Archive | March, 2007

Fun with Mnemonics

In Astronomy we have two terrible patterns of words to try and remember. One is the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (image left, credit: NASA). The other is the spectral types of stars: O, B, A, F, G, K, M. For both these patterns we have unsatisfying mnemonics. […]

In Search of Darkness

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…First star? Hello? You’re supposed to come out now. Stars? Someone? Shine? Please? While I was a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin I watched the Ring Nebula (M57) disappear. When I first arrived in 1996, this former stellar atmosphere was clearly visible in […]