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Computers at Work: Astronomical labor at the HCO at the turn of the century

The women whose assistance, administration, and computing supported astronomy are now great subjects in the history of science. Far from serving an auxiliary role, these computers standardized the skies, and laid the foundation for modern astrophysics. While we know big names who pioneered new theories through their calculations, many of these…

Visual Astronomy Display: July 2018

Highlights… This month’s Physics Crash Course video looks at resistors, batteries, and circuits; James Christy and Robert Harrington talk about how they discovered Charon, 40 years ago; A global dust storm swirling across Mars is threatening the Opportunity rover, will it survive?; As scientists noticed that ‘Oumuamua gained an extra…

Visual Astronomy Display: June 2018

Highlights… New magnetic events discovered in the near-Earth environment by using an innovative technique to squeeze extra information out of the data; Is it a pulsar? Is it a magnatar? Do dense stars evolve from one state to another over time?; Learn how TESS searches the skies for exoplanets over…

Visual Astronomy Display: May 2018

Highlights… This month’s Physics Crash Course video looks at electric charge and electric fields; Watch TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, launch successfully from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida; In preparation for sending the first people into space, NASA learned a lot about the ear’s role in motion…

Whipple’s Moonwatch: Amateur Astronomers in the Space Age

October 4, 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the launch of Earth’s first artificial satellite “Sputnik,” in 1957. The world was astonished by the news that the Soviet Union had successfully put a satellite into Earth’s orbit for the first time in history. Sputnik had a profound impact on international…

Visual Astronomy Display: April 2018

Highlights… This month’s Physics Crash Course video looks at engines of all types; ESA’s Clean Space initiative is investigating technologies to help ensure that future satellites do not end up as space debris; Are brown dwarfs planets? are they stars? Minute Physics investigates these strange astronomical objects; SciShowSpace shares recent…

Visual Astronomy Display: March 2018

Highlights… This month’s Physics Crash Course videos look at kinetic energy and thermodynamics; Why can’t we see the Apollo lunar landers from Earth, even using using our most powerful telescopes or the Hubble Space Telescope?; NASA studies unusually warm Arctic water, with sea ice levels reaching record lows in several…

Cecilia and Sergei: American Astronomers

Many great minds and personalities have graced this Observatory, but few so illustrious as those of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and her husband Sergei. Together, and separately, they made great impacts on how astronomers see the universe. Cecilia began questioning the make-up of the stars, finding in her graduate research that hydrogen…

Visual Astronomy Display: February 2018

Highlights… This month’s Physics Crash Course videos explain the physics of music and temperature; It’s official, 2017 was the second hottest year on record since 1880; ESO Astronomer’s have recently discovered a star that appears to be orbiting an inactive stellar-mass black hole; January 31st was the 60th anniversary of…

Visual Astronomy Display: January 2018

Happy New Year!   Highlights… Look back at 2017 with This Year @NASA, the Top 17 Images of Earth From Space, and Goddard’s Year in Review; Then, look forward with JPL’s What’s Up for January 2018, ESA’s 2018 Preview, and NASA’s 2018 To Do List; SciShow Space takes us to…