In the past 3 decades, astronomers have spotted more than 4000 planets orbiting other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. It seems inevitable that some of them—or the billions of other planets in the Milky Way—must have moons. After all, more than 200 moons zing around the measly eight planets in our own Solar System. Observers have yet to find such exomoons, but they may have just spotted the next best thing: a disk of dust around a young exoplanet that they believe contains a moon, or moons, in the making. (sciencemag.org) ... See MoreSee Less
The Perseid meteor shower has started and will peak around August 12. According to NASA, this is the best shower of the year. The Perseids grace the night sky with an incredible number of meteors, which are the bright streaks of light caused by bits of comet debris burning up in the atmosphere. The shower, at its peak, could have more than 100 visible meteors per hour. For best viewing, let your eyes adjust to the darkness for a few minutes. Look towards the constellation Perseus, facing northeast around midnight. This is where the meteors seem to shoot away from- i.e. the radiant.
The Perseids have a lot of fireballs because the nucleus of the associated 109PSwift-Tuttle comet is about 16 miles wide. This comparatively large comet can create more and larger meteoroid debris than other comets, and those meteoroids burn brighter when they hit the atmosphere compared to smaller debris. ... See MoreSee Less
The observatory is around here, somewhere. Lecture series speakers on most third Wednesdays of the month. Members meeting on second Wednesdays. Check out the calendar of events, make reservations to visit and find out exactly where the observatory is - on the website martzobservatory.org/... See MoreSee Less
Today's annular solar eclipse - image by member, Dave Wilkins. An annular solar eclipse is when the moon is in front of (eclipses) the sun but is not total. You see a "ring of fire" around the moon. From our area, we saw a partial annular eclipse at sunrise 👍 🔭 ... See MoreSee Less
We are in the home stretch of fully automating the Martz 24 inch telescope and dome. Once complete the 'scope will be used for distance-learning and citizen science. Learn more about the observatory at martzobservatory.org/... See MoreSee Less
Yep! The Super Flower Blood Full Moon (Eclipse) - full moon tonight (May 25, 2021), partial lunar eclipse early tomorrow morning. "Super" == the moon is close to the Earth, "Flower" == flowers bloom in May, "Blood" == Earth will block sunlight reflecting off the Moon causing it to look red. "Eclipse" == the Earth will be between the Moon and the Sun causing much of the Moon to appear darker. A total lunar eclipse will show to folks in the western U.S. - partial to us east coasters. ... See MoreSee Less
So I bet you have all been wondering what has been going on at the Martz-Kohl Observatory since it closed it closed the public last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Well, tonight is your chance to find out. Join us and our speaker Dan Gray from Sidereal Technologies and see what's up! Follow the link below to the website where the Zoom information is available.