Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Impostors Welcome

From the AAS Women In Astronomy blog (in my RSS feed):
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." We must not allow ourselves to retain feelings of inferiority. Had I succumbed to that response 30 years ago, I would not be writing here today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Post Finals Post

Nice job on your Ay20 finals, everyone!











(Sorry, Tommy, I totally forgot to get your picture! Please don't feel bad, I almost forgot everyone's picture, and Jackie kept reminding me)



Friday, December 9, 2011

Lunar Eclipse!

Details here.

Western U.S. states to see unusual total lunar eclipse early Saturday morning

The moon exhibited a deep orange glow June 16, 2011, as the Earth cast its shadow in a total lunar eclipse as seen from Manila, Philippines, before dawn. The last total lunar eclipse of the year is Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. And there won't be another one for three years. Viewers in the western half of the United States will have the best views Saturday well before dawn, Pacific and Mountain Standard Time. (Bullit Marquez - AP)
While the East Coast misses out, residents in central and western states will catch a unique total lunar eclipse Saturday morning. Where visible, the final lunar eclipse of 2011 promises to be eye-catching.
The eclipse will officially begin at 3:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), but not until 4:45 a.m. PST will Earth’s umbral shadow start darkening the moon’s edges. Total eclipse is set to begin at 6:06 a.m., and last for 51 minutes.
Sky watchers in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest will see the fully eclipsed moon emerge from Earth’s shadow just before sunrise. Assuming clear conditions, the eclipsed moon will appear impressively large and low in the sky. Over the Rocky Mountains and northern Plains, the full moon will still be entirely in Earth’s shadow as it sets along the northwestern horizon. Farther east, from the Ohio Valley into the Southern Plains, observers will see the partially eclipsed moon set before it reaches totality.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sunday last day for blog posts

Jackie here. I don't want there to be pressure on you to write blog posts during exam week, and I need to eventually win the race to grade blog entries faster than you all post them, so I'm not going to grade any blog posts that are posted after Sunday evening 12/4 (ie if they say Monday 12/5, they're still awesome but they're not for points). If you think you really really need to post more blogs next week in order to get the grade you want to get, let me know. But currently you are all pretty much doing fantastic, so don't stress about it too much.

Prof. Johnson on TV

Tomorrow at 6pm and 9pm on the National Geographic Channel. Yes, this will be on the final (just kidding).

Finding the Next Earth

Join astronomers as they enter the final lap in a race to find a planet capable of sustaining life, a world like ours, the next Earth. See the launch of Frances CoRot and Americas Kepler missions, and the smoking hot worlds they discover. See a controversial and tantalizing discovery of a planet where life could exist in a strange twilight zone, that is, if the planet really exists. Astronomers are working to determine what conditions are necessary for life to exist, and they are building the radical James Webb Space Telescope, a spacecraft that can look at the atmosphere around a planet and reveal whether or not life as we know it actually exists. It could be the greatest discovery in human history and it could change how we see ourselves.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Please be sure to fill out your TQFR (Teaching Quality something something) surveys at the end of the term. We will listen closely to your feedback, which we'll incorporate into adjustments to the Ay20 course in future terms. Thanks!