The Nightly News
An Astronomy blog by Joe Bauman, Salt Lake City
Blog 1: About the Star of Bethlehem
Joe Bauman
17
December
2016

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  1. Blog 59:  Pulsars
    17 Aug, 2018
    Blog 59: Pulsars
    I remember the discovery of pulsars; or maybe I don’t recall the actual announcement but discussions about them soon afterwards. With the passage of half a century, it’s hard to sort out. Word came in February 1968 that scientists had detected radio beacons in the cosmos, of the strangest type ever recorded, signals that repeated rapidly and at precise intervals. Nobody could resist wondering if the signals were the product of a spacefaring civilization. The findings came through the operation
  2. Blog 58: Nature's geometry
    07 Aug, 2018
    Blog 58: Nature's geometry
    The first time I read Walden all the way through, I thought Henry David Thoreau was stretching a comparison beyond its breaking point. In the chapter "Spring," he writes, with quotations chosen from two separated paragraphs, "Few phenomena gave me more delight than to observe the forms which thawing sand and clay assume in flowing down the sides of a deep cut on the railroad through which I passed on my way to the village. ... Innumerable little streams overlap and interlace with one another,
  3. Blog 57: Messier 33, a hard-to-see giant
    27 Jul, 2018
    Blog 57: Messier 33, a hard-to-see giant
    The galaxy Messier 33 is a beautiful spiral star-city that is relatively close and therefore huge from our viewpoint, but it has such low surface brightness that it can be hard to find by telescope. M33 is also unusual for other reasons, including that a New General Catalog object resides within it. A quick explanation of the Messier (M) and New General Catalog (NGC) numbers: *** Charles Messier, 1730-1810, who served as chief astronomer at the Marine Observatory, Paris, searched diligently
  4. Blog 56: Serenity and chaos
    17 Jul, 2018
    Blog 56: Serenity and chaos
    Sunday night presented one of those astronomical alignments that can soothe the mind: Venus and the Moon were nearly cuddling, about one degree apart. [Here and above: telephoto view of the conjunction of Venus and the Moon, taken by Richard Garrard of the Utah Astronomy Club about 9:30 p.m., June 15, 2018. This exposure was made to show the part of the moon illuminated by Earthshine.] Cory and I were out to shop and walk in the park. We first noticed the lovely conjunction as we prepared to