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(NAPSI)—Good news for anyone who has ever wondered how astronomers track objects like comets or what it would be like to study an asteroid belt up close. The new Great Balls of Fire interactive exhibit at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex lets you do that and much more, while discovering the risks that asteroids, comets and meteorites present to the planet. The exhibit explores how to keep track of near-Earth objects while examining the effects of possible impacts. It includes the Asteroid Encounter experience that lets you climb aboard a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter while compiling data about asteroids and comets. You can also explore what would happen if one of these celestial bodies were to hit close to home, determine Science Fact or Science Fiction of Hollywood movie clips and take part in many other activities. While at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you can also see the historic Atlantis spacecraft, a Saturn V moon rocket, IMAX 3-D space films, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and tour Kennedy Space Center itself. Further facts and fun can be found at (855) 378-0167 and www.KennedySpaceCenter.com. You may even win a bit of space all your own. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Astronomy magazine have partnered to host the Great Balls of Fire Sweepstakes, giving away a 9.6-pound authentic meteorite collectible and a space adventure trip for four to the Visitor Complex. You can enter the sweepstakes online at www.astronomy.com/KennedySweeps until midnight on Nov. 30.
Build it and they will come.
University of Arizona Police Officer Andrew Lincowski joined planetary scientists at NASA this summer to search for exoplanets that might have the potential to harbor life.
Tucson scientist David Grinspoon joined a panel Monday talking about NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto – but the scientists were most animated when talking about the feud over the status of the recently classified “dwarf planet.”
(BPT) - Rain, hail, ice, flooding – these are all the result of seasonal weather changes. Whether you live in an area prone to hurricanes or you experience daily downpours and dropping temperatures, now is the best time to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the upcoming months.
Continuing to learn new things offers many benefits, including cultural enrichment, engagement with others, and even better brain health and sharper thinking. Research has shown that this is true for people of all ages—especially when combined with a social aspect, like taking a class with other interested students.
1. Seattle approves a $15 minimum wage
1. Russia agrees to deal on easing tensions in Ukraine
Meet author Gloria McMillan and “live Martian tour guides” at the March 15 launch of McMillan’s book, “Orbiting Ray Bradbury’s Mars: Biographical, Anthropological, Literary, Scientific, and Other Perspectives.”
1. Brewer vetoes Arizona's anti-gay bill
If you have a sense of curiosity about those twinkling lights in the night sky, come to Catalina State Park for the next Star Party. As news evolves everyday from the many probes into our universe, everyone seems to be more fascinated about night skies including details like the rings around Saturn and tracking down glittering galaxies. A galaxy can be only 2.5 million light-years away and you can see it with the naked eye. Jupiter’s moons you can see with binoculars. Now imagine what you can see with the 10 big telescopes that these astronomers will have at Catalina State Park Telescopes can get you to those ghostly nebulae, star clusters, the moon’s cratered landscapes, and Venus’ crescent phases, but a good pair of binoculars can help you do that, too.
Astronomy magazine editors return next month to Pima Community College’s East Campus for a special event for amateur astronomers of all ages.
The end of 2013 was marked by a much needed wrench in the cogs of the video game industry, a console war. After the long lives of the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, the gaming world needed a breath of fresh air. Sadly, we didn’t really get that. The Xbox One and Playstation 4 are both impressive consoles in their own right, but neither has brought truly innovative positive changes to the gaming world. Both Microsoft and Sony plagued social media networks with unending ads, Microsoft tried to bribe YouTube users to endorse the Xbox One, and a stream of negative media ruled supreme as the two companies seemed to be arch rivals. During all of the news storm, redesigning of consoles, and removing controversial features (Microsoft), one company was surprisingly out of the spotlight.
Health and community organizations will be at two Pima Community College campuses on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 to provide students with information about the importance of health insurance coverage, and resources available for enrollment.
The University of Arizona's undefeated men's basketball team has been ranked No. 1 in the country for five consecutive weeks.
University of Arizona computer scientists are teaming up with astronomers at the National Optical Astronomical Observatory to develop a computer program that will sort through the millions of objects detected by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and create a list of priorities for astronomers to investigate. The project has recently received a three-year INSPIRE grant, worth more than $700,000, from the National Science Foundation.
A look into this week's events and happenings.
Three University of Arizona faculty members, each of them pioneers in their respective fields who have been recognized nationally or internationally for their work, on Thursday were formally inducted as Regents' Professors. Two others were inducted as University Distinguished Professors in recognition of their long-term commitment to undergraduate education.
Explore the mystery of the universe in an environment of learning for the whole family, featuring exhibitors and manufacturers of astronomical products from around the world, at Tucson Convention Center Exhibit Halls.
The Town of Oro Valley has a well-known reputation for public safety, and volunteer Bob Milkey is looking to keep it that way as a member of the Citizen Volunteer Assistants Program (CVAP).
The summer has unleashed its terrible fury upon Tucson for a few weeks now and the end of the sweltering heat is nowhere in sight. There is more to the Arizona summer, though. Storm clouds have been brewing off in the horizon for the last week, tantalizing us with their potential downpour. Every night, thunder clouds gather in the distance rolling their electric booms across the sky. Between the heat and the humidity, there is a good reason for the snowbirds to head back home in May.
"We have the best location of any educational institution in America. The University ought to make itself famous with a telescope."
With those words, part of his long and persistent effort to bring a world-class observatory to the University of Arizona campus, pioneering astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass set forth his best argument.
Arriving at the UA in 1906 from the Lowell Observatory outside Flagstaff, Douglass sought almost immediately to take advantage of Tucson's dry climate and clear night skies, using his renowned 1910 Halley's Comet observations as proof of the region's unique potential. As he wrote in a 1908 guest editorial in the Arizona Daily Star, "Nothing advertises a climate better than a big telescope."
The paper's editors agreed: "The fame of its observatory would be greater than any other institution of like character in the United States. The atmospheric conditions are such as to demand recognition and consideration from the scientific men of all nations," according to a Feb. 6, 1910 editorial.
Douglass unsuccessfully lobbied the state Legislature for funds but in 1916 secured a $60,000 donation, at first anonymously from Oracle resident Lavinia Steward, in memory of her late husband Henry B. Steward. Construction on Steward Observatory began that year, and on April 23, 1923, the UA formally dedicated the facility, with its state-of-the art 36-inch reflecting telescope at last making Tucson an astronomer's paradise.
"Not only was this the first big donation (to the UA), it was the start of research at the University in a very real way," says Buell Jannuzi, current director of Steward Observatory and head of the astronomy department.
From those ambitious beginnings – the Steward telescope was nicknamed the "All-American" because it was the first astronomical telescope built using all American-made products – the observatory and astronomy department have branched out in all directions, to radio, X-ray and ultraviolet astronomy, adaptive optics, space-based telescopes and the renowned Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory, which constructs gigantic mirrors for the next generation of astronomy, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope.
"Douglass wanted more than just a major telescope for the University of Arizona; he wanted Steward Observatory to produce discoveries and to share them with the world. I think he would agree that his successors have continued to develop the quality of research we're producing, using technological innovations not as the end points, but as tools to further scientific discovery," Jannuzi says. "Our aspirations are the same as those of Douglass; we are just pursuing them with more modern tools."
Built on what was then the far east side of Tucson, Steward Observatory has been overtaken by campus expansion yet remains an iconic fixture of the UA, its white brick and dome now housing the 21-inch Raymond E. White Jr. Reflector telescope, used primarily for undergraduate education and public outreach, which has been a part of the observatory's mission since its dedication. The original 36-inch scope relocated to Kitt Peak in 1963 and remains in use by the Spacewatch Project.
Leadership for Steward Observatory has maintained a remarkable continuity, with just seven directors over its 90 years, including Peter A. Strittmatter, who served 37 years as director and led a remarkable period of growth and development.
"I think (Douglass) would agree the soul is still there in the observatory, and we're continuing the mission he set out for us," Jannuzi says, reflecting on what drew him to astronomy in the first place. "It's fun, like philosophers or theologians do, to think about the big questions. Often times we're working on some small part of a research project, but it's all part of a larger effort to understand the universe and how we relate to it."
Now you see it – now you don't. This, in a nutshell, describes how Adam Block, renowned astrophotographer and astronomy educator with the University of Arizona's Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, discovered a supernova in a galaxy far, far away.