astronomy

The Eclipse @ HCPL

One of the perks of living in the 21st century is that we know enough about how the solar system works that we do not need to worry much about the moon actually swallowing the sun during the upcoming solar eclipse. We can just sit back, strap on our certified safe eclipse-viewing glasses and enjoy the celestial show. In case you have not heard, on August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse visible from coast to coast. Here in the Houston area, we will not get the full monty, but it will still be pretty spectacular. It has been ninety-nine years since the last one. Several Harris County Public Library branches will be hosting viewing parties on Monday, August 21. Others have programs scheduled to get you ready for the big event. 

The Sky is Falling!

Maybe.... In the early hours of May 24, a comet stream will pass through our atmosphere. This one was discovered only ten years ago and there is no previous data to predict what might happen. Some say this comet will fizzle. Others say it might create a spectacular display brighter than the Perseid meteor showers. We'll have a front row seat in North America if it materializes. The potential show will be brightest between 1 AM and 3 AM.

Before then, brush up on your comet knowledge with these books:

The Stars at Night

Knack Night SkyTexas is a great place for stargazing.  They’re big and bright…deep in the heart….  Well, if you’ve wanted to give it a try but don’t know where to start, take a look at Knack Night Sky: Decoding the Solar System, from Constellations to Black Holes by Nicholas Nigro.  It’s an excellent start for a beginner like me.

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