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Tag: astronomy

Stories Under the Stars

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend Stories Under the Stars, an event hosted by NOVA’s Ari Daniel and co-produced by Ari and the Museum of Science. It took place in the Charles Hayden Planetarium, where we became completely immersed in the dome of visuals. The theme of the show was “Light in the Dark” and this theme was taken both metaphorically and literally. What followed was an hour of story telling, live music, and phenomenal visual graphics. Ari managed to seamlessly integrate his storytelling and radio clips, so it felt as if he was having the conversation right there in front of you — despite half of it being pre-recorded. These stories certainly had elements of science, but they were also deeply human stories. Everything from the first light in the universe to the light of a candle on the counter were ways to think about and pursue our humanity…. Read More

Reflection on Street Astronomy (Friday 4/15/2016)

Passion. I thought for a day about one word that summarized my thoughts about volunteering with the Street Astronomy team (http://www.bostonastronomy.net/), and decided that passion bested simplicity. The premise of the event was simple: get together in the middle of Harvard Square with some telescopes and look at cool things in the sky. And it was effective. Friday night is prime time in the Square for families, friends, and dates, so there were plenty of folks looking to make the night a little more special. In the two hours that the team of astronomers kindly donated to the festival, we had two to three hundred curious minds expand through the four telescopes and a pair of binoculars. However, it was not just the big boxes, expensive equipment, and experience that the astronomers brought out that night. I felt what made the night successful was their passion for the cosmos and… Read More

Red Dwarfs: A Planet’s Favorite Host

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ From the NASA Art Gallery “Planets Under a Red Sun” depicts 3 planets orbiting around a red dwarf star. By Paola Salazar For about as long as civilizations have existed, mankind has wondered one question: are we alone? Is there something out there in the stars that’s like us? While we can’t really speak on the existence of any alien civilizations or lack thereof, we can now, at the very least, safely say that planet formation around stars in and of itself is not uncommon. In fact, there are now over 2,000 confirmed planets, and around 5,000 candidate planets. Prof. Andrew West/bu.edu Boston University’s Andrew West, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy who focuses his research on the stars that most commonly form these planets. These stars are known as red dwarfs or M-dwarf stars. Prof. West teaches a course on these exoplanets, called “Alien Worlds,” and… Read More

The Blood Moon Super Moon!

                  Flickr/ NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center By Paola Salazar Families and friends across the globe were watching the stars and sky Sunday night, whether cozily on porches and balconies, in the streets, at museums or at observatories, for a view they won’t get for quite a while–the blood moon super moon! We dare you to say that five times fast. But among our curios explorers at the Cambridge Science Festival, some may have been wondering–what exactly causes a blood moon, what makes this one a super moon or just generally, what is this big red thing in the sky where our “normal” moon should be?! Fear not, for we are going to break it down for these curious minds right here, right now. If we pretend this is an equation, the layout is like this: Super Moon + Total Lunar Eclipse =… Read More