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Cassini’s Close-Up of Saturn

The name Cassini has come to be associated with the sixth planet in our solar system, Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft—named for Jean-Domenique Cassini, who discovered some of Saturn’s many moons as well as a notable gap in the rings that also bears his name—took 7 years to journey from the Earth to Saturn and traveled…


Revisiting the Skies of Our Ancestors

Our world is changing; it has always been changing, especially in the age of humanity. However, one of the biggest differences between our experience and that of our ancestors with the world is one that many don’t consider. In a society centered around convenience and technology, where neon signs and city lights are commonplace, the…


The Science of a Solar Eclipse

The Moon is a cold, rocky body 238,855 miles from the Earth. It has no light of its own but reflects sunlight off its surface. Orbiting the Earth every 29.5 days, the Moon cycles through a series of phases as it reflects different amounts of sunlight, depending on the relative angle with the Sun. During…


The Astronomical Art of Howard Russell Butler


10 Things to Know about TRAPPIST-1

Scientists recently announced the discovery of seven Earth-like planets in a solar system close to our own. The “sun” of this system is a small, cool star called TRAPPIST-1A. So why all the excitement? Earth-like planets capable of supporting life are rare. Finding one among all the non-habitable planets in our galaxy is a little like…


The Perseids

Each August, the Perseid meteor shower lights up the night skies, but what causes this spectacular display and why is it so predictable? Let’s take a closer look at one of the year’s most spectacular astronomical events. Why are they called the Perseids? When observed from the Earth, meteor showers seem to arise from a radiant, a single…


12 Amazing Facts About Mars

1. Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system (now that Pluto has gotten the boot). At 4,220 miles wide, it is about half the size of Earth. 2. Mars is home to our solar system’s tallest volcano, Olympus Mons, which rises 13.6 miles from the planet’s surface. 3. Mars has two lumpy…