Astronomers have a funny way of talking about things sometimes. Take temperature, for example. When scientists say something is “hot,” they aren’t talking about “hot” like the Sahara desert, or “hot” like the seat of your car on a summer day. No, they’re talking about an unimaginably high temperature beyond that which any humans (or spacecraft) can stand. Then when they say “cold,” they might mean an equally extreme temperature… or a temperature that doesn’t seem that cold to our bodies. Compared to the searing heat of the Sun, the Earth’s climate seems downright frigid!
Posts tagged: IYA
Join Blueshift for a unique tour of the solar system, as we walk the B&A Trail’s Planet Walk in Maryland and talk to scientists along the way. Armed with hiking boots and a portable recorder, Francis Reddy brings you the sounds of the solar system and a factoid about each planet along the way. Also featuring the Sun and lonely former-planet Pluto!
Recorded during the 100 Hours of Astronomy earlier this month, this episode gives you a taste of the activities organized by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and its community partners.
If you look at a calendar, it seems like every day is a holiday somewhere in the world. Today is Flag Day in Aruba. It’s also celebrated as the Pillsbury Doughboy’s birthday. And tomorrow is National Chocolate Caramel Day… I’m not kidding. It also seems like every year is the “year of” something. Some of these have cultural or mythological significance. Others are decreed by national or international governments. 2009 has been chosen as the International Year of Astronomy by the International Astronomical Union and endorsed by the United Nations. So it’s official, but what does it mean? Why should we care?
2009 has been chosen as the International Year of Astronomy because it marks the 400th anniversary of a big event in astronomical history – the first recorded observations of the night sky with a telescope. Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope at the Moon, the stars, and Jupiter, and changed our perceptions of the Universe forever. In celebration, there will be a variety of special events throughout 2009. The first big global event will be the 100 Hours of Astronomy, held April 2-5, 2009.
In honor of this special year, we decided to interview Galileo himself about what he did and why it was important to astronomy. We hope you’ll look into 100 Hours of Astronomy events in your own area, and perhaps take a look through a telescope yourself.
If you’ve visited Blueshift before, you’re probably wondering… hey, where have you been for the last year? We released six podcasts in 2007 but got a lot of mixed feedback from listeners about the content and structure. We decided to take some time off to re-think and get a better handle on our Blueshift audience and what they wanted. We asked questions – a lot of questions – and finally felt like we knew what you wanted us to create!