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Cosmic Strings

Cosmic Strings
My name is Kelly Herbst and I control the universe...well, at least in the Abbitt Planetarium at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. View Original Blog

Lightning and the Thunder

They say that lightning never strikes twice. Tell that to Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, and Richard Gordon. They were the crew of Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the Moon.  Thirty-six seconds into the flight, lightning struck the Saturn V launch vehicle carrying them…

You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

So the alpha Monocerotids were both amazing and a little disappointing. I didn’t do a blast about them, for exactly the reason above.  You see, the alpha Monocerotids are a new meteor shower.  We’re just beginning to map out the debris field left behind by…

The Times They are A-Changin’…

Hey there!  Recovered from the time change yet? It’s always a bit weird when we “Fall Back” or “Spring Ahead.”  Suddenly things you did in daylight happen in the dark…and things you did in the dark are now happening after sunrise!  I could write volumes…

Shine On…Shine on…Hunter’s Moon?

So most folks are aware that the Full Moon of September is generally called the Harvest Moon.  This name comes from the idea that in September, the light of the Full Moon was useful to early farmers who needed to make sure all the crops…

See You in September

Ah…September.  Fall is arriving…the weather is cooling off…everyone is excited to be getting back into the school year routine… Okay, I get it.  Only on television is September actually cool…here in Virginia it’s still plenty humid and sticky.  And back to school is only a…

Fire in the Sky

Have you ever seen a shooting star?  Most of us have at one time or another.  But did you know that mid-August is the best time of year to see shooting stars? First of all, let me reassure you that the stars are not falling…

Walking on the Moon

It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years.  Fifty years since a man first placed his foot on the surface of a world that was not the Earth. On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took some amazing small steps and made some…

Blinded by the Light

Have you ever seen a satellite crossing the sky?  It’s kind of cool.  Satellites become visible because their solar panels and other reflective surfaces catch the light of the Sun and then reflect that light back down to Earth at night.  How can they reflect…

Look Up! Look Up at Night!

Hey folks!  Just wanted to let everyone know that Astronomy Day is coming up this weekend!  May 11 is Astronomy Day, and of course, we will be hosting our monthly Stargazing and Laser Light Night to celebrate. Besides the usual night sky viewing with telescopes…

You Say It’s Your Birthday!

Hey there Space Science fans!  I just wanted to post a quick update to wish the Hubble Space Telescope a happy 29th birthday!  This amazing spacecraft and telescope is one of the great triumphs of 20th century NASA and continues to provide incredible images as…