Sunday, April 5, 2009

Celebrating Sun Day

In this case, although it is the first (or seventh, depending on your perspective) day of the week, I'm not talking about Sunday but Sun Day, the final outreach event of 100 Hours of Astronomy, a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. All over the world, people are checking out a somewhat average, yellow star - our Sun. We're not seeing much of it here in Florida today thanks to the clouds but even if it's cloudy where you are you can still read about the Sun, find out what others are doing today to celebrate and even watch the Sun. In fact, unless you live near one of the solar viewing parties happening today or have your own solar telescope, the best place to see the Sun is over the Internet. Check out some of these sites for spectacular views of the Sun, both in picture and video (some are even live!):

Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Live View (4/5) from Solar Telescope in Italy (check out the solar prominence!)
Space Weather

If you decide to get out and check out the Sun today yourself, be sure and observe safely. You can find instructions on how here.

Happy Sun Day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Around the World in 80 Telescopes

Want to a chance to experience the worlds premier observatories? Head to the 100 Hours of Astronomy webcast site now! A cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, the 100 hours of Astronomy is a huge outreach program that aims to get as many people as possible in front of a telescope between April 2nd and 5th. And for 24 hours, from 9:00 Universal Time on April 3rd through 9:00 UT on April 4th, you can view a round-the-clock webcast from 80 of the largest telescopes around the world.

It's already well under way but don't worry, the web site has all the videos already shown. Each webcast opens with background video on that telescope followed by live  interviews with professional astronomers on-site as they describe their current observing project. It's a great way to learn more about some of the most advanced, innovating technological achievements of man. Check it out...  I'm watching the Keck webcast now!