In The News This MonthPrograms you will enjoy: Michigan's own Astronomy at the Beach LIVE (and on cloudy nights, observe via the Streamed Programs Archives from McDonald Observatory.)
We are looking forward to this year's in-person program at Island Lake Recreation Area on September 16th - 17th. For the latest information on the 26th gathering of the largest FREE public astronomy program in Michigan, click Here. To see archived McDonald Observatory programs click Here.
James Webb: a new era has dawned!
While we eagerly await the scientific insights that JWST will reveal, the images will have to do for now. And, WOW, are they fabulous! Keep up with the lastest images from JWST Here. And, follow JWST's progress and plans at STSCI's Webb News Site.
September 3rd: Artemis I Launch was scrubbed...
What a heavy decision to scrub a mission. A leak in the quick disconnect for the SLS hydrogen fuel line, eight inch fuel line... it seems like a good decision! Between the unique mission trajectory and the Moon's elliptical orbit, the launch windows are fixed. Check them out for yourself Here.
September 16th: Neptune is at its Brightest Tonight!
Neptune is at "Opposition" tonight. Neptune, Earth, and the Sun are all aligned tonight. Neptune is at its closest point to Earth for the year, thus at its brightest as well. For a nice graphic explanation, check out In-the-Sky.
September 22nd: the Autumnal Equinox is today!
Equinox happens twice each year, equal amounts of day and night for almost all of the Earth. But if you lived at the North Pole, this day marks the ONLY day that the sun sets all year long! Read more about this fun fact in this National Geographic article.
September 26th: Jupiter is at its Brightest Tonight!
Jupiter is at "Opposition" tonight. Jupiter, Earth, and the Sun are all aligned tonight. Jupiter is at its closest point to Earth for the year, thus at its brightest as well. For a nice graphic explanation, check out In-the-Sky.
September 26th: Watch DART nudge asteroid Dimorphos live!
While we don't dwell on it, truthfully life on Earth is one asteroid or comet away from a major setback. Protecting Earth from such a catastrophe will require knowledge and technology that is better developed before it is needed! The DART mission is NASA's first attempt to learn if we can change an asteroid's orbit. Watch live coverage of the 7:14pm impact from 6-7:30 p.m. ET on NASA TV, NASA YouTube, NASA Facebook or NASA Twitter. For more on this mission, read the DART blog.
September 30th: Farewell SOFIA!
After eight years of air born infrared astronomy observations aboard a modified Boeing 747 airplane, which among other things identified high concentrations of water on the Moon's Clavius Crater, the nine foot infrared telescope known as SOFIA will end its mission today. The 2020 decadal survey of science goals for astronomy and astrophysics concluded that the mission's abilities are no longer uniquely provided by SOIFA.