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.

Night Sky Update: September 18 – September 26 2020

This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, September 18, 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 18, 2020

For those willing to wake up around 4:00am, you will be treated to a familiar sight: the constellation Orion. This is a reminder that winter is coming. The bright object north of Orion, by the way, is the planet Venus.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 17, 2020

On this date in 1930, two future astronauts were born: Edgar Mitchell and Tom Stafford. You can read their official NASA biographies at these two links: Biography of Edgar Mitchell. Biography of Thomas Stafford.

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 16, 2020

Tonight around 9pm, you can find a smile-shape of stars in the southeast that is called Capricornus, the Sea Goat. The first record of this constellation first appears about 4,000 years ago, when it was called Suhurmašu, or “The Goat Fish.” This is one of the oldest constellations we still use.

Activity: Mud Splat Craters

In this activity, you will observe crater formation and identify the distinctive features of impact sites. The Perseverance Spacecraft will land at Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. Jezero crater is the only known location on Mars where carbonates (a type of rock) are found in close proximity to features indicating the past presence of… Continue reading

Did we find life on Venus?

Scientists may be getting warmer in the search for life in the cosmos. Research released on September 14, 2020 in the journal of Nature Astronomy suggests the discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus – a possible signature of microbial life on our planetary neighbor. While an exciting discovery, much is still unknown about… Continue reading

Astronomy Fact of the Day: September 14, 2020

Looking south tonight at 9 pm, the two brightest objects are the planets Jupiter and Saturn. All through 2020, we have been watching this pair of planets as they creep closer together. Roughly every 20 years, these two planets reach conjunction. This event, called the Great Conjunction, will occur on December 21, 2020.