Category Archives: Astronomy

The Phoenix has Landed!!!!

Yesterday evening, Daniel and I were anxious to watch the news and see if the Phoenix landed safely on Mars. But then the rain came and the signal went out and we had to wait until today to see how it all turned out.
Well done, NASA! The Phoenix completed its soft landing and is now exploring the icy soil to see if it can find any signs of life. The Phoenix now has 3 months to explore and take samples of the soil and run these samples through tests looking for water and life. While they are only expecting the Phoenix to last three months, one never knows. Since Spirit and Opportunity are still chugging along after 4 years!
For more information on The Phoenix you can read articles at Bloomberg.com and BBC News.


And here is a video with explanation and pictures

Youngest Supernova in Milky Way Found


G1.9+0.3A, seen here in a composite x-ray, radio, and infrared image, is the Milky Way’s youngest supernova, a new study has found.
Estimated at just 140 years old, G1.9+0.3 is at least 200 years younger than the next oldest known supernova, Cassiopeia A, which was discovered in the 17th century A.D.
“Cas A had been the reigning youngest remnant for so long that it took a while to sink in that we had found something less than half its age,” Reynolds said.
If it weren’t so obscured by dust, people in the late 1800s would likely have seen G1.9+0.3 appear in the constellation Sagittarius.

Isn’t that just the coolest thing you ever saw!!!!???

Mars Lander Team Prepares for “Seven Minutes of Terror”


If you have seen the amazing movie Apollo 13, or if you were alive during those dramatic days when NASA and the astronauts aboard Apollo 13 worked around the clock to return three astronauts home safely after a huge explosion, then you will remember the moments of terror when communication with Apollo 13 was disrupted and how the world waited in silence for the crew to speak so we would know they were okay.
This is the same kind of terror that the NASA team is preparing for on May 25th. Minutes of silence when they will lose communication with the Mars Lander, Phoenix. They are praying that communication will resume and the landing will be successful, but there is always a chance that during that critical time, communication will be lost forever.
If successful, the probe will be the first lander to reach a Martian pole and the first to actually touch the planet’s water ice.The tension for this mission seems especially intense, since Phoenix is not the first craft to attempt a landing at a Martian pole.
I have been fascinated with the images the Rovers have sent back to Earth. I think it would be awesome for astronauts to visit Mars. I want our world to reach out to the stars to explore, and to me, this seems like the logical next step. With bated breath, I will be waiting to see how things go on the 25th. Good luck, Phoenix!

National Geographic News – Animals, Archaeology and Astronomy

I am more than a bit behind with my National Geographic feed reading. So I am going to make a big post linking to some of the stories that interested me the most from the past couple of weeks. Hopefully you will find something here that interests you as well!
“Extinct” Plants Discovered Blooming in Australia – these plants haven’t been seen since 1891 and were listed as extinct in 1922.


VIDEO: Terra-Cotta Army Coming to U.S. – This would be very neat to see!
Colossal Squid Thawing; Hints at Even Bigger Beasts A Colossal Squid that was accidentally captured February 2007 is revealing answers to the scientists in charge of thawing it and studying it.

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National Geographic News – Animals, Archaeology and Astronomy

1. First Lungless Frog Found The Indonesian frog pictured above respires entirely through its skin and lacks lungs, a new study says. The trait, though rare in nature, may have evolved because of the amphibian’s habitat of oxygen-rich, fast-moving water—which might more easily carry away a frog with air-filled lungs.


2. Rare Seahorses Found in the River ThamesShort-snouted seahorses have set up residence in the recovering River Thames, conservationists announced.

3. Alligator Blood May Lead to Powerful New AntibioticsAlligators often engage in violent fights over territories and mates, and scientists have puzzled over why their wounds rarely get infected. Now researchers think the secret lies in the reptiles’ blood. Chemists in Louisiana found that blood from the American alligator can successfully destroy 23 strains of bacteria, including strains known to be resistant to antibiotics. In addition, the blood was able to deplete and destroy a significant amount of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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National Geographic Headlines Week of March 24th – Astronomy, Archaeology and Animals

World’s Greatest Extinction Not Caused By Toxic Gases The thing I like most about this article is it points out how little we still know….even about things we think we understand!
“Mountains of the Moon” Glaciers Melting in Africa Below you will see the photo that shows the difference between the glacier 50 years ago and today. This shows us how our world is growing warmer. Though I am not convinced that this is not a normal trend for our earth. There are too many conflicting views on that for me to make up my mind at this point.

Wildlife Park Official Arrested in Gorilla Killings Congrats on ferreting out the wolf in sheep’s clothing that was guarding these endangered animals. There is a photo on this site of the dead gorillas.
New “Sea Monster” Species Identified – The Cretaceous-period reptile, dubbed Nichollsia borealis, is not only a new species—it represents a whole new genus, scientists announced on March 20. It’s also one of the oldest and most complete plesiosaur fossils ever unearthed in North America.

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National Geographic Headlines Week of March 17th – Astronomy, Archaeology and Animals

Rare Leatherback Turtles Gain Protection in Costa Rica – these turtles come out of the water to lay their eggs on beaches around the world. Scientists and volunteers now have governmental backing to protect these precious nests from poaching and beach development.


Word War II Ships Finally Found Off Australia – The H.M.A.S. Sydney sank on November 19, 1941, in a battle with a German vessel, the D.K.M. Kormoran. Rudd said he had instructed the Defense Department to contact relatives of the sailors who died aboard the Sydney about the find, and described the wreck as a tomb for Australian sailors that would be protected as a sacred site.
Stone Age Hand Axes Found at Bottom of North Sea An amateur archaeologist has found an unprecedented collection of Stone Age hand axes among material collected at the bottom of the North Sea. Jan Meulmeester of the Netherlands found 28 axes, possibly up to 100,000 years old, in marine sand and gravel scooped up by a British construction materials supplier. During ice-age periods of the Paleolithic era, which ended about 10,000 years ago, sea levels were lower and the North Sea was grassland hunting grounds.

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National Geographic Headlines Week of March 10: Archaeology, Astronomy, Animals

Rome Subway Digs Reveal Medieval, Renaissance Treasures — It never ceases to amaze me how we continue to find signs of our past even in the seemingly most developed of areas.
“Monstrous” Robot to Be Assembled in Space — it would be really cool to watch this be assembled and even cooler to visit the space station. And isn’t it wonderful to see nations working together for a common goal?
Pygmy Hippo Caught on Camera – This photograph shows that the pygmy hippo is still surviving in war torn West Africa.

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National Geographic Headlines: Archaeology, Astronomy, and Animals

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that i love learning about animals, space and anything to do with archaeology. I have been so busy with cleaning and homeschooling and life, that I am a bit behind with sharing the interesting things from National Geographic. I have over 90 stories to wade through. I only share the ones most interesting to me here, and currently, I don’t link to the videos because my computer is getting a tad ancient and I can’t watch the videos anymore (there is a new laptop in my future…probably April), but I don’t want to link to videos when I don’t know what is in them. Anyway, since I don’t want to right up a kazillion posts to catch up, I am going to briefly share links that interest me in this post in order to get caught up. And maybe some photos to.
1. Mysterious Pyramid Complex Discovered in Peru – what fascinates me about stories like this is the fact that we find pyramid and pyramid shapes all over the world. This vast ceremonial site is believed to have been used by a little known ancient culture, Vicus.
2. Ancient Maya Used “Glitter” Paint to Make Temple Gleam – A new study of paint flakes taken from masks on the temple’s exterior found that the Maya used mica to make the temple’s colorful paint glimmer in the sun. It appears, glitter paint has been around for a long, long time! We love glitter paint in our house. We used it on our snowmen, our pine cones and whatever else we want to give an extra sparkle!

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