Interplanetary Superhighway (Math, Geometry, and Mars Missions)

Let's say you've got nothing else going on, and you decide to launch a mission to Mars, as you do. Technically, assuming you had the rocket and the launch pad and the range clearance, the time and money, etc, you could do that tomorrow some time. BUT, this is a little like Steven Wright's assertion…Read more Interplanetary Superhighway (Math, Geometry, and Mars Missions)

The Moon, Mars, a Comet, and Maybe a Fireball (Astronomy: Week of 7/22/18)

Wow, there's a lot of cool stuff going on in the night sky this week.  I can't wait til this pattern of East Coast thunderstorms lets me see it!  Let me give a quick rundown, in the order of my own particular interest and excitement.  Your mileage may vary. Mars at Opposition Mars is back,…Read more The Moon, Mars, a Comet, and Maybe a Fireball (Astronomy: Week of 7/22/18)

Ah… Spring, and Stuff (Astronomy: Week of 4/1/18)

As I write this, on 3/31/18, a Blue Moon is rising on the night before Easter Sunday.  By convention (and agreement per the Council of Nicaea in the year 325), Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after the Vernal Equinox - one of the few remaining holidays that…Read more Ah… Spring, and Stuff (Astronomy: Week of 4/1/18)

Spring Planets! (Astronomy: Week of 3/18/18)

I am writing this on St. Patrick's Day.  Erin Go Bragh!  And I'm casting a glance fairly frequently out the window these days, looking for green.  Spring is coming - the vernal equinox actually occurs on the 20th this year (Tuesday) - just after noon (12:45pm EDT).  Often confused with "the first day of Spring",…Read more Spring Planets! (Astronomy: Week of 3/18/18)