News

  • Exam 3 results should be available late Wednesday, maybe Thursday
  • Submit your observing assigment results via collab if you can.
  • The final assigment is due (via Collab submission) on Friday December 14. Here it is:
    • Write a short (2-3) page research paper/summary with references that are not blogs or Daily Mail articles (i.e. real scholarly papers). That address one of the four following questions.
      • What is Sputnik Planitia and how did it get there?
      • Is there an ocean under the surface of Enceladus or not?
      • Why is the Martian atmosphere so thin?
      • What is the most likely source of Earth's water?
        • This is a physics-based class so we expect your answers to be (just) a little more than simply qualitatively descriptive.
        • The expected pages are standard double spacing with typical (i.e. 1" margins). Given the stand conversions another way to look at it is 600-900 words. There's no punishment for going (a little) over if you are enthusiastic.

  • Note the existence of a sometimes-updated archive of papers elaborating on topics discussed in class.


  • This week's sky events from Sky and Telescope
  • Current sky/space events from NASA
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • New Horizons (Pluto Mission) Web Page
  • Discovering Planets around Other Stars (exoplanets.org)
  • Atmospheric Optics (rainbows, sun dogs, sun pillars...)
  • NASA/JPL Near Earth Object Impact Hazard Page
  • Sky and Telescope: Weekly News Bulletin
  • Meteor Showers Page
  • artificial satellite visibility
  • Space Weather
  • Astronomy Preprint Server (astro-ph)
  • Emily Lakdawalla's Planetary Society (planetary science) blog

  • Weather:
  • Virgina Astronomy Home Page