Cygnus/Antares Launch, 4:01 am EST, November 17, 2018

Update 11/17 - The launch was successful and on schedule.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a couple pics from my perspective. I'm having a hard time keeping up these days, between work and kid schedules - so I thought I was going to miss this entirely.  Fortunately (unfortunately?) weather intervened and…Read more Cygnus/Antares Launch, 4:01 am EST, November 17, 2018

Rocket Science (Astronomy: Week of 5/13/18)

On Friday, SpaceX made the news again with the successful launch and recovery of their upgraded Falcon 9 booster, the Block 5, this time carrying a Bangladeshi telecommunications satellite into orbit. Like many tech breakthroughs, the success of the Falcon 9 series has almost become routine to the point that it doesn't get any attention…Read more Rocket Science (Astronomy: Week of 5/13/18)

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)

Orbits, and Orbital Decay (Astronomy: Week of 1/21/18)

In case you haven't heard, China's first space station, Tiangong-1 is about to make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.  That's an 18,750 pound (8,500 kg) chunk of stuff, about to fall in a blaze of glory.  We don't know when, and we don't know where.... but probably some time in March, 2018. To understand…Read more Orbits, and Orbital Decay (Astronomy: Week of 1/21/18)

Venus and Mars, and maybe Hubble? (Astronomy: Week of 10/1/17)

Fall is in the air!  Crisp days, and cool clear, low humidity nights are becoming the norm.  Not to mention long nights, of course. For now, the Summer Triangle is still high overhead after sunset, and the Lonely Star of autumn (Fomalhaut) is rising.  The Milky Way is still putting on a show, for a…Read more Venus and Mars, and maybe Hubble? (Astronomy: Week of 10/1/17)