Alaska Airlines rearranges flight to view solar eclipse

Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870

Via CNET: A flight from Anchorage to Honolulu was purposely delayed so that passengers could view the complete solar eclipse.


Totally amazing, with a few “Oh My God’s” thrown in for good measure 🙂 Cannot wait for next fall! If looking for more information, please check out the rest of our website or visit for even more updated info!

Our Universe From Sol to Pluto to Beyond

When I think of the most amazing aspect of our time on this world we call home, Earth, there is no doubt in my mind that the technology and the ability to explore new worlds, learning new details of our the universe beyond our Earth bound capabilities is among the top of the list. To put things in reference, we can look back just 35 years ago and see what we have learned in just that short amount of time, basically just 10 years less than I personally have been alive. IN that short span of mankind, and an unfathomable tiny sliver in the timeframe of our Universe’ existence, we have visited the 2 remaining giant planets, Uranus and Neptune with the Voyager 2 flyby, and within the next 15 days we will have the most detailed images of Pluto and Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx thanks to the New Horizons flyby in July 2015. With Voyager 1 and 2 either in interstellar space or nearing it respectively, we can say we have explored the entire reach of our solar system, although some would say that until the Oort Cloud is visited, we still haven’t visited all bodies which are under the Sun’s gravitational influence. Rather, we have explored all areas in which the Sun’s solar wind is dominant. Voyager 1 is now in an area that is dominated by the interstellar solar wind.

When asked what we will learn about Pluto due to the New Horizons flyby, Project Scientist Hal Weaver had this to say: “New Horizons is one of the great explorations of our time,” said New Horizons Project Scientist Hal Weaver at APL. “There’s so much we don’t know, not just about Pluto, but other worlds like it. We’re not rewriting textbooks with this historic mission – we’ll be writing them from scratch.”

And that is so true, as I was looking back at my favorite book and childhood Christmas present of all time: Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant published in 1980. Not only is this book special because it was a Christmas present from my Mom and Dad, it also gave me knowledge of the universe we are a part of. As with most kids, Pluto always fascinated me, and part of the fascination with Pluto, as it was with unvisited planets Uranus and Neptune, is that we had so darn little knowledge of these out-lying bodies. As Mr. Weaver said, they will be writing the books on Pluto, because while we already know a tremendous amount more about Pluto and have since discovered 4 more moons, just 35 years ago all we had were the following 5 pages in one of the main authoritative books of the time on our solar system and beyond.

Our Universe by Roy A Gallant Cover Our Universe Pluto Page 2 Our Universe Pluto Page 1 Our Universe Pluto Page 3 Our Universe Pluto Page 4 Our Universe Pluto Page 5














Just 5 pages, with more questions and discussion of its character or if it was even truly a planet due to its strange orbit, low mass, and similarity to the outer planet’s moons.

And to think in less than two weeks from the time I post this, we will not have even clearer images of the surface of Pluto and Charon than ever before.

Here are the latest amazing images in color (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute) and they will only get better!








Enjoy the flight, and make sure to follow @NewHorizons2015 on Twitter for the latest!










Updated on 7-15-15

Amazing images from the flyby! (will update as they come and I can)











New image of Charon:

Eclipse Bulletin Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21

Eclipse Bulletin_ Total Solar Eclipse

Eclipse Bulletin Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21


We are excited to help promote this exciting book which provides great detail on the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. The following comes from their website, reprinted with permission:



On Monday, 2017 August 21, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from the contiguous United States for the first time since 1979. The track of the Moon’s umbral shadow begins in the Pacific Ocean and crosses the nation from west to east through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Inside the 70-mile-wide path of totality, the Moon will completely cover the Sun as the landscape is plunged into an eerie twilight, and the Sun’s glorious corona is revealed for nearly 3 minutes. Outside the narrow shadow track, a partial eclipse will be visible from all of North America.

Eclipse Bulletin: Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21 is the ultimate guide to this highly anticipated event. Written by two of the leading experts on eclipses, the bulletin is a treasure trove of facts on every conceivable aspect of the eclipse. The exact details about the path of the Moon’s shadow can be found in a series of tables containing geographic coordinates, times, altitudes, and physical dimensions. A set of high resolution maps plot the total eclipse path across the USA. They show hundreds of cities and towns in the path, the location of major roads and highways, and the duration of totality with distance from the central line. See an example of a map below: Sample TSE 2017 Map


If you are interested in ordering their book, please let them know you found out about them on our website, and enjoy the book! Order here:

2015 Europe Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse 2015 Europe

2015 Europe Total Solar Eclipse


If you live in Northern Europe you will be lucky to have an opportunity to see a Total Solar Eclipse this Friday, March 20th, 2015. Most of Europe will see at least a partial eclipse, depending on of course, visibility. Viewing parties are already lined up in many areas so check your local area, as viewing an eclipse with friends, loved ones, and others who share your passion for all things celestial.


Below is more information garnered from Earth Sky and NASA about this eclipse. Thank you for viewing!


Supermoon total eclipse of equinox sun on March 20


On March 20 – same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more.

Who will see the March 20 eclipse?

How to watch an eclipse safely

March 20 total eclipse times from land

March 20 partial eclipse times

Still not sure when to watch? Try these links

What causes a solar eclipse?

How often does a solar eclipse happen on the March equinox?


From NASA:

Celebrate the International Year of Light

The United Nations has declared that 2015 is the “International Year of Light”, and NASA is releasing some spectacular images to kick of the celebration. Although we often think of ‘light’ as only the visible spectrum we can see, there are many different forms of light: infrared, radio, microwave, ultraviolet, gamma rays, and X-rays (many of these light forms have variations of themselves, but these are the main forms of light within the electromagnetic spectrum) The Chandra X-ray Observatory concentrates on one of these forms of light, which by its name you would guess; the X-ray.


The following images and text are from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory‘s page: “NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory explores the Universe in X-rays, a high-energy form of light.  By studying X-ray data and comparing them with observations in other types of light, scientists can develop a better understanding of objects likes stars and galaxies that generate temperatures of millions of degrees and produce X-rays.”

Five objects at various distances that have been observed by Chandra

The images, beginning at the upper left and moving clockwise, are:

Messier 51 (M51): This galaxy, nicknamed the “Whirlpool,” is a spiral galaxy, like our Milky Way, located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image combines data collected at X-ray wavelengths by Chandra (purple), ultraviolet by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX, blue); visible light by Hubble (green), and infrared by Spitzer (red).

SNR 0519-69.0: When a massive star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way, it left behind an expanding shell of debris called SNR 0519-69.0. Here, multimillion degree gas is seen in X-rays from Chandra (blue).  The outer edge of the explosion (red) and stars in the field of view are seen in visible light from Hubble.

MSH 11-62: When X-rays, shown in blue, from Chandra and XMM-Newton are joined in this image with radio data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (pink) and visible light data from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS, yellow), a new view of the region emerges. This object, known as MSH 11-62, contains an inner nebula of charged particles that could be an outflow from the dense spinning core left behind when a massive star exploded.

RCW 86: This supernova remnant is the remains of an exploded star that may have been witnessed by Chinese astronomers almost 2,000 years ago. Modern telescopes have the advantage of observing this object in light that is completely invisible to the unaided human eye. This image combines X-rays from Chandra (pink and blue) along with visible emission from hydrogen atoms in the rim of the remnant, observed with the 0.9-m Curtis Schmidt telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (yellow).

Cygnus A: This galaxy, at a distance of some 700 million light years, contains a giant bubble filled with hot, X-ray emitting gas detected by Chandra (blue). Radio data from the NSF’s Very Large Array (red) reveal “hot spots” about 300,000 light years out from the center of the galaxy where powerful jets emanating from the galaxy’s supermassive black hole end. Visible light data (yellow) from both Hubble and the DSS complete this view.

In addition to these newly released images, the Chandra X-ray Center has created a new online repository of images called “Light: Beyond the Bulb” for IYL. This project places astronomical objects in context with light in other fields of science and research.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

For more information on “Light: Beyond the Bulb,” visit the website at

For more information on the International Year of Light, go to

For more information and related materials, visit:

For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:

The brilliant images on this post and the above descriptions are all property of NASA and their respective Observatories. Enjoy them and make sure to keep an eye out for more exciting images and news as we celebrate the “International Year of Light” around the world!

Columbia Missouri front and center for total solar eclipse in 2017

My home state of Missouri is going to be one of the best spots for watching the eclipse. Although the total eclipse will not be fully experienced in the major metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, areas within 1-2 hours drive from these cities will be.


One of the larger communities that will have an opportunity to showcase their town is Columbia Missouri. Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia recently held a workshop to bring awareness to communities along the path of the eclipse. Here is a portion of the story, and please check the link for the full story:


Because the duration of the 2017 eclipse over Columbia is among the longest on the path of totality, Speck and others expect a wave of tourists for the event.

“One goal for this weekend is to have the genesis of a community preparedness packet,”  McGlaun said.

The American Astronomical Society wants communities and local governments to be aware of all the necessary safety precautions associated with viewing eclipses, from eye protection to handling increased traffic.

“It’s only about every 300 years that a particular place is in the path of a total eclipse,” Mark Jones, a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society who plans to attend the workshop, said.

In May 2012, Jones traveled to Kanarraville, Utah, to view an annular eclipse — one in which the moon is not big enough to block the entire sun, leaving a ring of sunlight around its shadow. The little desert town of 300 people attracted thousands of eclipse enthusiasts seeking the best view. He’s expecting many more people will travel for the 2017 eclipse.

Read more here: