Topic

Exploration

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Fri, October 20 2017

5 Things to Know About the Orionid Meteor Shower

Hoping to catch a view of the Orionid meteor shower tonight? Here are the five things you need to know from the astronomy team at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory.

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Telescopic observing draws young visitors
Mon, October 16 2017

Gravity and Light: When Neutron Stars Collide

For the first time ever, on August 17, 2017, astronomers detected the collision of two neutron stars. Not satisfied with that, they caught the cosmic smashup using both gravitational waves and light – another breakthrough.

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Illustration of merging neutron stars.
Tue, October 3 2017

Sputnik and the Space Age at 60

Sputnik, the world’s first human-made satellite of the Earth, was launched on October 4, 1957, marking the beginning of the Space Age and the modern world in which we live today.

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Sputnik Model in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall
Fri, September 15 2017

Our Favorite Saturn Discoveries from Cassini 

At the end of the NASA Cassini spacecraft's 13-year mission, National Air and Space Museum scientists and educators are reflecting on what this mission has meant to them.

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Our Favorite Saturn Discoveries from Cassini 

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Cassini Grand Finale
Thu, September 14 2017

Saying Goodbye to the Saturn-Exploring Cassini

I think it surprises a lot of people that a mission as successful as the Cassini-Huygens Mission would be terminated on purpose. Not just shutting the spacecraft off, but terminated with such style by sending it on a destructive dive into Saturn’s atmosphere. Cassini will burn up and be destroyed in a similar way that a meteorite is broken up in Earth’s atmosphere.

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Saturn Captured by the Cassini Spacecraft
Thu, August 17 2017

Beyond Totality: Appreciating the Partial Eclipse

Here we are, less than one week until a total solar eclipse crosses the United States. For the past three years, my excitement has been building, and all of my eclipse-chaser friends have been saying, “You HAVE to go see totality!” The path of totality (the narrow region where the Sun will appear totally blocked) is relatively convenient for North Americans, but many people won’t be able to travel and witness the total phase of the eclipse.

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Partial Eclipse
Tue, August 15 2017

Road Trip to Totality

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse is sweeping the nation. All of North America will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, but 14 states across the U.S. will have the unique opportunity to see a total solar eclipse, called the path of totality. There are approximately 12.5 million people living in the path of totality—an occurrence that happens only once where you live every 375 years! On the day of the eclipse, STEM in 30, a TV show we produce at the National Air and Space Museum for middle school students, will be broadcasting live from the path of totality in Liberty, Missouri, starting at 1:30 pm EST.

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Space Acorn
Tue, August 15 2017

Seeing the Solar Eclipse from Orbit

On Monday, August 21, Astronaut Randy “Komrade” Bresnik will have an unbelievable view of the solar eclipse, set to pass across the United States. Bresnik will watch the solar eclipse from the International Space Station (ISS)—he should be in orbit over the U.S. at exactly the right moment. 

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Path of Totality
Thu, August 10 2017

Hidden Figures Inspiring Girls in STEM

Throughout history, women have often received less credit for similar work as their male counterparts. This includes the inventions of the computer and the internet, both of which can be attributed to female innovators. In order to shed further light on these women, we wanted to introduce to you just a few of those who were pivotal to the way we live today, but were “erased” from history books:

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Header for Women in STEM Visual Essay
Tue, August 8 2017

Viewing A Solar Eclipse Safely through an Artist’s Eye

In this Van Dyke Brown photographic print from the from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum art collection, Jim Leisy (1950 – 2014) shows us one way to safely view a solar eclipse.  On first glance we see an unidentified person wandering aimlessly in a dreamy atmosphere with a box over their head. As the title Solar Eclipse suggests, the cosmic observer is actually catching a glimpse of the fleeting phenomenon with a pinhole projector.

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Solar Eclipse by Jim Leisy

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