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Visual Astronomy Display: December 2017

Highlights… Meet ICON, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, which launches in 2018! Learn about the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an engine that could help us get to Mars in under 40 days travel; The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory looks at our first interstellar asteroid: Asteroid 1I/2017 U1; How do astronauts…

Visual Astronomy Display: November 2017

Highlights… Nataliea Lowson from the Australian Astronomical Observatory shares an Introduction to Telescopes; Looking forward to the newest SciFi flick? Even if it’s fun, just remember that the astronomy in movies can sometimes be a little dodgy… SciShowSpace explains; Using footage from Curiosity, JPL has made it possible to explore…

Illustrating Astronomy: E.L. Trouvelot at HCO

Celestial photography often stands as the legacy of the Harvard College Observatory in its early years. But its directors still recognized the value of old-fashioned observations of a human eye in real time. To assist their work at the telescope, they tended to hire assistants trained in astronomy and skilled…

Visual Astronomy Display: October 2017

Highlights… Farewell Cassini! Scientists across the globe said goodbye as Saturnian probe gave its final bow and crashed into the atmosphere of the ringed planet; NASA Goddard explores the meaning of the edge of the Solar System; The Parker Solar Probe might provide a definitive answer to one of astronomy’s…

Visual Astronomy Display: September 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for September 2017 Highlights… Annie Jump Cannon, a pioneering and record-setting astronomer at a time when women couldn’t even vote, is featured at My Girl Heroes; Even though we know a lot about Mars, the Red Planet still holds many mysteries, SciShowSpace explains; Cassini gears up for…

Annie Jump Cannon: Account of the Total Eclipse

[Background Note: Annie Jump Cannon traveled to Virginia Beach, VA to see the total solar eclipse of May 28, 1900. She wrote this journal shortly after observation. The journal is now part of the Papers of Annie Jump Cannon, 1863-1978 collection at the Harvard University Archives (HUGFP 125). This transcription of…

Eclipse Expeditions: From HCO and SAO out into the world

The eclipse of 21 August 2017 offers us the chance to witness a rare and awesome spectacle. The aesthetics of such an event have always excited the casual observer, but astronomers and other scientists often sacrifice the immediate visual beauty for their observations, by which interpretations they can illuminate a…

Visual Astronomy Display: August 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for August 2017 Highlights… The solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 is nearly here! Learn all about what it is and how you can enjoy watching it in this month’s play list!; SciShowSpace explores how Vera Rubin discovered the first direct evidence of Dark Matter; NASA will…

The First Computer: Williamina Fleming and the Horsehead Nebula

Working by day with glass-plate photographs of the night sky, the Harvard Computers of the late 1800s studied the stars in search of cosmic secrets. First among them was Williamina Fleming, an immigrant maid from Scotland. Her career in astronomy is highlighted by discoveries, stellar classification, and a work ethic…

Visual Astronomy Display: July 2017

Visual Astronomy Display for July 2017 Highlights… NASA JPL features a video about the Asteroid Hunters of the Catalina Sky Survey and PanSTARRS; Amy from Vintage Space explains why there are no stars visible in Apollo images taken on the Moon; Meet the newest astronauts at NASA!; Ariel Waldman shares…