AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Astronomy

Introducing the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory

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On June 24, we announced that the National Air and Space Museum will receive a $6 million gift from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation to support the Public Observatory’s educational programs. With seed funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Observatory first opened in 2009 as part of the Museum’s celebration of the International   …Continue Reading


An Artistic Search for Pluto

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How do you illustrate a non-fiction book for kids based on the former ninth planet? Some people still have some pretty strong feelings about Pluto’s demotion: protest signs, student protest speeches, public demonstrations. Cries of unfairness could be heard when news of poor Pluto’s removal from the planetary ranks occurred. It is the intention of   …Continue Reading


Vulcan? But that’s not logical…

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The news that “Vulcan” topped the poll results taken by the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California as a possible name for one of the two tiny moons newly discovered to be orbiting Pluto has gotten quite a bit of press this week. In 2012, Mark Showalter of SETI, working with scientists   …Continue Reading


Reflections on “Explore the Universe” 2001-2012

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One of the jokes I inherited from my student years is the final exam question “Describe the Universe” which was followed by “and give two examples.” In the 1960s, this could be funny of course, at least to astronomers. Today, however, the answer might be, “Only two?”  Since the Explore the Universe gallery opened in   …Continue Reading


Minor Planet 4262 DeVorkin

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On  6 April 2012, the following notice appeared in the Minor Planet Circular, under the category “Names of New Minor Planets”: (4262) DeVorkin = 1989 CO Discovered 1989 Feb. 5 by M. Arai and H. Mori at Yorii. David H. DeVorkin (b. 1944) Chair of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society (1997-1999),   …Continue Reading