Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Monday, June 1, 2015

June stargazing

You don't have to be an optimist to keep looking up.  

Blue Skies

The Curiosity rover recorded this Martian sunset in April. Particles of dust in the atmosphere absorb red wavelengths of light, allowing the bluer wavelengths to shine through. The effect is particularly prevalent at sunrise and sunset. [NASA/JPL/Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M]

Stargazing Summary

As spring gives way to summer, the signature star patterns of the new season climb into view during the short nights. The teapot of Sagittarius rises in late evening, with the curving form of Scorpius following it into view in the south a little later. They never climb far above the horizon, although their distinctive shapes make them easy to find. Venus and Jupiter, the night sky's brightest objects after the Moon, draw closer as June progresses, and stand breathtakingly close together by month's end.

More stargazing information »

Radio Program Highlights

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June 1-7: Water Worlds. An ocean may once have covered one-fifth of the surface of Mars, and we’ll explain what happened to it. We’ll also describe an idea about where Earth’s oceans came from. Join us for watery planets and much more.

June 8-14: Life and Death. Scientists have some ideas about what may help make a planet a more comfortable home for life, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about some planets that don’t have long to live. Join us for this and more.

June 15-21: Changing Seasons. Winter is coming to an end and spring is ready to get under way — not here on Earth, but on Mars. We’ll explain not only the current seasons on Mars, but also how they might have been much different in the past.

June 22-28: Brilliant Contrarian. A British scientist who was born a hundred years ago this week helped decipher how stars make most of the elements in the universe. But he was someone who followed his own path. Join us for Fred Hoyle and more.

June 29-July 5: Limited Moonlight.There’s a full Moon this week, but you won’t have long to enjoy it — it’s in the sky for a shorter time than any other full Moon of the year. Join us for the Short Moon, plus the longest day of the year and much more.

Program schedule »

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Coming Up in StarDate Magazine

In July, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Magellan’s arrival at Venus with a look back at its finds and a look forward to future Venus science. And we’ll shed light on innovations that enable ground-based research telescopes to do more than ever.

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News From the Observatory

The Texas Connection to Hubble’s Anniversary
McDonald Observatory and the UT astronomy program have a long history with Hubble Space Telescope, dating to long before its 1990 launch. Our astronomers helped design its Fine Guidance Sensors, and our scientists have made some great discoveries with the orbiting observatory. As Hubble celebrates a quarter century in space, take a look at 10 highlights of Hubble’s Texas connection.

Read more »

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