Three Things You Should Know About Telescopes

Three Things You Should Know About Telescopes

1) They Come in Three Flavors Image credit: Dale Mahalko. All telescopes fall into one of three categories: refracting, reflecting, or combination. Most modern telescopes favor the reflector method for practical reasons. It’s easier to create and transport a large, precise parabolic mirror than a lens of equal usefulness. Mirrors also eliminate the problem of

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What’s So Special about the North Star?

What’s So Special about the North Star?

The most famous star in the night sky is undoubtedly the North Star, also known as Polaris. It isn’t the brightest or most spectacular looking star, but it is nevertheless very important. Let’s take a look at why! The image above shows the north star in the Idyllwild sky. As we know, the Earth is

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You Are Here: Our Place In Space

You Are Here: Our Place In Space

Spend a clear night outside and you might notice something strange about the sky: the stars migrate from horizon to horizon. It’s not quite as obvious as the sun’s motion, but it’s true. Our home star isn’t the only one that appears to rise in the east and set in the west. Image credit: Pearson

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The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t

The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t

Why put a gigantic telescope in space? It’s a common misconception that Hubble was placed in orbit to be closer to the stars. Really, the difference in distance between our planet’s surface and low Earth orbit is negligible compared to how far away Hubble’s research targets are. The great advantage of a space telescope is

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Why do Astronauts Float?

Why do Astronauts Float?

 Did you know that astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) experience about 90% of the gravitational acceleration that we feel on Earth’s surface? That might seem strange, especially since when we look at them, they are always floating around. While this makes it tempting to say that there is no gravity in space,

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The Speed of Fire

The Speed of Fire

How fast is fire? We sent a burst of flame through a fluorescent light tube to explore the propagation of an alcohol-burning reaction along an enclosed path. In our experiment, the frontier of flame sped along at over six feet per second. Fire behaves very differently in other environments. In space, combustion becomes almost unrecognizable.

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Modeling Outer Space

Modeling Outer Space

 You’re carrying an awful lot of weight right now. It’s hard to tell, but every square inch of you is supporting fifteen pounds of atmospheric pressure! Multiply that by the number of square inches on the surface of a human body, and you’ll find you’re bearing a hefty load. Atmospheric pressure results from the

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Happy Anniversary, Humans in Space!

Happy Anniversary, Humans in Space!

November 2, 2000. It was a dark night on our planet. More than 200 miles above Earth’s surface, a Soyuz rocket began a slow dance in the bigger darkness of space. The docking sequence took three hours and forty minutes. At its end, the International Space Station welcomed the first of hundreds of human residents.

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#WhySpaceMatters: The Next Martian

#WhySpaceMatters: The Next Martian

Space simulations are a big part of the AstroCamp experience, and they’re more relevant now than ever. #whyspacematters “Exploration enables science and science enables exploration.” This is one of the seven pioneering principles of NASA’s game plan for Martian exploration, released to the public last week. The technology required for interplanetary colonization is in the

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Meet New Horizons: 7 Space Experiments

Meet New Horizons: 7 Space Experiments

January 19, 2006. A piano-sized robot blasts upwards from Earth on a massive rocket and escapes the gravity of our home planet, bound for distant adventures. For a small community of scientists, launch day kicks off the long closing chapter of a story years in the making. To most of the world, it’s the beginning

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#WhySpaceMatters: NASA’s Anniversary

#WhySpaceMatters: NASA’s Anniversary

If you’d like to know what’s out there in the universe, it’s an awfully exciting century to be alive! From Vostok to Hubble to New Horizons, ambitious feats of engineering are bringing our corner of the cosmos into fuller detail and color all the time. At AstroCamp, we’re all about harnessing the wonder of space

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