyton Hall on the Princeton campus for our monthly get-together on Tues March 14 (7:30pm).  If you just can’t make it physically, this will again be a hybrid meeting via Zoom (link sent by e-mail to members, also on the website). The huge campus construction project across the street continues and the old parking lots are gone forever. So the University wants us to park (free) in the new garage at 148 FitzRandolph Rd, off of Faculty Rd.  That means a 15 minute walk around the football stadium to Peyton once you park your car.  Our guest speaker will be Joseph DePasquale from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland.  For more information on the presentation and for the walking route map to Peyton Hall, see Victor’s article below 

Our tradition each month is for a member to give an Un-journal Club, a brief informal and fun presentation to begin the second half of the meeting.  “Un-journal” means this is not grad school, you don’t need scholarly journal-like topics, just what you care about in astronomy.  PowerPoint slides, JPEG’s, astro-images, travel pictures, book reviews, your imagination is the limit (bring a USB memory stick). To get onto the schedule for an upcoming meeting, please contact me or program chair Victor Davis (

Going into the Field.  We’re open to ideas for mini-tour destinations for AAAP members now that we are mostly all travelling in high gear again.  It’s been about 8 years since our private tour of PPPL in Princeton.  Later in 2015 a group of members made an unforgettable field trip to D.C. to see the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and the US Naval Observatory in Washington D.C.  This week I visited Air & Space again.  Though some of the iconic craft were on display, more than half of the exhibits were closed for major renovation, putting this on hold as a AAAP destination for a couple years.  If you have an idea for a field trip please send me a note.

Voyager and Columbia/Apollo 11 at Smithsonian Air & Space

Seeing the “Invisible” Deep Sky.  It was Alfred Lord Tennyson who wrote, “I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair”.  Lest you despair utterly that the famed Messier objects are forever lost in the glare of skyglow, consider this.  AAAP has the latest technology for members to pursue electronically-assisted astronomy (EAA) at Washington Crossing Observatory.  This technique is revolutionizing the field and has generated great excitement among amateur astronomers around the world.  It is especially important in regions like ours because it is capable of restoring visibility of deep sky objects that are otherwise lost in light polluted skies.

Standing in the middle of the continuum between eyepiece and long-exposure astrophotography, EAA renders images in near real-time with markedly greater sensitivity than the eyepiece.  High resolution images are acquired in seconds of sensor exposure and immediately rendered as color (RGB) images on the monitor.  Software swiftly stacks and averages multiple frames to display images with increased signal/noise.  Color is markedly enhanced for deep sky images compared to eyepieces especially for nebulae because the camera sensors have far greater color sensitivity than the vision of the human eye in low light. Yet visual astronomy is not entirely forgotten at the Observatory, as the historic Hastings refractor and exceptional Takahashi Mewlon 250 offer outstanding eyepiece observing.

The current telescope and mount equipment owned by AAAP and installed at the Observatory are listed below. Please contact the Observatory Chair ( or me if you’d like to visit the observatory this spring and learn how to use the equipment.  It’s a privilege of your membership in AAAP.

Member benefits.  Are you a recent member and wondering what the club is all about?  Here’s a brief summary of AAAP member benefits.

  • AAAP has a 60 year history of enhancing member and public astronomy learning and appreciation from the theoretical, astrophysical, observational, and educational perspectives.
  • We are informally affiliated with Princeton University’s Astrophysical Sciences Department, who generously allow us access to the auditorium in Peyton Hall for monthly meetings. 
  • Members are exposed to deep astronomy learning opportunities, including presentations by professional astronomers and physicists at our monthly meetings on the Princeton campus. Guest speakers include professors and post-docs from Princeton Astrophysics Dept, IAS, Rutgers, and other area scientific institutions. 
  • Members may observe at our well-equipped Observatory (see equipment list below) in Washington Crossing State Park, NJ any timer a Keyholder is present.  Members have the opportunity to be trained to become a Keyholder, allowing 24/7 access to the Observatory.  Learn more about the telescopes and training opportunities by contacting
  • Outreach is a big part of our mission.  Keyholders participate in public astronomy sessions at the Observatory , held each week from April through October.  In addition to the Observatory events, members participate in a wide variety of educational astronomy experiences with schools, youth, and adults in the area.
  • Members have direct exposure to learning observing techniques, telescopes,  astrophotography, and other hardware and software from other experienced astronomer members.  Members also have access to club-sponsored field trips.
  • Members have occasional opportunities to buy at great prices used telescopes, mounts, and other equipment which the club may acquire through donations.

Some of the telescope equipment for member use at the AAAP Observatory 

  • Paramount-ME #1, robotic equatorial mount
    • Mount run with TheSkyX planetarium and control software under Win10 computer. 
    • Celestron-14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, D=355mm (14-inch), f/11, FL=3900mm.
    • New Stellarview 80 mm right-angle finder scope on the C-14.
    • Explore Scientific ED127 refractor telescope, D=127mm (5-inch), f/7.5, FL=950 mm, triplet air-spaced apochromatic refractor.
    • Numerous 2-inch and 1-1/4-inch eyepieces for these telescopes.
    • Starlight Xpress Ultrastar Colour CCD camera.
    • Starlight Live and SharpCap software cameras.
    • Verizon FiOS is available inside the Observatory.
    • 24”-32” monitors for viewing the telescope images
  • Paramount-ME #2, robotic equatorial mount
    • Mount run with TheSkyX planetarium and control software under Win10 computer. 
    • Hastings-Byrne 61/4-inch refractor, f/14.6, FL=2310mm. This fine historic instrument is a great planetary telescope, dating to 1879 with the original air-spaced doublet lens and steel tube intact.
    • Takahashi Mewlon-250, D=250mm (10-inch) Dall-Kirkham reflector telescope, with -inch TMB Optical dielectric-diagonal and Feathertouch 2-inch Crayford focuser.
    • Numerous 2-inch and 1-1/4-inch eyepieces including Panoptic 27 mm and 41 mm for the M250.
    • ZWO ASI 294 Pro color CMOS camera
    • ZWO ASI Studio, Starlight Live, and SharpCap software set up for EAA cameras
Posted in March 2023, Sidereal Times | Tagged , | Leave a comment

From the Program Chair

By Victor Davis

Welcome to Peyton Hall
The March, 2023 meeting of the AAAP will take place IN PERSON on Tuesday, March 14th at 7:30 PM. As usual, the meeting is open to AAAP members and the public.

Hybrid Meeting
You may choose to attend the meeting in person or participate via Zoom or YouTube as we’ve been doing for the past few years. (See How to Participate below for details). Participants who choose to participate virtually will be able to log in to the meeting as early as 7:00 pm to chat informally with others who log in early. We’ve had some security concerns during a past broadcast, so we’re re-instituting the Zoom waiting room. Please be patient for the host to recognize you and grant you entry into the meeting. Be aware that you must unmute yourself to be heard by other participants.

For the Q&A session, you may ask your question using Zoom’s chat feature or you may unmute yourself and ask your question directly to the speaker. To address background noise issues, we are going to follow the rules in the table below regarding audio. If you are not speaking, please remember to mute yourself. You are encouraged, but not required, to turn your video on.

Getting to Peyton Hall
The parking lots across the street (Ivy Lane) from Peyton Hall are now construction sites, unavailable for parking. We’ve been advised by the administration of the astrophysics department that we should park in the new enclosed parking garage off Fitzrandolph street and walk around the stadium and athletic fields. Here’s a map of the campus and walking routes from the parking garage to Peyton Hall. The map shows the recently completed East Garage. Not shown is an access road Sweet Gum that connects from Faculty Road to an entrance at the lower left corner of the garage. Stadium Road connects from Fitzrandolph Road to another entrance at the opposite corner (and higher level) of the garage. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the parking garage to Peyton Hall.


Featured Speaker:   Joseph DePasquale
Senior Science Visuals Developer
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

Unfolding the Infrared Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope 
The universe is filled with beauty beyond even our wildest imaginations. Sophisticated observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope help us peer into that sublime reality, and it is to the great fortune of humanity that these instruments of science produce data that captures the essence of the natural beauty of the cosmos.

However, without a careful eye toward revealing that beauty, the data would remain black and white snapshots for scientific analysis rather than admiration. Astronomical image processors blend the artistic visual principles of composition, color and tonality with the scientific knowledge of how these observatories operate and the objects they study to compose images that capture the imagination and inspire the viewer to learn more about our universe.

This past January, Joe’s colleague Alyssa Pagan gave us a fascinating overview of the tools and processes for turning JWST raw data into the jaw-dropping visuals we see in the media. In this talk, Senior Science Visuals Developer Joseph DePasquale will focus on exciting new results from the James Webb Space Telescope, providing some background on the observatory itself as well as the art and science of the image processing that reveals the inherent beauty of the infrared universe.

Joseph DePasquale
Joe DePasquale is the Senior Science Visuals Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Joe’s work requires a unique blend of science and art to bring data from the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes to life in high quality, colorful views of the cosmos. Prior to joining STScI in 2017, Joe was the Science Imager for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory where he worked for 16 years following his undergraduate training in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Villanova University. Joe has an extensive background in astronomy, fine art, and photography giving him a unique skill set well suited to the task of bringing raw observatory data to life in richly detailed imagery.

AAAP webcast:  This month’s AAAP meeting, beginning with Rex’s opening remarks and ending at the beginning of the business meeting, will be webcast live on YouTube and recorded for subsequent public access on AAAP’s YouTube channel. Be aware that your interactions during this segment, including questions to our guest speaker, may be recorded for posterity.

Join YouTube Live to listen to the speaker John Church using the link below –


YouTubeAAAP-March Meeting – Unfolding the Infrared Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

This session will be recorded and saved on YouTube. Send me an email at if you have any concerns

“Meet the Speaker” dinner at Winberie’s
Place: Winberie’s Bar and Restaurant, 1 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ
Time: 5:45 PM
Please contact me if you plan to attend. or at (908) 581-1780 cell

Using Zoom: While we are social distancing, the AAAP Board has chosen to use Zoom for our meetings, based on our belief that many members have already used Zoom and have found it easy to use. One of its great features is you can choose whether you want to install the software on your computer or use it within your browser.

NOTE: The Zoom site has many training videos. If you’re unsure how Zoom works you might want to view the videos on how to join a meeting or how to check your computer’s audio and video before the meeting.

How to Participate:

  • Please make sure you have Zoom installed on your computer. You do not need a Zoom account or to create one to join the meeting. Nor are you required to use a webcam.
  • Please see below for the link to the meeting, or visit our website.

Join Zoom Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 821 9772 2711   Passcode: 639173

There is no “Unjournal Club” presentation scheduled this month. As you may know, guest speakers receive a baseball cap with the AAAP logo embroidered upon it as a “thank you” for making a presentation to us. We’re expanding the hat giveaway to members who contribute an “Unjournal Club” presentation to encourage participation.

We hope to make these short presentations a regular feature of our monthly meetings. We’d like to know what members are doing or what members are thinking about in the broad range of topics encompassed by astronomy. A brief ten-minute (or so) presentation is a good way to introduce yourself and the topics you care about to other club members. If you are interested in presenting a topic of interest, please contact either or

A look ahead at future guest speakers:

April 11, 2023
Ira Polans, former Program Chair of AAAP Ira will speak briefly on The Anasazi of the Southwest: Chaco Canyon and the Sun Dagger and then introduce the film The Sun Dagger, narrated by Robert Redford. The film tells the story of its exciting discovery in the 1970s by Washington artist Anna Sofaer and its subsequent investigation. It also examines the life and culture of the Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) Indians who built the calendar and thrived in the arid canyon environment a thousand years ago. Since then the sun dagger has marked the seasonal solstices and equinoxes in vivid symbolic images of light and shadow on stone. Join us to learn more about this fascinating discovery!
NOTE: This film is solely for in-person viewing, as copyright restrictions will not permit broadcasting it on the internet. This meeting will not be a hybrid meeting.
May 9, 2023
Alain Maury, Astronomer and discoverer of comets and asteroids. Alain Maury operates a time-sharing observatory near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. He’s also an active observer and discoverer or co-discoverer of several dozen comets and asteroids, several of which (i.e. 3780 Maury) were named in his honor. He’ll talk about his observatory, its operation, and his numerous astronomical activities.
June 13, 2023
Bill Murray, AAAP’s Outreach Director and staffer at NJ State Museum planetarium Bill will give his traditional planetarium show at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
Summer Hiatus
Later this fall
Gary Rendsburg, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers Prof. Rendsburg will talk about “The Jewish Calendar,” with emphasis on its astronomical connections to lunar months, intercalated month to adjust to the solar year, festival days, and new moon observances.

As always, members’ comments and suggestions are gratefully accepted and much appreciated.

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Minutes of the February 14, 2023, AAAP Members General Meeting (hybrid)

by Gene Allen, Secretary

Director Rex Parker attempted to convene the meeting at 1930 in Peyton Hall and on Zoom but his laptop decided to install an upgrade. While scrambling for a backup machine it completed but was unable to connect to the internet through the University guest wi-fi. Problems were sorted and the meeting was convened at 1951. He presented a very brief introduction including an image of the heart-shaped Antenna Galaxy in honor of Valentine’s Day, reminders that on the coming Friday comet C/2022 E3 would be very near Aldebaran and there would be a Jupiter-Venus conjunction on March 1. He also mentioned the surprising number of UFOs brought about by the recalibration of DoD radar to include very slow-moving objects.

At 1959 Program Chair Victor Davis introduced speaker Member John Church, PhD, and his presentation Cosmic Clockwork:  Occultations, Eclipses & Transits. A question period followed at 2056.

NOTE: The recording of this and other AAAP talks can be found on the AAAP YouTube page at

There were 30 in-person attendees during the talk.

Following a break, the meeting was reconvened at 2105 with an Un-Journal presentation by Rich Sherman from Florida about adding a filter drawer to his imaging chain and the impressive benefits of the Optolong L-Extreme filter on nebulas.

A brief discussion considered whether it was only the radar recalibration or whether something more was happening with all the recent UFOs. No conclusions were drawn.

Mention was made of the upcoming astronomy fairs NEAIC on April 13-14 and NEAF on April 15-16. They are the world’s largest and should be experienced, even if one can manage keep the wallet securely in place.

Appreciation of the Astrovideo Live presentations was expressed along with the wish that they could be scheduled regularly. Scheduling was attempted but failed do to the availability of presenters and the NJ weather. It is best for them to be spontaneous.

It was proposed that we organize a trip to a good location to observe the solar eclipse in April 2024. Spring weather suggests that Texas might be the best destination, but Assistant Director Larry Kane has traditionally organized the field trips and should be consulted.

There was again mention of the threatened Holmdel Horn and the need to replenish the outreach handout materials at the observatory.

A meeting will be held in the Robbinsville Library about the UFOs at 1815 on February 22.

There was additional discussion about observing or imaging the comet.

The meeting was adjourned at 2201.

Our membership currently numbers 204. 16 have joined so far in 2023. We have had 19 renew while 6 have allowed their membership to expire, giving us a 76% retention rate.

Posted in January 2023, Sidereal Times | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

AAAP Summer Merchandise

by Rich Sherman, Merchandise Chair

Our AAAP merchandise store will shift to warmer weather apparel starting in mid-April.  So if you want any winter gear, now is the time to place your order.  Also, we are working to add another vendor that offers some additional apparel and non-apparel items. Stay tuned to future Sidereal Times for an update. 

The AAAP store now has NEW merchandise that features our “Anniversary Edition” logo celebrating AAAP’s 60 years. Check it out at :  The password is SiderealTimes.  

The items with the new anniversary logo will have ” **Anniversary Edition** ” as the first words in the product description (note that the first 21 items on the page have the Anniversary Edition logo; the remaining items have our traditional logo).  If you want a different color, or are looking for a
product that you don’t see on the site, please email Rich Sherman at,  and we will make every effort to get that item for you.  Also, note that it takes about 3-4 weeks to receive your order.  

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Book Review

by Rich Sherman

Before the Big Bang:  The Origin of the Universe and What Lies Beyond

By Dr. Laura Mersini-Houghton

Grade:  A-

Theoretical physicist, Dr. Laura Mersini-Houghton takes us on a journey through quantum physics and shows us that six signatures of a multiverse—which she predicted—really do exist in our cosmos.  It is a remarkable revelation.

The book is demanding for the layman, especially those of us who are not well-versed in quantum physics.  Thankfully, there are intermittent respites along the way, where Dr. Houghton shares the stories of her life and the life of her brilliant father during the difficult communist years in her native Albania.  At just over 205 pages, the book seems longer due to the complexity of the subject and Dr. Houghton’s effort to build her argument for a multiverse, requiring references to complex math and properties of quantum physics.

So is the book worth it?  Absolutely.  But like all long journeys, there are moments of fatigue when you feel like giving up.  But in the end, you discover the multiverse and that is really cool.   

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Aram Friedman, AAAP member, Astro-photographer, in his own words

I have been a member of AAAP for many years but I have not been able to attend meetings lately due to my schedule. I have been broadcast engineer for most of my career but in 1998 I was contracted to supervise the design and construction of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC. It changed my life. In 2011 I joined the staff of Evens & Sutherland, assisting them with building planetariums internationally. While there I build my own small 4’ diameter portable planetarium based on the Digistar software and started teaching in public schools. I also taught for Northrop Grumman at conferences and public events about the JWST.

Teaching 8th grade Astronomy:
World Science Fest NYC JWST:

Along the way I met and became close friends with the late Prof. Jay Pasachoff of Williams College who asked me to build a planetarium as well. Jay invited me to my first Total Solar Eclipse in China in 2009 where I captured several videos of the event. It was my first time using a $100 equatorial mount for the live video camera.

TSE 2009 Fisheye:
TSE 2009 Realtime:

In 2012 Jay invited me to join his team atop Haleakala to make a time lapse video of the last Transit of Venus in our lifetime. I purchased my first real mount and scope and just barely managed to align it in time for the 6.5 hour event.

Transit of Venus 2012:

On returning from the TOV I did a presentation for the AAAP where I met Robert Vanderbei. Robert approached me and asked if I could find a single image from Maui that matched images he shot from Princeton. We found two that were time stamped the same moment. Robert published a paper showing how it was possible to measure the AU from the two images.

Venus Transit Parallax Measurement

Over the years Robert has inspired and mentored me in refining my ability to align my scope to the point of being able to image deep space objects. My equipment is modest but I have a lot of fun.

Along the way I have continued to make time lapse videos of celestial events.

Here is a sample.
Transit of Mercury 2019:
Jupiter Rising 2012:
TSE 2017 360deg: (this works with google cardboard)
Winter Milky Way Haleakala:
TSE 2012 Cairns, Australia: (we were clouded out)

Presently I am upgrading two new planetariums, one for me and one for Williams College. They are based on the new E&S D7 software and will run in 4K. I have a lot of software to update and will need to re-render many of the videos. When I finish the upgrade perhaps I can do a demo for the AAAP, it will be few months yet.

With the help of Jay Pasachoff, I was given access to 4k frames from the SDO to do some studies of various Solar structures. Here is just a tiny taste: I have many more but have not posted them.

If you are interested, I have also posted recordings I made of the Voyager II flyby of Neptune.
Voyager is one of my many obsessions.

Here are the two recent videos I posted on YouTube of the “Green Comet”

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Introducing New Student Member

YugandharaLuthraHi, I am Yugandhara Luthra, a junior attending Princeton High School in New Jersey. My passion lies in the fields of science and mathematics, with a particular fascination for space exploration and its endless possibilities. As a participant in the PHS Research Program, I am fortunate enough to delve into research projects centered around stars, exoplanets, and particle accelerators. I continuously challenge myself with advanced courses from Harvard University in the field of astronomy and physics.  

I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the world beyond my academic pursuits. As a leader and participant in PHS Food Aid and PHS IDEAS Center initiatives, I work on projects that benefit our community and address critical issues facing humanity. Additionally, I hold the roles as Vice-President for Odyssey of the Mind and VP-Logistics for the Science by the Scoop club at PHS. Through these various leadership positions, I am able to contribute my skills and expertise to diverse projects and collaborate with others to create positive change.

Regarding my extracurricular pursuits, I find solace in golf and reading, which provide me with a serene retreat to unwind and reconnect with myself–after a busy day or a demanding week.

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Marshall Space Flight Center

by S. Prasad Ganti

Huntsville, Alabama is known as the Rocket City. This is where the rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun worked on designing rockets to fly to the moon. At what is now named as Marshall Space Flight Center, named for the late Secretary of State George Marshall.

In the 1940s, Huntsville was selected as a location for chemical weapons manufacturing for the war effort, and the Army established the Redstone Arsenal. After World War II, the base became the rocket and missile facility where Wernher Von Braun guided the development of the Redstone, Jupiter, and Pershing missiles. And the rockets that sent the first U.S. satellite into orbit and the first astronauts to the moon. 

Von Braun had the idea of creating a space center open for the public so that they can better appreciate what the rocket scientists do. The state of Alabama agreed with him and thus was born the US Rocket and Space center. I had the good fortune of visiting there recently. The pictures shown below have been taken using my iPad pro. The picture below shows the main building and the parking lot. 

The picture below shows the Saturn V rocket which boosted the Apollo spacecraft towards the moon. The scale of the rocket is evident from the other objects in the background. It dwarfs everything else. The Saturn V rocket is also there in Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Houston. But in Huntsville, it stands towering and is visible from neighboring roads and highways for miles. 

The picture below is of the same Saturn V rocket lit up as it was getting dark. The dimmer spot of light slightly to the left of the upper tip of the rocket is the planet Saturn !. The main building has a cross section of the Saturn V laid end to end horizontally. And each section explained in detail. 

Unlike Kennedy Space Center in Florida where the Spacecraft and rockets are assembled and launched, and in Johnson Space Center where astronaut training and mission control exists, in Huntsville, the rockets and spacecraft are designed and different components like the engines are tested. It is basically an engineering shop for rockets and spacecraft. Marshall Space Flight Center is where the work gets done while the US Rocket and Space Center is where the exhibits educate the visitors. They are just a few miles apart. 

Given below is a picture of a mockup of the Artemis spacecraft which recently went to the moon and came back to the earth. While Apollo is the history of the space program, Artemis is the future. The Artemis was launched using SLS (Space Launch System) which is a recent version of Saturn V. SLS along with SpaceX’s Starship rocket represent the future heavy launch vehicles.   

The picture given below is a mock up of the Russian module of the International Space Station called Zarya. Given the current geopolitical situation, it is difficult to imagine a Russian component being part of an international endeavor. 

The US Rocket and Space Center also runs a space camp for anyone interested in getting a hang of how the astronauts are trained. Three day camps and week long camps are the most popular ones. I hope to attend one of these camps some day! 

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From the Lens of Lisa

by Lisa Ann Fanning

Most of my attention was turned to Venus and Jupiter for the month of February (clouds permitting.) Here’s hoping for clear skies for the conjunction.  

An almost full Moon – February 4, 2023
Not the best, but a doc shot of Comet ZTF and Mars
February 24, 2023 – Waxing Crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus
Closeup of the 26% Waxing Crescent Moon – February 24, 2023
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compiled by Arlene & David Kaplan


Telescopes and Instrumentation As set out in its convention, ESO provides state-of-the-art-facilities for Europe’s astronomers and promotes and organises cooperation in astronomical research. Today, ESO operates some of the world’s largest and most advanced observational facilities at three sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor…more


Dark sky: Could Wales soon be home to four zones? A swathe of the north-east Wales uplands could soon be recognised as a hotspot for gazing at the stars. The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) plans to submit a bid for global recognition as a dark sky zonemore


A Doodle Reveals da Vinci’s Early Deconstruction of Gravity Long before Galileo and Newton used superior mathematics to study a fundamental natural force, Leonardo calculated the gravitational constant with surprising accuracy…more


New Auroras Found Glowing in the Skies of Jupiter’s Moons A sightseeing alien touring our solar system would do well to check out the emerald and blood orange-red ribbons of Earth’s auroras. But our world isn’t the only one with spectacular light shows in its atmosphere. New research shows auroras can also be seen on the Galilean moons of Jupiter…more


Killer Asteroids Are Hiding in Plain Sight. A New Tool Helps Spot Them. Ed Lu wants to save Earth from killer asteroids. Or at least, if there is a big space rock streaking our way, Dr. Lu, a former NASA astronaut with a doctorate in applied physics, wants to find it before it hits us — hopefully with years of advance warning and a chance for humanity to deflect itmore


Webb Telescope Spots a Distant Spiral Galaxy Like Our Own In the unfathomable darkness and time that is the universe, every star is an omen of hope, a promise of life and shelter, like the lights of a distant ship on a cold sea. And so, courtesy of the James Webb Space Telescope, here is another reminder of the fecundity and generosity of nature: thousands of galaxies…more


Nasa’s Mars rover Perseverance completes rock depot Nasa’s Perseverance rover has finished building a rock depot on Mars. It’s laid down a series of tubes on the ground containing a variety of rock and environmental specimens. The depot will serve as a reserve cache to be brought back to Earth in the event Perseverance is unable to complete the next stage of its mission…more


There’s a Ring Around This Dwarf Planet. It Shouldn’t Be There. A small icy world far beyond Neptune possesses a ring like the ones around Saturn. Perplexingly, the ring is at a distance where simple gravitational calculations suggest there should be none. “That’s very strange,” said Bruno Morgado, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Dr. Morgado is the lead author…more


James Webb telescope traces arcs of dusty star formation It’s another stupendous image from the new super space telescope James Webb. The picture shows NGC 346, a region about 200,000 light years from Earth where a lot of stars are being created.Webb’s Near Infrared Camera traces the knots, arcs and filaments of gas and dust that are feeding this stellar nursery….more


Space and Astronomy: What to Expect in 2023 As years in space and astronomy go, 2022 is going to be a tough act to follow. NASA wowed us with cosmic scenes captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. The DART mission slammed an asteroid into a new orbit. Artemis I set humanity on a course back to the moonChina finished building a new space station in orbit…more

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