Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2009 is International Year of Astronomy: Local Notes

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, so here's two Seattle-related bits of cosmic news to start off the month of Galileo's birthday:

  • Mt. Rainier made an appearance in NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday

  • On February 15th, the Museum of Flight will unveil two new large-sized prints of multi-wavelength images of the spiral galaxy Messier.

Astronomy Picture of the Day is an unadorned site of gorgeous photos accompanied by explanations in plain English. The photo above is of lenticular clouds near Mt. Rainier, taken in December 2008. Browse the APOD archive for more amazing pics. I particularly like this one: The Milky Way Over Mauna Kea. Wow.

The two new prints at the Museum of Flight combine images from NASA's Great Observatories: the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The prints are provided by NASA as part of NASA's participation in International Year of Astronomy. One print displays the combined Hubble-Spitzer-Chandra images. A second print is a triptych that displays the three high-resolution images from Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra side by side and with description captions below. The Museum of Flight is one of 100 organizations across the country to recieve two new prints from NASA. More info on the Museum of Flight's Happy Birthday Galileo! and print unveiling event to be held on February 16th.

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