Luna Shyr

Ice, Ice Mercury

It’s rare that astronomers declare news with great certainty, given the awesome scope of their work and the level to which they must rely on data gleaned from objects so far away that superlatives quickly run out. So Thursday’...

Starry Nights, in Quick Time

Photographer Christoph Malin says he’s not an office guy.  That’s good, because the time he spent milking the skies above La Palma, a volcanic island in the Spanish Canaries, means we get to enjoy a taste of astronomy ...

Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse

  When the Moon slips between the Earth and Sun this week, Slovak astronomer Vojtech Rusin will be ready on a hotel balcony in Cairns, Australia to witness his 19th total solar eclipse.  StarStruck spoke with the National Geographic grantee, ...

Using Astrophysics to Find Superman’s Krypton

  When Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, got a call from DC Comics about its latest Superman storyline, the famed astrophysicist saw an opportunity to make real science a part of superhero lore. He ...

How An Astrophysicist Helped Superman Find Krypton

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … Superman’s home star! Astronomers call it LHS 2520, but thanks to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s collaboration with DC Comics, it’s getting top billing this week as Rao, the ...

A Grand Tour of the Universe

Armchair astronomers take note: This space atlas is for you.  Yes, that kind of atlas—a series of maps and charts that evokes the ability to navigate a place, usually by ship or some sort of vehicle.  In this case ...

Discovering the World’s Astronomical Heritage

What places best describe humankind’s fascination with the universe?  Try Navajo star ceilings, the Temple of Isis in Egypt, or Stonehenge.  Maybe it’s Qing Dynasty instruments at the Beijing Ancient Observatory or mountaintop telescopes in Chile.  Austria even ...

Neil Armstrong’s Legacy for Astronomers

Not many people can say they’ve met the first man on the moon.  But mingle with astronomers gathered in Beijing for a conference and you’ll come across one or two—even at breakfast—who can reflect personally about ...

The Latest Buzz From Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini has played a salmon, a duck, a squid—and now a bee. In a new series of short films that expand her body of educational work on the lives of animals, the actress and model imagined a conversation ...

Ready for Blast-off

I’m writing this by way of introduction as Victoria Jaggard, the founder and curator of Breaking Orbit, heads to new frontiers (see her post below).  We met, most appropriately, at an event at the Smithsonian National Air and Space ...