This Week in Space: March 10, 2012

By on March 10, 2012 in
clocks (by Leo Reynolds on Flickr)

clocks (by Leo Reynolds on Flickr)

Each week we bring you moments in history, upcoming events, and different way you can engage in doing astronomy.

This week things have stayed somewhat quiet as we work hard to launch new projects. We appreciate your patience as we work to get a bunch of awesome things ready to go out the door.

Go out and look up! Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in the sky, will be within 3 degrees of each other in the evening sky of 15 March 2012 at 10:37:46 UTC.  This will be quite a spectacle, as both planets are very bright—and this will be a fantastic visual and photographic opportunity, as it’s not often that you get the brightest planets in our Solar System so close together. Event Page. Conversation on Twitter: #VenusJupiter @awb_org

History Highlights | Events | Looking Ahead

Events for March 10 – March 16, 2012

  • The Forgotten Revolution by Giuseppe Longo
    Time: Saturday 10am LA / 1pm NEW YORK / 6pm LONDON / 5am + 1d SYDNEY
    Location: Large Auditorium on StellaNova, Second Life

    This talk starts with a great book by L. Russo about the so called “Forgotten Revolution”. There is a widespread consensus on the fact that modern science originated in the XVI century at the end of a lengthy process of empirical knowledge accumulation and that once this process had started nothing could stop it. A different lesson comes from the past. What happened in the XVI century was just a “re-birth”. Recent documents show in fact that science had started already once, immediately after the collapse of the Empire created by Alexander the Great, during the historical period which is known as “Hellenism”. Hellenistic science had the same structure, methodology and aims of current science and kept growing for almost three centuries until suddenly it disappeared. There are lessons to be learnt: (1) Science originates only when the surrounding social conditions are right (open mindness, economic interest, freedom of circulation for ideas and people, etc…) and can survive only if there is a continuous, long lasting commitment of governments and people to keep it alive. (2) Science is fragile. Should any of the above conditions disappear also science would quickly weaken and on the short term cease to exist. (see all MICA events here)
  • Virtual Star Party hosted by Fraser Cain
    Time: NEW DAY: Sunday 7pm PACIFIC / 10pm EASTERN / 3am + 1d GMT / 2pm +1d SYDNEY
    Location: Google Hangouts on Air at CosmoQuest

    Join Fraser Cain along with some combination of telescopes and astronomers to explore the sky.
  • Astronomy Cast with Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela L. Gay
    Time: Monday 12pm LA / 3pm NEW YORK/ 8pm LONDON / 5am + 1d SYDNEY
    Location: Google Hangouts on Air at CosmoQuest

    Take a facts-based journey through the cosmos with Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. They’ll help you learn not only what we know but how we know it about the universe we live in.
  • Weekly Astronomy Hour
    Time: Wednesday 4pm PACIFIC / 7pm EASTERN / 0:00 + 1d GMT / 11am + 1d Sydney
    Location: Google Hangouts on Air at CosmoQuest

    Hosted by Emily Lakdawalla
  • Weekly Space Hangout hosted by Fraser Cain.
    Time: Thursday 10am PACIFIC / 1pm EASTERN / 6pm GMT / 5am +1 d SYDNEY
    Location: Google Hangouts on Air at CosmoQuest

    Join Fraser Cain along with some combination Nancy Atkinson, Alan Boyle, Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci, Emily Lakdawalla, Phil Plait, and Miles O’Brien for a round of this weeks Space News.

Save the Date!

  • Science & Engineering Festival, Washington, D.C.: Join us April 28-29 for the ultimate celebration of science and engineering. CosmoQuest will be part of the NASA display.
  • International Observe the Moon Night:Scheduled for Sept 22, it’s none to soon to start planning your events. Learn more here.

Looking back:

  • March 6, 1787, Joseph Fraunhofer born: This Dutch optician is best known for discovering dark absorption lines in sunlight.
  • March 6, 1986, Vega 1 at Halley’s Comet: This Soviet built space probe became one of the first spacecraft to see a comet upclose when it fly past Comet Halley on March 4-8, with its closest approach on March 6.
  • March 7, 1792, Sir John Herchel Born: Son of Sir William Herschel, this astronomer, mathematician, and chemist did extensive mapping of southern skies fro South Africa.
  • March 7, 1837, Henry Draper Born: This American doctor spent his spare time pioneering the field of amateur astronomy. His work including photographing the 1874 Venus Transit, taking the first ever image of Orion, and taking spectra of Jupiter.

Things to Do:

  • Sign up to See us in Houston: Join us at Goose’s Acre in the Woodlands, next Wednesday at 7pm!

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One Response to This Week in Space: March 10, 2012

  1. Kelly Boekema March 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    What happened Saturday March 10? I saw the planets moving very quickly. I am very curious, please let me know if this was normal or an event.