Countries in the Sky

A spot on Earth is a spot in the sky.

Every “spot” on Earth has a corresponding “spot” in the sky. For instance, on the spot where you are now, directly overhead, is the zenith. There is only one zenith where you stand. No two spots share the same zenith. Every spot on a sphere “points to” a different location in the sky. Nobody shares your zenith.

Your Zenith is Unique

Imagine the boundary of your country as a set of these spots. These locations can be projected onto the celestial sphere. Projecting shapes of countries onto the sky can help you really “see” how large or small a country is. Seeing countries from the inside out helps to understand the shape of the Earth as a sphere.

That Star is Someone’s “First Star I See Tonight.”

When you see a star rising you are actually seeing a star that someone 6 timezones east of you sees directly overhead.

Sirius rises just before dawn (heliacal rising) in mid August (at latitude 40˚N). It rises earliers and earlier each day until by November it is rising at midnight. When people on the east coast of the USA see Sirius rising, people in Western Europe see the same star Sirius high in the sky at the meridian.

Lights All Askew in the Heavens … But Nobody Need Worry

Lights all askew in the heavens…

Lights all askew... The hilarious headline provided by the New York Times after Einstein's relativity theory proved based on Arthur Eddington's eclipse observations in 1919. Lights all askew in the heavens. Men of science more or less agog over results of eclipse observations. Einstein theory triumphs. Stars not where they seemed of were calculated to be, but nobody need worry. A book for 12 wise men. No more in all the world could comprehend it, said Einstein when his daring publishers accepted it.
New York Times headline about Einstein’s theory of the curvature of space time.

This hilariously-headlined New York Times article describes the results of the observational experiment performed during the 1919 eclipse. It highlights that the expedition proved Einstein’s prediction. But the writer claims that only 12 men on Earth can really understand the result: that light’s path is curved by space time.

The delightful headline reads:Click here to continue reading…

Japanese robot will land on the asteroid Ryugu

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft visits the Ryugu asteroid

Update! June 24, 2018 – Haybusa2 has reached Ryuga. See this EarthSky.org article for more information.

I just received this wonderful message from a group of students in Japan (thanks to Patricia McGahan for providing the connection!) who are learning and teaching about the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission to the Ryugu asteroid.

(Welcome to Japanese language visitors and link to Japanese Wikipedia page.)

ようこそ!ここでは小惑星竜口へのはやぶさ2宇宙ミッションについて教えてくれる東京の高校生からの素敵なプロジェクトについてのあなたの情報です。

はやぶさ2ミッションのためのウィキペディアのページ。

Sugo-Haya2 Hayabusa2 JAXA mission English language version of the board game

These Japanese high school students created a board game (in Japanese and English) to teach people about an amazing Japanese spacecraft called Hayabusa2.Click here to continue reading…