Milky Way Galaxy Pictures

There’s an abundance of Milky Way Galaxy pictures out there, but the size of the VISTA composite image from the ESO (European Southern Observatory) in Chile trumps them all at 9 billion pixels. Pretty impressive!

I got to see the Milky Way in Oregon, many years ago. It was the most amazing sight! I was speechless and to this day can’t adequately describe what I saw. That’s why I am so grateful for all the folks who have shared their Galaxy photos and videos like the ones below.

Milky Way Galaxy Pictures

Milky Way Galaxy Pictures

Milky Way Pan by Digital Sky LLC






I found that the Science Channel on Youtube do a pretty good job of explaining the Galaxy we know and love. There are lots of images and animations to show how it all fits together in this nice short video on the Milky Way.

For those wanting go a bit more in-depth, check out The definitive guide to the milky way galaxy on derenek’s Youtube channel. Be warned, it is an hour and a half long, so make a cup of tea and settle in.

Have you seen the Milky Way in all its glory? Did you take any photos?


What is sidewalk astronomy?

What is sidewalk astronomy

A street corner astronomer (another name for sidewalk astronomy) in New York City, 1921.

What is sidewalk astronomy? Glad you asked. I’ve been wondering myself. I was under the incorrect impression that too much light pollution nixed the possibility of seeing much of anything in the night sky. Sidewalk conjures up cityscapes and lots of lights in my imagination!

Wikipedia says: Sidewalk or Street Corner Astronomy refers to the activity of setting up a telescope in an urban setting on a for profit or non-profit basis as an entertainment or for public education.

My main focus today however is on one particular citizen astronomer who has taken to the streets for his community and because of his great passion. His name is Jupiter Joe and he lives in the Bronx, New York.

Jeanmarie Evelly of has written a great piece about  the wonderful contribution that Jupiter Joe is making to his community.

What is sidewalk astronomy?

A Citibank employee by day, Joseph Martinez, 40, has turned his passion for astronomy into a community outreach project. Last year, he bought himself a quality telescope and started Jupiter Joe’s Sidewalk Astronomy, an effort to instill his love for science and the stars to his Bronx neighbors.
“In our neighborhood, and in general, there’s no outlet for kids to learn like that anymore,” he said. “Schools are geared toward just taking a test.”
Martinez brings his telescope to community events, his local park, or simply sets it up out on the sidewalk near his home on Pelham Parkway, and invites the public to take a peek at the sky. He points out visible planets and stars, and gives lessons on sun spots or magnetic poles, and shows them how to tell the difference between a planet and a star (the trick? only stars twinkle).

Do read the rest of the article and check out the photos. Great stuff!

I love when a question like, what is sidewalk astronomy, comes into to my head that people like Jeanmarie Evelly answers it with a dash of inspiration. Jupiter Joe is awesome. I’m really impressed.

Check out Jupiter Joe’s site. It’s still a work in progress, but you can definitely see the passion. The parents and kids of his neighborhood are very lucky.

So do you have a noble citizen astronomer in your neighborhood?


Astronomy the great attractor

Why is astronomy the great attractor? It gives me a sense of the awesomeness of this trip I’m on. I know there are plenty of smart people out there who can wax poetic about what everything means and is. I just take it all in like a meditation and sometimes I even understand things I love hearing how others perceive it all. This is a […] Read more »

Dark Matter and Diamonds

Dark Matter and Diamonds

I just so happens that dark matter and diamonds collided in my online world the last couple of days, all for my entertainment. Rebecca Pahle of The Mary Sue – A Guide to Girl Geek Culture, shared a great Rap video by Coma Niddy, explaining what is dark matter. I love it! It’s so much easier to get your head around these things when it’s entertaining. You […] Read more »

Sarah Brightman Space Trip

The Sarah Brightman Space Trip (tour) appears to be on track for 2015, according to this interview with Sarah and Soledad O’Brien of CNN about her pending adventure. The price tag mentioned in this interview is $20 million. A far cry from what was inferred before by ABC News. It turns out that Brightman is getting sponsorship, so she won’t be footing the bill entirely. She will be […] Read more »

Sarah Brightman at the Opening Ceremony of the World Athletic Championships in Osaka, 2007 - courtesy of Eckhard Pecher

Sarah Brightman Space Tourist

The idea of a space tourist is not sounding so way out these days as it did when Dennis Tito became the first one. Now apparently the star of Phantom of the Opera, has added Sarah Brightman Space Tourist to her resume by paying a massive sum to Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) for a trip to the International Space Station. The financial figures for […] Read more »

Sugar in Outer Space

Sugar in outer space!

Forget about finding aliens, we found sugar in outer space! Specifically sugar molecules in the surrounding gas of a young star called IRAS 16293-2422. And where did they find it, but in the Ophiuchus constellation, also known as the 13th star sign. The folks at I Love Chile have written a piece about the exciting discovery of one of the building blocks of life discovered by the […] Read more »

Bid Adieu to Neil Armstrong

Bid Adieu to Neil Armstrong

I think the best way to bid adieu to Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon) is to show this video of a brief report from ABC on the life and times of a space icon. It was only recently that I was blogging about what flags remained on the moon from the various Apollo missions. The one flag missing was from the Apollo 11 […] Read more »

Dream Chaser Space Taxi

Dream Chaser Space Taxi

So I’m all excited about space taxis, the Dream Chaser space taxi specifically. I have thoughts of catching one at some point. When I imagine space taxis, I think of Bruce Willis’ Fifth Element taxi cab. I know… he wasn’t flying in space, but it’s still the association I have. In July of this year I got to go to a public lecture by the NASA […] Read more »

The Curiosity Rover casts a shadow on Mars

Watching the Curiosity Landing

My mind has been filled with watching the Curiosity landing. I downloaded the NASA tv app for my iPad, set my alarm for 6 in the morning (I’m in Ireland) and watched with excitement as the events unfolded. This video from Russia Today really captures those moments beautifully. To hear “…the vehicle has started guided entry…” and “…we are decelerating…” and then the incredible, “Touchdown […] Read more »