Galactic Gazette header
Previous
Next

Visual Astronomy Display: March 2020

Image of the Milky Way Galaxy

Last week, “human computer” Katharine Johnson passed away. Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics were instrumental to the success of NASA’s Apollo missions. One of the first African-American women scientists to work at NASA, Johnson’s time at NASA was fictionalized in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.  This month’s playlist includes videos…

A History in Handwriting: The Directors of the CfA

In the mid-19th century, the popular exchange of current scholarship between academic institutions led to the creation of Harvard College Observatory astronomical literature collection. At that time, the materials were housed in the Phillips Library, where they remained into the early 20th century. The collection continued to grow, and in…

Visual Astronomy Display: February 2020

image of the lagoon nebula

Highlights… Watch new, never-before-captured high resolution footage of the Sun’s surface; NASA says goodbye to the Spitzer Space Telescope; Sky watchers can see great views of the constellation Orion in February; Emily Sandford breaks down the physics and ethics of an elevator to the Moon; SciShow explains how you can…

Visual Astronomy Display: January 2020

Carina Nebula

Happy New Year!  Highlights… NASA test drives the new Mars 2020 rover; CuriousDroid unravels the past and present of hydrogen energy and aero-space travel; Astronaut Don Pettit discusses launching rockets from the Moon; The Planet Protection team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory break down why microbiology matters in space; SciShow…

Version 3.1.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus

Today, we launched version 3.1.0 of the UAT! This year has been an exciting one for the UAT; on June 3rd, the American Astronomical Society formally incorporated the UAT into its journal submission process.  The UAT has also been included in the most recent call for proposals for the Hubble…

Visual Astronomy Display: December 2019

Image of Mercury in front of the Sun

Highlights… The ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured evidence of a giant planet orbiting a white dwarf star; This month, Venus, Saturn, and Mars, along with a crescent moon, will be visible in the December sky; SciShow breaks down the mystery of inconsistent oxygen levels in the Martian atmosphere; Physicist Tara…

Visual Astronomy Display: November 2019

Highlights… New images from the ESO’s Very Large Telescope indicate that the asteroid Hygiea might be reclassified as smallest dwarf planet in our solar system; Denna Lambert from NASA Goddard tests out an inclusive picture book designed for the visually impaired, featuring images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope; Astronomers…

Visual Astronomy Display: October 2019

Highlights… The Carnegie Institute of Science discovered 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, making it now the planet with the most moons in our solar system; Speaking of planets, sky watchers this month will be able to spot the elusive Uranus and Neptune with the naked eye; New ESO observations of…

“A Peculiar Sense of Proprietorship”

[View of Arequipa Station of Harvard College Observatory with mountains in background] B

From 1889 through 1927, the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) operated a southern sky photography station in the Peruvian Andes. Led by Solon Bailey, the expedition spent two seasons observing on ‘Mt. Harvard’ near Chosica (close to Lima), before relocating south to Arequipa in 1891, where clearer weather conditions offered better…

Drive and Joy: Annie Jump Cannon at HCO

Annie Jump Cannon’s astronomy translated the dense skies into a scientific form, and her mere presence made the observatory halls most welcoming and accessible. She could not classify the stars without her colleagues’ help, but they were helpless without her energy and strategy. At the observatory for forty-five years, she…