This week in Space: March 3, 2012

Orrey by quinnums on Flickr

Orrey by quinnums 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 been 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.

History Highlights | Events | Looking Ahead

Events for March 3 – March 9, 2012

  • Whence Supernovae by Rob Knop
    Time: Saturday 10am LA / 1pm NEW YORK / 6pm LONDON / 5am + 1d SYDNEY
    Location: Large Auditorium on StellaNova, Second Life

    Type Ia supernovae form one of the cornerstones of our current understanding of supernovae. It was observations of them that led to the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Yet, we still do not completely know just how these supernovae explode. We know that it is a white dwarf star reaching a critical mass, but there are a few different ideas as to how they reach this mass. In this talk, I’ll update you on the current status of the evidence for where
    these supernovae come from. I’ll include updates on the status of the situation since I last gave a talk with this title in September, 2010; there have been some interesting papers on the topic very recently. (see all MICA events here)
  • 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 Pamela Gay
  • 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 Alan Boyle, Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci, Emily Lakdawalla, Phil Plait, and Miles O’Brien for a round of this weeks Space News.
  • 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.

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:

  • Special Announcement: The New Horizons’s mission is working to get signatures on a petition to create a stamp dedicated to the missions 2015 visit to Pluto. You can sign it by visiting

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