The Galactic Inquirer

Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy

Astrophotography: Summer 2020 Update

I just finished a little project to put some of my recent images to music in a slideshow video, most of which I showed at our recent GAAC astrophotography virtual meeting. This is my first attempt at such a video, but I think I will make them periodically, moving forward. I figured I would share it here, as you might find it entertaining or relaxing. Enjoy!

Earth & Space Report #4: Galactic Blowhards

Galaxies comprise the largest self-gravitating systems of luminous matter in the universe, swirling masses of matter and energy just looking for trouble. Over the past few decades, astronomers have come to appreciate how fervently active galaxies can be. Besides hosting roiling clouds of intense starburst activity, they often also sport supermassive black holes in their centers that can pack a powerful punch. These myriad histrionics can affect the host galaxy's subsequent evolution and even the destinies of neighboring galaxies.

Book Review: Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

In Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, popular science author Neil DeGrasse Tyson summarizes the most frequently-asked questions about the universe and how we fit into the overall cosmos. Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science communicator who was born on October 5, 1958 in Manhattan, New York.

Book Review: Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe

Sobel’s most recent novel The Glass Universe (2016) is split into three parts, “The Colors of Starlight,” “Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me,” and “In the Depths Above.” Each part is further structured quite nicely into titled chapters that relate to the subject or person of interest. The book’s sweep is chronological, starting with Mary Anna Palmer Draper – the wife of astronomer Henry Draper.

The Multi-armed Milky Way

According to recent popular science articles, there has been something of a revival of the traditional idea that our Milky Way is a 4-armed spiral galaxy, as opposed to having two spiral arms, as seen in the currently most popular rendition of our home Galaxy.

Book Review: Michael Lemonick’s The Georgian Star

If you have never heard of the Herschels, then you are missing out on the most important astronomers of the 18 th and 19 th Century. William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus, together with his able and dedicated sister Caroline and his erudite son John revealed the Milky Way and its diverse contents as never before.

Another Giant Leap for Mankind

This year, our eyes were once again redirected to our own Solar System for a just a few fleeting minutes -- from the myriad wonders of our “seeable” Universe to a small space probe called New Horizons that at 7:49 AM (EST) on July 14 th 2015 passed within 7,750 miles of little Pluto at a record-breaking speed of 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour).

Latest news

Earth & Space Report #11: Surfing the Galactic Froth

This edition combines fun and science as only Dr. Waller can do, as we take a colorful look at what's going on in supposedly empty space between the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

GAAC Meeting, February 12 2021 — Astrophoto Night

Some of GAAC's best Astrophotographers each show off a few of their favorite astro images.

Dispatches from the Cosmonet

This January, the American Astronomical Society held its big annual meeting completely online. The Covid-19 pandemic ruled out the society’s planned gathering in Scottsdale, AZ but the AAS pivoted by opening-up digital access to thousands of astronomers across the United States and around the world. More than 3,000 registrants were listed in the online portal, thus demonstrating that the vital communication of astronomical research, education, and public outreach could carry on in this alternative format.

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