Google PlusFacebookTwitter

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 from Earth’s perspective? What does this mean for humans and science? Why the big fuss? Well I’m here to help break it down as it’s filled with a rich history that’s been on-going for hundreds of years and has progressed humankind as a result. So here’s why the 2016 Transit of Mercury is incredibly cool. A word to the wise: DO NOT view the transit without proper solar viewing equipment. You will do irreversible damage to your eyes if you look at the Sun directly. Please contact your closest science centre or observatory for viewing opportunities. It’s an incredibly rare event, but why?...

HCG 91: Furious Gravity Tug of War Between Galaxies

By on May 7, 2016 in Galaxies | 0 comments

Here’s a fantastic photo of a group of galaxies playing gravitational tug of war located a staggering 320 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. These group of galaxies are what as known as Hickson Compact Group 91 or HCG 91. They are named so because a Canadian astronomer named Paul Hickson discovered 100 compact groups of galaxies. The tails of these galaxies are actually 100,000 light-years long! Because of their “close” interaction the galaxies are triggering furious star formations. On a cosmic timescale these galaxies will merge together to form one larger galaxy which is how our very own Milky Way Galaxy formed. What is also impressive about this image is that it captures fainter galaxy interactions that are 2 billion light years away from Earth! Further Reading or Sources:...

Carnival of Space 456: Best Space Stories of the Week!

By on May 6, 2016 in Carnival of Space | 0 comments

Here is another issue of Carnival of Space! We are on the 456th issue and counting. If this is your first time hearing about this community driven feature then let me give you a quick intro. Carnival of Space was started by our friends over at Universe Today and a community of astronomy bloggers gathered together to help showcase some of the best space stories. Each community member hosts the Carnival of Space and spreads the love to the interwebs. So please, sit back, relax, and let these stories take you away on the cosmic beaches of the universe. Evidence from Curiosity rover shows Mars once had oxygen-rich atmosphere Here’s an article by Planetaria.ca on how the Curiosity rover discovered that Mars once had oxygen-rich atmosphere. Read on to find out what this means for understanding Mars and its history. Read more... Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss it Have you ever looked upon...

The Destruction of Supernova Remnant Simeis 147: The Spaghetti Nebula

By on May 5, 2016 in Nebula, Supernova | 0 comments

Located right in our own Milky Way is a story of a star that ended in utter destruction. Say hello to Supernova Remnant Simeis 147 or the Spaghetti Nebula. Discovered in 1952 this supernova remnant is located 3,000 (+/- 300) light years away from Earth on the border of constellations Auriga and Taurus. The Spaghetti nebula is about 40,000 years old or the first photon or light particle reached Earth 40,000 years ago. In its wake it left a neutron star known as pulsar PSR J0538+2817. What this means is that there is a star that is highly magnetized and shooting out electromagnetic beams as if it was a light house. The expanding remnants is expanding at an incredible rate of 950 kilometers per second! The entire nebula you see here is about 150 light years across. Further Reading or Sources: +Anne’s astronomy news +Emil Ivanov Astronomy +Wikipedia...

The Brown Spaceman’s Guide to Discovering Astronomy

By on Apr 13, 2016 in Astronomy Guide | 0 comments

Don’t Panic: Your Guide to Exploring Astronomy First I would like to say, “Welcome to the Universe!” just in case you never got your welcome when you first arrived on Earth. So it looks like you found astronomy and you’ve fallen in love or perhaps you are just curious and would like to learn more. Well you’re in luck because my job is to deliver the good stuff I’ve discovered over the years that has made astronomy beautiful, amazing, and easy to digest and understand. What you’ll walk away with: After you’ve gone through this guide you’ll have learned the key areas in astronomy that will help you figure out where you’d like to dig deeper on your own. I’ll provide as many helpful resources as I can and hope that you can suggest your own if I missed something here. So without further ado come join me and take this cosmic...

Gorgeous Wizard Nebula

By on Apr 9, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

Located 8,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cepheus we arrive to an open star cluster NGC 7380, or more famously known as the Wizard Nebula. This young cluster is about 4 million years old and is a many light years wide. The color red or orange is a signature of the element sulfur, green is hydrogen, and blue is oxygen. The cosmic gas is moving towards us at 34 km/s. The bright star you see on the right of it is binary star HD215835 (DH Cephei). It’s one of the main reason the nebula is illuminated as well as ionized. The solar winds from the star also contribute to carving out the magical shapes you see before your very eyes.   For more information or sources used: Anne’s Astronomy News APOD...

The Subtle Beauty of the California Nebula

By on Mar 30, 2016 in Nebula | 0 comments

Between 1,000 to 1,500 light years away from the planet Earth, lays a gorgeous nebula called the California Nebula or NGC 1499. This nebula is actually one of the more challenging ones to observe through binoculars and even a low powered telescope. This is due to the low surface brightness. However, the reason why it has such low surface brightness might impress you. First, let’s get a good look at this lovely beast.   The impressive mystery of what lights up the entire California Nebula Going back to our question on why the surface brightness is dim (if you had try to look at it from Earth with low powered equipment), the answer is actually right above the nebula itself! It’s the star right above called Xi Persei. This star is 30 times bigger than our own Sun! Not only that but is pumping out light at a blistering 250,000 times the rate of the Sun. Quite astonishing!...

Unsung Heroes of NASA: Sebastian “Sam” Pennise

By on Mar 26, 2016 in Heroes of NASA | 0 comments

NASA is a culture of the very smart and very passionate group of humans. I can imagine there are many people who work at NASA and have contributed a great deal to the cause of progressing the space frontier but may not get their own article on Space.com or Universe Today. Today we’ll be looking at the hero Sebastian “Sam” Pennise. He is a man that many probably don’t know of and you won’t find a lot on him on the web. However, that’s where BrownSpaceman comes in to shed a little light on some of the amazing images from his collection as well as why he is amazing. This is not a bio but merely a peek behind the windows of this man’s life.   This is a collection of photos given to me by Sebastian’s fantastic grand daughter Sarah Douglas. If you look at the middle left photo with the man doing the cross handshake, that is in fact...