Tuesday, March 03, 2009

News tidbits

I'm getting ready to say goodbye to some visiting relatives before heading to the airport for my own travels, so I don't have much time this morning. But here are some short blurbs that have been floating around in my head.

  • Galileoscopes can now be ordered! A little over a month ago, I blogged about the Galileoscope, a small, inexpensive telescope based on the telescope Galileo used 400 years ago to discover the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, and craters on the moon. You can now order Galileoscope kits for yourself, friends and family. These kits come not only with all the parts you need, but also classroom activities on astronomy and optics. The optical quality of the telescopes is high -- you will be able to see the rings of Saturn! The cost is $15 plus shipping; if you need to order large quantities, there are discounts available. If you don't need a telescope yourself but would like to purchase some for disadvantaged school classrooms both here and abroad, you can donate money for that purpose at the Galileoscope website as well. (Perhaps you may want to alert science teachers in your school districts about these telescopes, and even offer to donate some or to collect money for that purpose?)
  • Yesterday I blogged about the Kepler Mission to look for small planets around other stars, and I failed to mention that you can watch Friday night's launch on NASA TV (streamed free over the web, but also carried by many cable and satellite TV providers). An unofficial countdown clock can be viewed here.
  • The voting is over, and you have chosen to point the Hubble Space Telescope at two colliding galaxies during the 100 Hours of Astronomy weekend in early April.
  • Speaking of voting, NASA is allowing you to vote on a name for the newest space station segment. The name "Serenity" is currently in the lead, but if you are a troublemaker, you may want to consider the name Buddy. Obviously I'm a troublemaker.

1 comment:

  1. Colbert is campaigning hard for that NASA honor too, you know.

    To Colbert clip