08 Nov 2012

Swelling Earth population? Desire to relocate to a distant solar system?  No problem, just get your star ship ready, as scientists say they have found a new exoplanet that may have the right conditions to support life.  The new planet called HD 40307g is part of a six-planet system. 

06 Jun 2012

The Venus Transit of 2012 has now finished, but thanks to the Solar Observatory, we can view the event in its entirety from a different perspective. 

This transit of Venus was rare.  The next transit won't occur until Dec 11, 2117, so mark your calendars.  The data obtained from this transit will assist scientists in both discovering some unknown secrets of Venus as well as techniques for searching for planets around other stars.

31 May 2012
2004 Transit of Venus in front of the Sun.  Scientists hope to use the 2012 transit to help boost the ability to study other world's atmospheres.

Astronomers world-wide will use advanced telescopes and other instruments to watch Venus cross the Sun on June 5th and 6th.  This transit will help scientists find clues in the hunt for other planets where life may exist and will be the last transit of Venus until 2117, particularly in the study of their atmospheres.

10 May 2012

"The Light of Stars" is a stunning time lapse video from astrovideographer Daniel Lopez.  In the video he treats us to several inspiring videos of the night sky and also shows us how he used sliders and cranes to move the cameras themselves, giving the imagery a three-dimensional feel.

23 Apr 2012

Credit:  NASA/STScl/Ann Feild

Scientists differ on how the universe will end, some aren't even certain it will ever end.  What is generally accepted is that the universe is expanding and that the likely scenario is that of the Big Freeze.  While the Big Freeze may be the leading theory supported by many, other more radical theories take a different approach and show a different outcome.  Although for many scientists its comes down to either Dark Flow or Dark Energy.   

12 Mar 2012


  • Jupiter and Venus are lining up for the closest point in Earth's sky during their conjunction
  • Conjunctions happen frequently between these two

Our two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter are drawing closer and closer together in the night sky this week.  This will undoubtedly result in many UFO sighting reports and other questions due to their low proximity to the horizon and appearance there for around two hours.

Monday evening, March 12, they will line up side-by-side in the west, then Tuesday evening, March 13, they will be only 3 degrees apart with Venus just above and to the right of Jupiter.  3 degrees is about the width of two fingers held out at arms length, while the "apparent" width of a full moon is around a half of a degree.  The conjunction will last until around 10:30 p.m. local daylight time.

Venus will be at magnitude -4.3, while Jupiter -2.1.  Lower numbers mean brighter objects with this magnitude scale, which originated in the second century B.C by Greek astronomer Hipparchus.  However, Venus is not 2.2 times brighter than Jupiter in reality.  In 1856, a British astronomer Norman Pogson defined Hipparchus's scale using mathematics in a logarithmic relationship.  Two objects differing by five magnitudes differ in brightness by 100.  So an increase in one magnitude is a brightness scale increase of 2.512.  Hence, for Venus and Jupiter, the 2.2 magnitude difference is a ratio difference of 7.59.  Venus will be nearly eight times brighter than Jupiter.

Many think that such conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter are rare.  They actually occur every 13 months.

Source:  Earthsky.org (image)

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