A group of Fargo, North Dakota police officers confronted two men they thought were mounting a rifle on a tripod behind a garage at night. One man appeared to be wearing a tactical vest. Turned out that the "tactical vest" was a sweater and the two college students were just setting up a telescope behind their house to check out the moon.
NDSU student Levi Joraanstad told WDAY 6 that he and his buddy thought that it was just a couple of their neighbors trying to prank them by shining bright lights at them and yelling.
"I was kind of fumbling around with my stuff and my roommate and I were kind of talking, we were kind of wondering, what the heck's going on?," Joraanstadt said. "This is pretty dumb that these guys are doing this. And then they started shouting to quit moving or we could be shot. And so at that moment we kind of look at each other and we're thinking we better take this seriously."
Apparently the cops apologized when they realized that they had misread the situation. "Better safe than sorry," said one of the officers. Read the rest
Bipolar planetary nebulae occur when a twin star system lies at the center, forming beautiful wing-like symmetrical lobes. The Hubble team estimates this translucent beauty occurred only 1200 years ago. Read the rest
SunCalc is a nifty site and app by Torsten Hoffman that allows visitors to enter any location and date and find out all the details of that day's local solar path: Read the rest
Two of the new images show the surface of Dione at the best resolution ever.
Astronomical artist Björn Jónsson stitched together still images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft as it flew past the dwarf planet Pluto last month. Read the rest
This gorgeous vertical starscape taken near Death Valley by f1p4 is one of many examples of Reddit's landscape astrophotography group. Earthporn meets starporn! Read the rest
"There is no dark side of the Pluto really. Matter of fact it's all dark."
Pluto haze! In my brain. Lately, things, they don't seem the same.
XKCD's hot take on the recent space news around Kepler 452-B and Pluto.
It may be 'shopped, and we can tell by the pixels, but it's just the most beautiful image of Pluto mankind has ever seen.
Space truth, more awesome than fiction.
We are as close as we've ever been to Pluto, and images even more spectacular than this are on the way.
Won't someone think of the poor exoplanets?
“We have a healthy spacecraft, we recorded data on the Pluto system, and we're outbound from Pluto.”
“Their non-planetary status is a handicap because these are the worlds that we need to get Earthlings excited about exploring.”