Night Sky Update: September 25 – October 3 2020

This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, September 25, 2020. Information updated weekly or as needed. Times given as local St. Louis time (CDT).  For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Public Telescope Viewings Star parties at the Saint Louis… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 25, 2020

On this date in 1931, French experimenters Robert Esnault-Pelterie and Jean-Claude Barre begin their experiments with liquid propellant rocket engines. Despite Esnault-Pelterie losing the fingers of his left hand in a laboratory explosion three weeks later, he and Barre continue their efforts. A short essay about Pelterie and his work is available here.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 24, 2020

Tonight around 8:00pm you will find the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in the south. Tonight, the Moon will be near Jupiter; at the same time tomorrow, it will be near Saturn. This is a great reminder that the Moon appears to move by all the planets every month.

Wall Telephone – Chicago, 1901

In the late 1890s, Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company started selling this standard series wall model telephone. It features a mouthpiece, separate ear receiver, hookswitch, hand crank, and bells. A high quality instrument at the time, it was easily integrated into the home with its stylish oak cabinet. Over the past 100 years technology has… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 23, 2020

In 1963 on this date, the first child of someone who had been in space was born. Gherman Titov, the second person to orbit the earth, had a daughter, Tatyana. Gherman’s obituary published by the New York Times – which includes some information about his Vostok flight – may be found here.

Physics of the Ollie

Ever wonder how skateboarders leap into the air with their board seeming to follow underneath their feet? That is called an ollie and it’s one of the fundamental tricks in skateboarding. Watch as our team of talented Science Center skaters demonstrate the physics of the ollie. Connect with curiosity!

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 22, 2020

Today is the first day of Fall. This day is known as the Autumnal Equinox which is one of two days each year the Sun’s apparent path in the sky intersects the celestial equator. After today, nights will grow longer until we reach the first day of winter on December 21.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 21, 2020

On this date in 1974, the unmanned US probe Mariner 10 made its second flyby of the planet Mercury, providing another opportunity to photograph the sunlit side of the planet and the south polar region. More information about Mariner 10 and its findings about Mercury may be found here.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 20, 2020

At 9:00pm tonight you will find two bright red objects, one in the east and one in the west. If you look west, you will see the bright star Arcturus preparing to set. Rising In the east you will find the bright red planet Mars.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 19, 2020

In 1935 on this date, Konstantin E. Tsiolkovskiy died. Tskiolkovskiy was the chief Soviet theorist of spaceflight, developed mathematics of rocketry and space travel, and identified basic rocket and spacecraft designs. A concise biography of Tsiolkovskiy may be found at Encyclopedia Britannica’s website here.