The Leonid meteor shower, which peaks this week in the early morning of November 17, has offered stargazers the most reliable opportunity to see a meteor storm. The shower flares up every 33 years to present a deluge of meteors for a few hours on the early morning on or around November 17. Experts predict this yearʼs Leonids will be quite tame, alas. So no meteor storm this year.
William Herschel (1738-1822) was the first astronomer to systematically look beyond the solar system into the depths of intergalactic space. His early sky survey formed the foundation of today’s NGC (New General Catalog) of deep sky objects.
Dava Sobel is the author of the best-selling books Galileo’s Daughter, The Planets, and Longitude, the story of the obscure clockmaker John Harrison and his invention of a timepiece accurate enough to help navigators determine longitude. Today, we take a break from stargazing for a short Q&A with Ms. Sobel about her new book A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos.
Today the planet Neptune completes its first revolution around the Sun since it was discovered in 1846. So it’s a birthday of sorts for this icy blue world. Here’s a brief account of the amazing discovery of Neptune, and a few words on how to look for this most distant of major planets.
Carl Sagan had a way of cutting through the complexity of science to get a point across in the most beautiful way. Here’s an update of one of Sagan’s most poignant messages, in a video created by Adam Winnik at Canada’s Sheridan College. Watch and ponder and enjoy…