A Neat Comet

Comet C/2001 Q4, also known as NEAT. Its coma, or head, and a portion of its tail are visible in this image taken from Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. Those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere have probably forgotten the comet because it was only visible to the naked eye of... Continue Reading →

Realizations from Watching the Planets and the Moon

During this week of April 12th, 2020, early risers were rewarded with the sight of a waning crescent moon and three planets, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, all fairly close to each other just before sunrise. On the 16th, I used a different shutter speed to capture a bit of detail from the moon, one that... Continue Reading →

A “What Am I?” Puzzle

If it wasn't for my atypical stellar atmosphere, I would be of no value to astronomers. I have a layer of ionized hydrogen and fully ionized helium, neither of which can lose energy to outer space. So these ions keep absorbing energy from my interior until I expand. This eventually lowers my density and allows... Continue Reading →

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