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Tom's Astronomy Blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 04:40:33 +0000


A Solar Flare and More

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 04:40:33 +0000

Here is a view of the solar flare of 17 July from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video is a great example of where you would expect to see sunspots at this stage in the solar cycle. If you start watching sunspot activity about now, you will notice that most of sunspots will be in […]

Monday At Saturn

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 04:48:46 +0000

This image was taken on 17 July 2017, just a week ago. You can browse through the latest Cassini images here.

Magnetic Reconnection

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:13:42 +0000

Earlier this week I had a fellow telling me about magnetic portals that threaten Earth that have just started showing up and “oh my goodness”. Given the grin I had upon my face at hearing the news, especially from him because he learned all about it from the internet and he tends towards the conspiracy […]

The Mysteries of Mercury

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:10:04 +0000

One of the best programs about Mercury available.

Phobos in Orbit

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:56:46 +0000

Check this out – Hubble captures the Martian moon Phobos in orbit. / Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA/ESAHubble — A football-shaped object just 16.5 miles by 13.5 miles by 11 miles, Phobos is one of the smallest moons in the solar system. It is so tiny that it would fit comfortably inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway. […]

Supersonic Parachute

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:23:27 +0000

I am always amazed at parachute tests,.  A capsule (see link below) is speeding along at 12 times the speed of sound and then the parachute is deployed creating incredible stresses on the system, in the end designs it all holds together. For some unknown reason this test got me to wondering how much stretch […]

Media Files:

LISA Mission Ends

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 04:55:18 +0000

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna or LISA mission ended yesterday. The LISA Pathfinder mission set out to test the technology needed to detect gravity waves.  The gravity waves were predicted to exist by Einstein a hundred years ago (actually in 1916).  Could they be found? Thanks to the LISA mission we know, yes they can!  Here’s a […]

Enceladus Jets

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 04:32:03 +0000

  We are just two months from the end of the Cassini mission! NASA – Enceladus’ intriguing south-polar jets are viewed from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine. Observations of the jets taken from various viewing geometries provide different insights into these remarkable features. Cassini has gathered a […]

Curiosity’s Traction Control

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:45:08 +0000

Readers who’ve been around for a while know we’ve been keeping an eye on Curiosity’s wheels; they have taken a beating traveling around on Mars. NASA of course has been working the problem right from the beginning and they now have come up with an algorithm to help with the problem. JPL/NASA (Andrew Good) – […]

Paolo Nespoli Returns to the ISS

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 12:15:42 +0000

The 60-year old Italian and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli is returning to the International Space Station shortly for third time. He will be involved with the the VITA (Vitality, Innovation, Technology and Ability) mission. The launch is scheduled for 28 July.