20 Most Influential Scientists Alive Today

SuperScholar.org recently listed it’s 20 Most Influential Scientists Alive Today. Anyone missing? Tim Berners-Lee Noam Chomsky Richard Dawkins (pictured above) Persi Diaconis Jane Goodall Alan Guth Stephen Hawking Donald Knuth Lynn Margulis Gordon Moore Roger Penrose Allan Sandage Frederick Sanger Charles Townes Craig Venter James Watson Steven Weinberg Andrew Wiles Edward O. Wilson Edward Witten


Plains Milky Way on Vimeo

Gorgeous Milky Way time lapse shot in South Dakota: Source: Plains Milky Way on Vimeo on Vimeo


Sky Talk June 2011: Some Frequently-Asked Questions About the Moon

Although it’s the most readily visible (aside from the Sun itself) and nearest to us of all celestial bodies, the Moon poses puzzling questions to many people — especially those new to the hobby of skywatching. Here are some of the most often asked ones. Q: Why is the First Quarter Moon as shown on …


Sky Talk May 2011: Predawn Planetary Conclave

Those of you who don’t mind rising early in the morning will have a special treat this month as you look toward the eastern sky before dawn. There you’ll find a grouping of four of the major planets — and a spectacular close approach of the two brightest ones! For a week or so around …


Sky Talk April 2011: Binoculars for Stargazing

Many books and articles have been written over the years extolling the pleasures of stargazing using binoculars, all based on the premise that “two eyes are better than one.” And indeed they are! Every major class of celestial wonder from the Moon and planets to star clusters, nebulae and galaxies lie within reach of even …


Sky Talk March 2011: Mercury’s Spring Apparition

Many skywatchers have never seen the elusive innermost planet Mercury due to its rapid orbital motion and the fact that it never strays far from the Sun. (This includes lots of professional astronomers as well!) March offers a great opportunity to spot it at one of its periodic elongations. During the second half of this …


Sky Talk February 2011: Why Buy a Telescope?

The best thing that we’re put here for’s to see; The strongest thing that’s given us to see with’s A telescope. Someone in every town Seems to me owes it to the town to keep one. I would expand upon these wonderful words from Robert Frost’s famous poem The Star-Splitter to say that someone in …


Sky Talk January 2011: Winter’s “Other” Meteor Shower

December’s Geminid meteor shower was overshadowed (or you could say “eclipsed!”) as discussed in last month’s installment by a spectacular total eclipse of the Moon. Also, the light of a first-quarter Moon compromised evening viewing on the night of its peak activity until it set around midnight. But there’s another great annual display of shooting …


Sky Talk December 2010: Total Eclipse of the Moon

On the early morning of December 21st (or beginning late evening the night before on the West Coast), skywatchers throughout North America will be treated to one of nature’s grandest spectacles — a total eclipse of the Moon! It’s been nearly three years since the last total one, so this event is being widely anticipated. …


Sky Talk November 2010: Jupiter Loses Belt & Gains Red Spot!

Magnificent Jupiter is at its best this month and has some real surprises in store for telescope users: it’s lost one of its two main equatorial belts, while its famed Great Red Spot is making a comeback after being barely visible for the past few years! All you need to see this for yourself is …