Johannes Kepler

A 1610 portrait of Johannes Kepler by an unknown artist

If you’ve ever heard of the Kepler Telescope, it should come as no surprise to learn that it’s named after an astronomer. The Kepler Telescope is involved in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar system — but why would it be named after an astronomer who was born in 1571? Johannes Kepler was lucky enough to be taught by some of the greatest astronomers of his time. In return, he discovered three major laws regarding how planets move. … Continue reading →

Carnival of Space #453

Carnival of Space
Image Credit: Jason Major

And here we are again, with another Carnival of Space!  As always, we bring you the past week’s very best writing on space science and astronomy, fresh from The Internet.  Read on to find out what’s new in the Universe!Our first submission comes from last week’s host, Gadi Eidelheit of The Venus Transit. As an astrophotographer, he has been trying for some time to capture a recognizable image of the International Space Station, and finally he’s managed! Then comes Universe … Continue reading →

Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe: The Wildest Astronomer Strange men are common, but strangely awesome men are not! Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, led a most unusual life. Even from his earliest years, Brahe was simply not made to fit the mold.   If Brahe had the misfortune of being born into poverty, we might have had nothing in the history books about him. Weirdly, it doesn’t actually matter what Brahe was born into, since he was stolen from his parents at … Continue reading →

What do astronauts eat in space?

Apparently the two most popular questions people like to ask astronauts are how the toilet works in zero gravity, and what the food is like.  The answer to the first question is “reasonably well”, but the second deserves a little more time.  Happily, this infographic recently landed in my mailbox from the good folks at which looks at the evolution of food in space from Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering first orbit up till the modern meals served on the International Space … Continue reading →

Imaging The Jewel Box


This month I made two attempts at imaging the Jewel Box open cluster, more formally identified as Kappa Crucis, or NGC 4755. The first result was mediocre at best, while the second turned out quite nicely, and that means we get to do another “Watch me learn astrophotography” posting! As you’ll know from earlier posts along this topic, I’ve become a believer in data.  The more data, I’ve been teaching, the better the result because you’re giving your stacking algorithms … Continue reading →