astronomy

astrosystem/stock.adobe.com

Every month, astronomer and contributor Jean Creighton joins us to talk about the cosmos. While the cosmos, full of its different stars, planets, and physics concepts can be intimidating, Creighton says we should allow ourselves to wonder at the beauty. Plus, it's actually healthy if you feel like some of the concepts allude you.

mozZz/stock.adobe.com

Whether it's an accelerating car, a person biking or a thrown object, most motion is visible to the human eye. However, even at rest we all are in motion - at least on a cosmic scale.

Lake Effect's Bonnie North and astronomy contributor Jean Creighton started a conversation last month about celestial motion, and Creighton picks up the story by explaining another kind of motion - proper motion:

The world is seeing the first-ever image of a black hole Wednesday, as an international team of researchers from the Event Horizon Telescope project released their look at the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy Messier 87 (M87). The image shows a dark disc "outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon," the consortium said.

"As an astrophysicist, this is a thrilling day for me," said National Science Foundation Director France A. Córdova.

NASA Goddard

Contributor Jean Creighton, who is the Director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium on the UW-Milwaukee campus, joins us each month to talk about all things astronomical. Today we learn about celestial motion, and when we first knew that stars move through space.

NASA / Flickr

Astronomers, astrophysicists and fans of space travel marked the end of an era earlier in February. After 15 years on the surface of Mars, the Opportunity Rover mission finally ended, after more than six months had gone by with no success in communicating with the craft.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, joins Bonnie North to talk about the legacy and impact of the Opportunity Rover. Creighton also explains the reason behind all seasons here on earth, and the difference between seasonal changes, the climate and weather. 

NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad idea," wrote Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor Jean Creighton disagrees with that sentiment. In fact, she’s been dedicating her current shows at UWM’s Manfred Olson Planetarium to the beginning of said universe.

PHOTOS: Super 'Blood Moon' Wows

Jan 21, 2019

The huge, red moon awed viewers across the Americas and parts of western Europe and Africa on Sunday night and early Monday morning.

It was the only total lunar eclipse of the year, a "blood moon" in which sunlight leaking around the edges of the Earth makes the moon appear red. And it was also a supermoon, when a full moon appears larger than usual because it has neared the closest point to Earth in its orbit.

muangsatun / Fotolia

This Sunday night, an unusual, astronomical event will come to the sky over Milwaukee: a full lunar eclipse.

The resulting red color will remove some of the haze created by the typically bright, white moon — revealing a sea of stars and constellations. Due to the moon's color and some of its other unique characteristics, some are calling the astronomical event a "super blood wolf moon."

That's one giant leap for China.

China state television announced Thursday that China's Chang'e 4 lunar explorer, which launched in early December, "became the first ever probe to soft-land on the far side of the moon." The probe touched down at 10:26 Beijing time, the China Global Television Network said.

Milky-way-space-station
NASA

The past year has been marked by major collisions — both metaphorical and literal — that have changed the world and our view of the universe. Recent discoveries have confirmed scientific theories, brought more materials from space and brought to light how earthly elements came into existence.

Every month, Lake Effect’s Bonnie North speaks with our astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, the director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM. This month, she gives us her list of the top astronomical discoveries of 2018. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are preparing to give extra thanks this holiday weekend when their latest mission to Mars — the InSight Mars Lander — touches down on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday afternoon.

Natalia80 / Fotolia

Most of us know at least a handful of constellations in the night sky. Constellations like the Big Dipper, or Orion, or Cassiopeia, light up the sky and map where we are in the world.

But there are many misconceptions about constellations, according to Astronomy contributor Jean Creighton. She joins Lake Effect's Bonnie North to give some context to constellations and dispel some myths:

helen_f / Fotolia

Last month, director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee and our regular astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton explained how the sun stays together, even though it is made of gasses and plasma.

READ: Here Comes The Sun, But What Holds It Together?

NASA/SDO / NASA.org

If, as the They Might Be Giants song goes, the sun a mass of incandescent gas, how does it all stay together? That's the question astronomer and Lake Effect contributor Jean Creighton answers for us this month. (Hint: gravity has something to do with it...)

Bill Dunford / NASA

When we talk about proper alignment, we’re often talking about our spines, or our priorities, or perhaps our metaphysical place in the universe.

Contributor Jean Creighton is all for those kinds of calibrations, but the kind of alignment she wants to talk about in this month’s astronomy chat is planetary.

"We have an unusual situation where we can see four planets, practically simultaneously, in the night sky," she notes.

Pages