There are lots of seemingly odd things out in space, and much of what people think they know turns out to be… well, not quite true. For example, did you know that the Sun is a “black body?” I’ve posted a new blog on EarthSky.org that discusses this particular oddity, along with 9 others. It’s called “Ten things you may not know about stars,” and you can find it here:
This blog was the follow up to a blog I posted a couple of months ago called “Ten things you may not know about the solar system”
(Please excuse the old photo of me, back in the days when my hair was still dark!)
Also, you may be interested in a series of possible opportunities starting this weekend. Due to its orbital dynamics, the International Space Station (ISS) cycles through a period of several weeks when it is not easily visible in many locations, and then a few days to a week or so when it is easily seen in the evening sky. This weekend a new series of evening passes starts for much of North America. I’ve mentioned where to get predictions for your specific location before, but let me run through it again.
There are a number of good locations online to find this information. To get it directly from NASA, please visit this page::
Find “Sighting Opportunities” on the left-hand side, and be sure that your country is selected in the box (it is set to the United States as the default). Then click on “Go to Country” and then your state and nearest city. You will get a listing of ISS passes over your area, plus the Space Shuttle when it is in orbit. By the way, the next launch of the Space Shuttle, the last launch of the Endeavor, is currently scheduled for April 29. The last launch of the Shuttle Atlantis is targeted for June 28.
If the NASA site doesn’t fit your needs, an even easier site that gives other bright satellites as well is on Spaceweather.com:
If you are in the US or Canadians just enter your Zip or postal code. There is separate link for other countries
For more control over the predictions, you also should check out “Heavens Above” here:
You will need to know your geographical coordinates for this service, which you can find here for US Zip Codes:
http://zipinfo.com/search/zipcode.htm (be sure you click the check box for “Latitude and Longitude”
You may also be interested in the TWISST service, which tweets your predictions, and also provides a customized page for you that you can check daily:
Keep looking up!