Marty Scott

Marty Scott is the astronomy instructor at Walla Walla University, and also builds telescopes and works with computer simulations. He can be reached at marty.scott@wallawalla.edu.

Recent Stories

Column: Asteroids, comets have similar origins, different traits

The European Space Agency has a satellite orbiting a comet, and NASA is planning a mission to an asteroid. I often get asked, What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

Mars rover on a ‘walkabout’

Curiosity, the Mars traveler, has become Curiosity, the field geologist.

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Column: Stargazers can take Taurus by the horns in February

If you found Orion on the few clear nights we’ve had this month, then finding its neighbor, the constellation Taurus, will be easy.

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Life-hinting methane sources on Mars puzzle scientists

News that the rover Curiosity has found methane on the surface of Mars is exciting because, on Earth, 95 percent of the methane in our atmosphere is created by microbial organisms.

Column - Winter’s star constellation opens door to discovery

The winter solstice — the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere — occurred last Sunday at 2:57 p.m. local time. This is good news and bad news for astronomers.

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Rover sends clues to formation of huge mountain in Mars crater

One of the questions that puzzled mission scientists before Curiosity landed in Gale Crater on Mars was how there could be a 3.4-mile-high mountain in the middle of an impact crater.

Winter owes gratitude to celestial latitude

You may have noticed the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. You may have also noticed the sun appears to be moving south, getting closer to the southern horizon each day.

Rocks leave scientist curious about a wet or dry Mars past

Data collected by the Curiosity rover are challenging our understanding of Martian geology, as members of the Geological Society of America learned last month when several presentations at their annual meeting featured analysis of these data.

Long, strange trip to comet landing for Europe spacecraft

The European Space Agency is about to pull off a first — landing a spacecraft on the nucleus of a comet.

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Solar wind shapes, colors northern lights

In the past few weeks I’ve been asked several questions about the northern lights, also called the aurora borealis. In this month’s column I will answer some of these questions and introduce you to this mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky.

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