The Nightly News
An Astronomy blog by Joe Bauman, Salt Lake City
Blog 13: The Garden of Enceladus
Joe Bauman
17
April
2017

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  1. Blog 68: The Pleiades' 3,000 sisters
    17 Nov, 2018
    Blog 68: The Pleiades' 3,000 sisters
    The lovely open star cluster, the Pleiades, has been called the Seven Sisters since antiquity. But nobody sees seven stars in this showpiece of the late autumn and winter, not by unaided eyeball and certainly not by telescope. Like a tiny kite of bright points, in November the Pleiades are visible in the east after sunset and are easily seen until dawn. They lodge on the shoulder of the constellation Taurus the bull. Bruce McClure, in an article posted by EarthSky.org, says November is often
  2. Blog 67: Where is everybody?
    07 Nov, 2018
    Blog 67: Where is everybody?
    Enrico Fermi, the Nobel-winning nuclear physicist who was one of the fathers of the atomic bomb, arguably is best remembered for a lunchtime comment that has no connection to his specialty. In 1950, he and three other scientists were chatting about the possibility of advanced alien civilizations when he asked something like, "Where is everybody?" The question has come to be known as the Fermi Paradox, the most famous query about extraterrestrial civilizations, one that is recited and argued
  3. Blog 66: Comets, Part 2
    27 Oct, 2018
    Blog 66: Comets, Part 2
    Of the comets I've seen, no two were alike, ranging from a monster that, counting its coma of particles, was the biggest thing in the solar system, to a puny streak that -- once it had dipped out of view from the northern hemisphere -- turned into a dazzling spectacle with multiple tails. As NASA points out, comets are "dirty snowballs" that coalesced when the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, mostly "ice coated with dark organic material." The agency also describes them as
  4. Blog 65: Comets, Part 1
    17 Oct, 2018
    Blog 65: Comets, Part 1
    Earthlings should be treated to a beautiful holiday surprise in December, Comet Wirtanen 46P. Dr. P. Clay Sherrod, the researcher, educator and author whose Arkansas Sky Observatories are renowned as "America's oldest private research science and observatory facility," wrote, "As this comet is slowly closing in on perihelion this December 16 (closest pass by the sun) it will also swing closely by Earth four days later in December and it perhaps might be as bright as 3rd magnitude, or even a bit