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Astronomy

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Fri, April 24 2020

How Hubble Changed the Way We Picture Our Universe

In this guest blog, Dr. Elizabeth Kessler explores the contributions of the Hubble Space Telescope and how it has changed the way we envision our universe.

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Pillars of Creation
Fri, November 8 2019

Transit of Mercury

On Monday, November 11, 2019, one of my favorite celestial events occurs – a transit! Think of a transit as an “eclipse lite” – a planet will pass between Earth and the Sun, and we’ll be able to observe the planet’s shadow moving across the Sun. Here are six questions to ponder during this month’s transit of Mercury.

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Transit of Mercury
Mon, November 4 2019

Farewell to the Zeiss Planetarium Projector

Since its opening, and until recent years, our Zeiss Model VIa optical planetarium projector has brought the wonder of the night sky to countless visitors. The Zeiss Company no longer services the over 40 year-old model, and though its stars are as sharp as ever, and its skies deep in their dramatic blackness, its celestial motors have become weary, so it has been retired in favor of an ever-improving digital projection system that offers many advantages to meet modern programming needs. The Albert Einstein Planetarium theater itself is also closing as our multi-year renovation progresses through the Museum, but it will eventually reopen as a fully digital experience. Now that we are saying good-bye to its original projector, the Zeiss Model VIa, the question is, of course, how did it get here

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Zeiss Projector
Fri, December 28 2018

Remembering Nancy Grace Roman, "Mother of Hubble"

As the first Chief of Astronomy at NASA, Nancy Grace Roman opened the skies to humanity in new ways without ever leaving the ground.

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Remembering Nancy Grace Roman, "Mother of Hubble"

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Nancy Grace Roman
Thu, December 20 2018

AirSpace Ep.20:
When You Wish Upon a Star

Emily, Matt, and Nick give a download on why meteor showers occur, when’s the best time to watch, and what you’re looking at (spoiler: most meteors are A LOT smaller than you think).

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AirSpace Ep.20:
When You Wish Upon a Star

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast 2020
Thu, October 18 2018

Six Space Missions to Watch For

The next few months will also bring some exciting developments in space science. There are new missions about to launch and spacecraft that will reach their destinations after long journeys. Here are six out-of-this-world things to look for in the news over the next few months.

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InSight Probes the ‘Inner Space' of Mars
Fri, August 3 2018

The Unexpected Journey from Tolkien to Titan

Bilbo Baggins journeyed many places in Middle-Earth, but it turns out his quest extends to other planets, too.

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Saturn's Satellite Titan
Wed, July 25 2018

AirSpace Ep.10:
Happy (Planet) Hunting

NASA launched TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, on April 18, 2018, continuing our search for planets outside of our solar system (aka exoplanets). 

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AirSpace Ep.10:
Happy (Planet) Hunting

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast 2020
Fri, May 25 2018

What Han Solo Should Know about Space Travel

Parsecs are actually astronomical units—not just in the Star Wars universe—used to measure distance, not time. (Sorry, Han.)

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The Kepler Mission
Sun, April 1 2018

Smithsonian Eyes Reboot for Classic Skate the Universe

As the Museum prepares for its upcoming transformation, the Smithsonian is eyeing a remake of its iconic film Scott Hamilton Skates the Universe.

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Smithsonian Eyes Reboot for Classic Skate the Universe

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Andromeda Galaxy

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