March 2015

Astronomy Cast Ep. 372: Millikan Oil Drop

In 1909 Robert Millikan devised an ingenious experiment to figure out the charge of an electron using a drop of oil. Let’s talk about this Nobel Prize winning experiment
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Will Space Play in the 2016 US Election?

It might be only March of 2015, but the race (slog?) is on to be the next president of the United States. Only 589 days to go! It’s a race that some believe will cost the nation upwards of five billion dollars; that’s about 7.5 Mars missions for those of you out there counting.

Turning Stars Into Art

Color Crazy. Short time exposure of the star Sirius photographed through a small telescope. I tapped the tube to make the star bounce around, recording the star’s continuous and rapid color changes as it twinkled.  Refraction of the star’s light by our turbulent atmosphere breaks it up into every color of the spectrum. Credit: Bob King

Year in Space Flight for Russian/American Crew Starts With Spectacular Night Launch and Station Docking

The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is seen as it launches to the International Space Station with Expedition 43’s NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) onboard Friday, March 27 (Saturday, March 28 Kazakh time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

One Year Mission

On Wednesday the International Space Station has raised its orbit positioning itself in the right direction for the attachment of a new Russian Soyuz capsule that will carry on the station three new Expedition 43 crew members.
It's Soyuz TMA-16M will be launched Friday, March 27 at 21:42 Italian time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

Nova in Sagittarius Brighter Than Ever – Catch it with the Naked Eye!

Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2 in the Sagittarius “Teapot”was easily visible with the naked eye at magnitude +4.4 when this photo was taken today March 21. The nova has been steadily brightening since its discovery less than a week ago. Credit: Bob King

Astronomy Cast Ep. 371: The Eddington Eclipse Experiment

At the turn of the 20th Century, Einstein’s theory of relativity stunned the physics world, but the experimental evidence needed to be found. And so, in 1919, another respected astronomer, Arthur Eddington, observed the deflection of stars by the gravity of the Sun during a solar eclipse. Here’s the story of that famous experiment.
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