Galactic Gazette header

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…

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…