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3-2-1 open! Space-themed gift suggestions for an adult

Help me think of a space-themed gift for an awesome 35-year-old guy. [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot on Jun 3, 2014 - 22 answers

Best pre-space age photos we had of the planets?

What were the best photos we had of the planets in our solar system before the Pioneer and Voyager missions? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on May 15, 2014 - 4 answers

Astronomy 101

Cosmos has me very intrigued. Assume I know less than a 5th grader. I am looking for: book recommendations for basic astronomy concepts; blogs; podcasts for beginners; good audio books; and documentaries. If you wanted to teach an adult about astronomy where would you start?
posted by morganannie on May 5, 2014 - 13 answers

Can you collect meteorite dust in your backyard? How?

I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Feb 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Hypothetical Astronomy

If all non-solar-system stars ceased to exist, how would things look different to us on earth? Would anything change? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on May 15, 2012 - 16 answers

The Stars are Exploding?

My housemate and I just saw a bright pinpoint flash (approx intensity and size of Rigel) in the sky, lasting about an eighth of a second, what's it likely to have been? [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Apr 14, 2012 - 10 answers

With whom are we sharing the rest of eternity?

If I've gotten the right impression, much of our currently visible universe will eventually be expanded away from us, never to be seen again. Do we already know how much and what parts of our present neighborhood we'll be left huddling with?
posted by Anything on Dec 4, 2011 - 12 answers

Eyepiece for DSO viewing?

Best eyepiece for viewing deep space objects with a Zhumell Z12 dobsonian reflector telescope? [more inside]
posted by nurgle on Jul 26, 2011 - 2 answers

From Mars to Earth??

I was listening to this Fresh Air interview today and wondered how they know a meteorite is from Mars. [more inside]
posted by Rad_Boy on Apr 4, 2011 - 8 answers

I need the bizarro Martian version of Galileo.

Martian Astronomer Filter--when Mars moves like this in the sky from our point of view on Earth, how does the Earth appear to move from Mars' perspective? [more inside]
posted by JMB1138 on Feb 24, 2011 - 3 answers

Don't Make Me Turn This Meteor Around!

So, what object did I fail to identify? [more inside]
posted by Phyltre on Sep 27, 2010 - 6 answers

Flyby image of a planet/moon

Help me find this picture that was on APOD years ago [more inside]
posted by Glow Bucket on Jun 2, 2010 - 4 answers

Recommended books on astronomy and space exploration

What are some great books on astronomy and space exploration? [more inside]
posted by deansfurniture5 on Mar 16, 2010 - 7 answers

Please help me find when the moon disappears, so I can watch it.

Back about a decade ago, I happened to be watching in early evening as the moon went from thin sliver to complete disappearance. It was one of those unexpected and somewhat wondrous moments of my life (due to many circumstances of the time, and the unplanned coolness of it). I'd like to see it again. Is there some schedule for me to tell when this is going to happen again visible from my area? [more inside]
posted by Kickstart70 on Oct 23, 2009 - 8 answers

Is there a perfect orbit?

Is there a distance at which a satellite will orbit a body indefinitely? Is this distance a universal constant? [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on Oct 16, 2009 - 28 answers

Was the entire universe created by the Big Bang, or is the space/time generated by the Big Bang part of a larger universe?

Was the entire universe created by the Big Bang, or is the space/time generated by the Big Bang part of a larger universe? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes on Jun 23, 2009 - 23 answers

How do I find cool screen savers that are safe for download?

Help me find a cool screen saver that won't infect my computer. [more inside]
posted by Flying Saucer on May 15, 2008 - 11 answers

ad astra per aspera

What's it like working for NASA these days? What will it be like in 5-10 years? [more inside]
posted by phrontist on Nov 9, 2007 - 21 answers

Asteroid hit.

Would we get enough warning to get out of the way if a big asteroid is bound to hit Earth? How big does an asteroid have to be to be visible for an extended period before it enters atmosphere?
posted by spacefire on Aug 31, 2007 - 26 answers

Why Fund Space Exploration / Astronomy?

What is the best reason to fund expensive astronomy / space exploration projects? Many projects cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Couldn't this money be better spent elsewhere? [more inside]
posted by chrisalbon on Aug 10, 2007 - 55 answers

Help me find a good astronomy textbook!

I've recently become more and more interested in Astronomy, and I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of a solid university-level Astronomy textbook, something an undergraduate student studying Astronomy would be expected to read. [more inside]
posted by smitt on Aug 9, 2007 - 15 answers

Factoring 'Time' into Astronomic Observations

AskMeFi Physics folk: How do astronomers account for the temporal distinctiveness of their galactic subjects in their calculations? I understand that observations of the red shift of quasars delinates a speed increase in the expansion of the universe - yet my brain explodes when I try to understand how the enormous expanse of time is factored into these models. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Apr 9, 2006 - 12 answers

Name that black hole film

Please help me find the name of a weird educational science film I watched in high school. It was about the Big Bang and astrophysics. The action took place aboard a set that was supposed to be some kind of space station, where about three people discussed these issues. At the end, everyone got sucked into a black hole and the film ended abruptly.
posted by johngoren on Feb 10, 2006 - 5 answers

Buying a Telescope for My Son

I want to buy my son, who is turning six, a telescope for his birthday. I don't want to spend a fortune, but one site I looked at for advice said anything less than $300 is a piece of junk. Anyone have any advice (including specific models) on one I can by this budding astronomer for $100 or less?
posted by alexg23 on Jul 25, 2005 - 22 answers

Questions About Mars

I'm looking for really any information on Mars and Mars colonization, but in particular two questions: Would the sun rise in the east and set in the west? and What would the night sky look like? What would the prominant objects be?
posted by dagnyscott on Feb 17, 2005 - 14 answers

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