Harvard's crowdsourcing a century of astronomical logbook transcription


Simon writes, "I recently got a chance to interview and profile the people behind a collaboration between Smithsonian and the Harvard College Observatory who are crowdsourcing the transcription of logbooks for thousands of photographic plates. It's a massive undertaking that will give scientists access to a hundred years of astronomical data."

Read the rest

Planet formation around HL Tau, 450 light years from Earth

_78796825_hltau_nrao

"In a vast disc of dust and gas, dark rings are clearly visible," reports the BBC's Jonathan Webb. "Gaps in the cloud, swept clear by brand new planets in orbit.

The Cosmic Tourist: Visit the 100 Most Awe-Inspiring Destinations in the Universe

Open the pages of Cosmic Tourist and journey across the universe with 100 thrilling pit stops along the way. Your itinerary starts with Planet Earth, makes stops on the moon, the sun, a comet, Mercury, resting spots through the asteroid belt, and many other cosmic sites until you end up 13,700,000,000 light years away at “Infinity and Beyond.” Each stop offers spectacular photography and fascinating outer space facts that are written by the BBC’s “Sky at Night” astronomers Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott, and Brian May (who also happens to be the guitarist and founding member of Queen).

If you’ve often sat under the black twinkling canopy of the night sky and wondered… What is that mysterious glow on the night side of Venus? Or… Why is the Delta Cephei, which is 887 light years away from Earth, one of the most important stars in the sky? Or… What are those beautifully bright beaded interlocking rings that are floating 167,000 light-years away from us? … then it’s time to buy your passenger ticket, er, this visually stunning book, which will captivate you with space travel for many moons to come.

The Cosmic Tourist: Visit the 100 Most Awe-Inspiring Destinations in the Universe by Brian May, Patrick Moore, and Chris Lintott

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

How to view the “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse, in the wee hours of Wednesday

Blood moon during the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. Dominic Milan / NASA.


Blood moon during the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. Dominic Milan / NASA.

When our planet passes between the sun and moon in the early morning on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the moon—-which will be in Earth’s shadow--will appear to glow blood-red.

Read the rest

Laniakea: scientists' name for our cosmic home

Scientists have now mapped superculusters -- dense regions of multiple galaxies -- across space and have named our own supercluster Laniakea, Hawaiian for "immeasurable heaven." (Nature)

High Camp on the Moon (photo from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

14784330747_bf2751cd52_b

"High Camp on the Moon," a photograph shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Leshchinsky.

Read the rest

How big is the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet?

With a nucleus size of 3.5×4 km, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko seems like a mere speck. But Michel (@quark1972 on Twitter) shows what the comet would look like if it were gently set down in Los Angeles. I wish the city would commission a life-size replica as public art! (via io9)

A starry night sky, from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool

14769472635_d62dfd0249_k

"All in a Row," a lovely night shot by Diablo_119 of Tacoma, WA, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

A beautiful photo of the Moon and Mars, close together on July 5

Photo: Jerry Lodriguss


Photo: Jerry Lodriguss

Jerry Lodriguss, digital astrophotographer, captured this stunning image of our Moon passing close to the planet Mars on July 5, 2014.

Read the rest

Diamond the size of Earth

NewImage

Astronomers have found a diamond the size of Earth. The cooled white dwarf star, a huge chunk of crystallized carbon, is orbiting a pulsar about 900 light-years away, according to National Geographic.

'New York to London Milky Way,' a totally sweet astronomy photo

EOS-II-02514erid_merga

New York to London Milky Way, by Alessandro Merga, recently featured as NASA's Astronomy photo of the day.

Read the rest

Violent birth of a star, as seen from NASA Hubble Space Telescope

potw1421a

An image released from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star shrouded in golden gas and dust.

Read the rest

Spaceship docks with ISS, astronaut immediately tweets awesome photos

A Russian spacecraft carrying three people docked successfully at the International Space Station today after a flawless launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Our guy in space, NASA's Reid Wiseman, got right to work tweeting totally awesome photographs that masterfully convey the wonder and beauty of being, holy crap, an astronaut in space.

Read the rest

Camelopardalids meteor shower over Joshua Tree Milky Way

Photographer and filmmaker Gavin Heffernan shares some dazzling photographs, GIFs, and videos of a recent meteor shower that revealed itself best in the California desert, where the Milky Way is clearly visible in the night sky.

Read the rest

NASA releases 'Global Selfie'

14-147-global-selfie_0

Here's a larger size, and a zoomable 3.2 gigapixel version, which you really have to see to appreciate the whole thing.

Read the rest