Happy Trails!


I’ve ran the Dear Astronomer blog for the past five years. During the time that I’ve been blogging, I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people in the space and astronomy world, make some great friends, and help do my part to spread the message of science.

With all of that being said, my life is in a much different place than it was five years ago, and as much as it pains me, I simply do not have the time to deliver content on this site with a level of quality I feel my readers deserve.

I’ll continue to be posting on Google+ and Twitter, and certainly will be continuing my astronomy outreach efforts. Thank you all for reading my posts over the years, and following my successful journey to become a professional astronomer.

Help Save NASA’s ISSLive! Website!

Live Telemetry screen from the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA

Live Telemetry screen from the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA

Frequent visitors to the NASA Live ISS Telemetry website ( http://spacestationlive.nasa.gov/ ) have spotted an official notice stating the site will be shutting down in two weeks.

I can’t stress how incredibly awesome the ISS live site is. With a few clicks of a mouse, visitors can get real-time telemetry from the solar arrays, communications systems, propulsion, and other systems. It’s kind of like looking at the bridge displays on Star Trek!

The notice suggests that people concerned about the site deactivation contact Jennifer B. Price at [email protected] with “ISS Live Web Site” in the Subject. If you value this incredibly unique (and educational) website, I suggest you drop an email to Jennifer, and express your support in a courteous, professional manner. You can also contact your congressperson, as congress is responsible for NASA’s budget.

If you decide to contact your congressperson, keep in mind that e-mails are usually the lowest priority. If you can, call or fax their office. Failing that, type up a letter and mail it to their office.

Human space exploration has been an incredible source of inspiration for my scientific career, and I’m sure there are countless others who draw inspiration from all of NASA’s educational efforts, including the ISSLive! site. Let’s work together and try to save this incredible resource!.

UPDATE – 03/27/2014 : Due to the incredible show of support, the ISS Live! site will be continuing to operate for the time being. Be sure to drop by the site and share your suggestions on how project managers can improve the site.

Carnival of Space #345

Welcome to the latest episode of The Carnival of Space! Here’s some highlights of space and astronomy news from the past week. We’ve got great stories on citizen science, gravity waves, SpaceX, and more!

Leading off this week’s Carnival of Space are my friends at Cosmoquest with a trio of articles. First up, Crater Counters Rejoice! Big news from the citizen science site CosmoQuest, where amateur crater mappers are shown to do just as well as the experts. Learn more at: http://cosmoquest.org/x/blog/2014/03/crater-counters-rejoice/

Next up from Cosmoquest, Is it Earth or is it Not? CosmoQuest’s educational game exploring planetary surface features makes it to iOS. Check out Cosmoquest’s newest educational app at: http://cosmoquest.org/x/blog/2014/03/earth-or-not-earth-for-ios-is-here/

Learn how a great resource for educational materials from NASA gets some new upgrades at: http://cosmoquest.org/x/educatorszone/2014/03/14/access-nasa-education/

Buddhist deity w/ night sky. Credit: Astronomy club Toutatis/S. Lamoureux

Buddhist deity w/ night sky
Credit: Astronomy club Toutatis/S. Lamoureux

Next up, follow Links Through space on their Astronomy trip through Cambodia – A series of 6 posts on Astronomy in Cambodia. Check out part 4 of the virtual journey at: http://linksthroughspace.blogspot.fi/2014/02/cambodia-2014-southern-night-sky-stars.html

The Chandra Blog asks: “What Makes An Astronomical Image Beautiful?” learn more at: http://chandra.si.edu/blog/node/491

Europa or bust: A possible mission to the icy moon of Jupiter in fy 2015 budget proposal. The Meridiani Journal has coverage at: http://themeridianijournal.com/2014/03/europa-bust-possible-mission-icy-moon-fy-2015-budget-proposal/

Astronomers have announced Nobel Prize-worthy evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime — providing the first direct evidence the universe underwent a brief but stupendously accelerated expansion immediately following the big bang.

Universe Today has an in-depth article with all you need to know on this discovery, and the implications for cosmology at: http://www.universetoday.com/110360/landmark-discovery-new-results-provide-direct-evidence-for-cosmic-inflation/

The Venus Transit shares information on Sunspots and how to photograph them. Check it out at: http://www.thevenustransit.com/2014/03/sunspots.html

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