Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 Transit of Mercury

By on May 8, 2016 in Events | 0 comments

Mercury, the small rocky planet in our Solar System closest to the Sun, will be making a rare transit across the Sun on Monday May 9th, 2016. The transit itself will last from 7 a.m to 4 p.m EDT. However, why is it such a big deal to see a planet move across the Sun fro read...

Happy Martian Summer Solstice (For the Northern Hemisphere Martians)

By on Feb 15, 2014 in Events | 2 comments

  Quick Facts About Mars: 1) Since Mars has only 15% of Earth’s volume, Martian gravity is only 37% of the Earth’s. Meaning you could jump 3x higher on Mars than on Earth. 2) In this particular image you can see the BIGGEST volcano in the Solar System. This beast is 21 km high (compared to Mt. Everest’s 8 km) and a whopping 600 km in diameter. Even though this volcano formed over billions of years, many scientists believe this volcano is still active. 3) Average temperatures on Mars is about -60 degrees C or maybe you rather be closer to the equator where it’s about 20 degrees C! It also snows on Mars! 4) If you were to compare how the sun looks in the sky on Earth vs. on Mars, the sun would look half the size on Mars. 5) Out of the total of 47 missions there have only been 19 successful ones! 6) Mars has the largest dust storms in the Solar System. These...

Happy 10 Year Anniversary Mars Spirit Rover

By on Jan 3, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

  10 years ago today Spirit rover lands on Mars, marking it a beautiful time in human history.  It landed in 2004 and was active until 2010. It was one of the two rovers, at the time, that took part in NASA’s ongoing mission called Mars Exploration Rover Mission. The other rover, Opportunity, landed on the other side of the red planet 3 weeks later than Spirit. The objective for Spirit’s mission was to search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity. It wa also sent to determine what geological processes have shaped the local terrain. Spirit rover was built to last for 600 m and about 90 sol (sol is one day on Mars), but lasted for an astounding 2,208 sols and drove 7 km! Unfortunately in 2009 the rover became stuck and its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010. JPL continued to make contact with Spirit...

Happy 36th Birthday Voyager 1!

By on Sep 5, 2013 in Events | 2 comments

Happy 36th Birthday Voyager 1! We Hope You Aren’t too Lonely!     Voyager 1 was launched by NASA on September 5th 1977. It is one of the most exciting spacecrafts NASA has launched simply because it’s travelling as far as it can go and it’s pushing the boundaries of space exploration. It is traveling at a break-neck speed of 17 km per second! For some comparison Earth orbits at 28 km per second. One of the saddest things is that Voyager 1 will no longer be able to power any of instruments in 2025. It’s amazing to think we were able to build something that would last at least 30 years in space where it’s astronomically difficult to account for everything! One of Voyagers first pictures was of Jupiter.     One of the most controversial topics is whether Voyager 1 has actually left our solar system. This doesn’t mean has it gone past...

Cool Facts About Geminids Meteor Shower

By on Dec 13, 2012 in Events | 0 comments

  Tonight and tomorrow night you will be able to see the Geminids meteor shower. It’s where we see a meteor shower pass through the constellation Gemini. You can see anywhere from 60-120 meteors per hour! Here let’s get started with some interesting facts about why I LOVE the Geminids meteor shower:   1) An Unexplained Meteor Shower   One mind boggling thing about this meteor shower is that it’s UNLIKE no other! Usually most meteor showers are caused by debris from comets passing by (far away). This one has a parent asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. You would think that it’s this strange rock that’s causing all these meteors but actually it only makes up a very small fraction. It’s very very strange. They believe that this rock might have been broken off another larger asteroid and all the debris may have came along for the ride....