On Jan. 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons space probe will pass by Ultima Thule. Ultima Thule may sound like a robot from the Transformers movies, but in actuality, it is a Kuiper Belt asteroid orbiting the sun at a distance of four billion miles. What makes Ultima Thule so special is that it is the second member of the Kuiper Belt (the solar system’s second asteroid belt) to be visited by the New Horizons space probe. The first was the dwarf planet Pluto. Continue reading “Happy New Year from Ultima Thule”
Comet 46P/Wirtanen might reach naked eye level by the end of 2018. Comet 46P/Wirtanen is due to pass closest to the sun and the Earth in December. Wirtanen’s closest approach to the sun will be on Dec. 12 and its closest approach to the Earth will be on Dec. 16. Continue reading “Do You Want to See a Comet?”
It happened on Sunday, Oct. 30, 1938 – 80 years ago. The Martians arrived and war broke out around the world. Well sort of….
On the night of Oct. 30, 1938, the Mercury Radio Theatre aired a performance of H. G. Wells’ 1896 “The War of the Worlds.” The radio play was performed so well that some people panicked, ran from their houses and warned their neighbors of the impending invasion. Stories also provide information of water towers being shot at in New Jersey and a woman in Pittsburgh wanting to take poison instead of being killed by aliens. Continue reading “The Martians Are Coming!!!”
Hello everyone and welcome to or back to the University of Maine at Presque Isle. If you are interested in astronomy, we have several treats for you in and around the Presque Isle area.
The University Times runs this ongoing series of articles about astronomy. The topics vary from edition to edition and will contain news related to astronomy. Although I have some articles in mind, I would like your input on possible articles. If you have any questions or would like to suggest an article, please feel free to email me at: email@example.com. Continue reading “Astronomy in Aroostook County”
The summer of 2018 will be a rather boring summer for astronomical events. Perhaps the biggest event of the summer will be the Perseid meteor shower. This year’s shower will last from August 8 to August 17. The moon will be approaching or just past new moon throughout the meteor shower, so moonlight blocking out dimmer meteors will not be an issue. Warm August weather should make it comfortable to sit outside or lie down on a blanket and look toward the northeast. At its peak, the Perseids will produce and average of a meteor per minute. The best time to view the meteors is after midnight. Below is a listing of the days of the shower and the number of meteors that may be expected on that date. Continue reading “Summer 2018”
All of this cold weather has me thinking about taking a vacation. I really want to head to some place warm and with no snow outside the window. A place were all my worries would be hundreds of miles away. If you feel like this too, I know where we can go. Let’s start making our plans to go to the Aurora Station.
Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger unveiled the Aurora Station concept on April 5 at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, Calif. What is the Aurora Station? It is a new hotel that is expected to be the premier destination for space tourists. The Aurora Station will be launched into low Earth orbit in late 2021. The reservation counter is now open for rooms beginning in 2022. Continue reading “The Next Vacation Spot”
On Feb. 6, 2018, at 3:45 p.m., the Falcon Heavy Rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During this launch, the first ever for the Falcon Heavy, Elon Musk sent his 2008 Tesla Roadster into space as a test payload. Images of the cherry red, electric-powered sports car were soon seen all over the world–and apparently elsewhere. Continue reading “Elon Musk’s Tesla Picks Up Hitchhiker”
Ever since humans started to fly in to space, one overwhelming question has existed. Can space travel change our bodies? In the early years of space travel, this question wasn’t very important. The men who went into space stayed there for a few hours to a few days. A seven-day flight was considered an extremely long flight. Today, the men and women who travel to the International Space Station stay in space for periods extending over a year. There are some astronauts and cosmonauts who have two space times over two years. Continue reading “How Does Space Change the Human Body?”
I am starting this article with a small disclaimer. The Falcon Heavy Rocket was scheduled to launch after this article was due into the U Times. Hopefully, the launch went well. Continue reading “SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket to Mars”
We see the sun in the sky almost every day. Most of us think the sun is a white or yellow orb that shines brightly in the sky, never changing, always the same. This is not true, however. The sun has massive eruptions, huge flares and spots that may be several times the size of the Earth. Continue reading “Solar Minimum Is Coming”