Marty Scott is the astronomy instructor at Walla Walla University, and also builds telescopes and works with computer simulations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Earth has four seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter. Do other planets in the solar system have seasons? Before answering that question, let’s review what causes the Earth’s seasons.
While at Yellowknife Bay, Curiosity collected a drilled rock sample that was later age-dated by using its science instruments in two different ways.
This spring will bring us the best view of Mars in seven years.
The surface of Mars has a rich geological record, and the Curiosity rover is reading that record by sampling the rocks and soils at different locations along its route to Mount Sharp.
During December when you looked to the southwest at sunset, you saw a bright star about 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon. It wasn’t really a star, but the planet Venus.
The “comet of the century” died before its time.
The past several weeks have been a busy time for the Mars rover Curiosity. Events included stops at two waypoints on the way to Mount Sharp, the longest one-day drive of its journey so far and the discovery of the apparent absence of methane in the Martian atmosphere.
In August I introduced you to comet ISON. In the last two months we have learned much more about the comet.
Curiosity, we may have a problem. Because Congress failed to pass a budget or an emergency spending bill, the federal government has been in shutdown mode since Oct. 1. This forced NASA to furlough 97 percent of its employees and cease most of its operations.
About every 175 years the orbits of the outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — are arranged so that a spacecraft on a particular flight path can swing from one planet to the next without the need for large onboard propulsion systems.