Messier Monday: A Galactic Highlight to Ring in the New Year, M96

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” –John Wayne There’s a lot to look forward to on the precipice of the new year, and many of us will … Read more

Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” –Dream Hampton Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical … Read more

The only time it's safe to put a star atop your tree

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” –National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Ahh, Christmas. It’s easy to forget how much the invention of the light bulb in 1879 reduced the number of tree fires in people’s homes. It was a mere three years later that people began … Read more

Messier Monday: The 'Little Sister' Cluster, M46

“A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite.” –Elizabeth Fishel With 110 deep-sky wonders to choose from in the Messier catalogue, our long-running series on Messier Monday promises to keep us busy for some time to come! As we’ve finally passed the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, many new spectacular sights … Read more

Weekend Diversion: Keep warm in style… Astronomy style!

“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.” –Maria Montessori The Universe has some wonderful sights to show you if you know how to look for them, and that’s maybe most apparent when you look at some of the amazing images from … Read more

Ask Ethan #16: What are Variable Stars?

“To be is to be the value of a variable.” –Willard Van Orman Quine It’s the end of the week once again, and the very end of our Year In Space 2014 Wall Calendar giveaway! So for this week’s Ask Ethan column, after dipping into our question/suggestion box, I’m very pleased to let Vera from … Read more

Messier Monday: A Big, Blue, Bright Baby Cluster, M47

“Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.” –Maria Mitchell It’s time again for Messier Monday, where we highlight the various wonderous deep-sky objects of the night, and show you how to find them against the expansive backdrop of stars. The (almost) full Moon is … Read more

Weekend Diversion: Don't miss your chance to have a voice

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” –Thomas Jefferson We all have our own unique story in this world, of where we came from, who we are now, and how we’ve grown to become the person we are. We’ve all had some … Read more