Two Astrophotos From the Spartan Observatory

The other night I finally got a chance to try a new tool out at the “dark” skies at the Spartan Observatory. Though just north of Geneva city limits, the site’s strength is the near-complete lack of glaring street lights nearby. It’s still close enough to the city, however, that I would anticipate at Bortle…

Bicycle Astronomy Makes a Housecall!

Yesterday was my first day on the Bicycle Astronomy cargo bike in many months. I rode to work and then to the grocery store to reprovision the Spartan Manor travel trailer. When I left the store with three bags of groceries and loaded them into the giant pannier on the cargo bike, it was a…

Visit Vesta on a Vespa…

…okay, not really. But Dawn, NASA’s ion drive-propelled space probe launched in 2007 is a better ride anyway. Dawn visited Vesta, a protoplanet in the asteroid belt, in 2011, and just arrived around another protoplanet, Ceres, on March 6th. Asteroids are of keen interest to solar system scientists, who are keen to unlock the origin…