What's happening in space (that's interesting)


Yes, every return is ballistic. In this case, I think “ballistic desent” means there was no re-entry burn from the service module; the re-entry capsule just continued on the same ballistic trajectory it was on when the second stage failed, so the spot where the lander came down was unplanned.


I don’t know what happened on the station, but the Soyuz program is ancient. Did they use Soyuz capsules as parts of the actual ISS?


Not technically, but there’s been a Soyuz attached the station the whole time it’s been occupied as a “lifeboat” in case there’s a failure of some kind and the astronauts need to evacuate. Since 2009, there have been two attached in order to increase the size of the permanent crew to 6. The first crew of the station was carried up on Soyuz TM-31 in November of 2000.


Scott Manley (of course) answers my question here (at 5:40):


Not the best quality, but I think this is an awesome picture…

From https://www.newscientist.com/article/2182410-amateurs-used-a-chinese-satellite-to-photograph-earth-and-the-moon/



That’s no mo…oh wait, maybe it kinda is.


Now all they need is to be able to focus that light down to a meter or so.


It’s a pretty misleading headline (the original piece does the same thing, so it’s not entirely the Graun’s fault).

This is basically like Musk saying there’ll be a hyperloop between San Francisco and LA.


This is the worst idea ever. This will kill the night sky for that locale - you won’t be able to look up & see stars or anything else.


Sure you can, it’ll be dark on cloudy nights :).


After dinner last night, my wife stated that Uranus was visible. After a round of giggles, she told our 4-yr old daughter that she could see Uranus. After being told it was a planet that circled around the sun, she became very excited to see it. I’m not what you’d call an astronomy buff but I was pretty sure Uranus was not easy to see. However once a 4-yr old gets excited about something it’s hard to stop. I checked a web site that gave it’s position and it was only at an altitude of 6 degrees. Since we were observing by just walking out the front door, that wasn’t really high enough to clear the top of the houses. However, we did have a very clear night and she could see the moon clearly. She also got a glimpse of it through some binoculars. And there was a bright speck which I suspected was Mars. We went back inside and checked to the Internet to confirm it was indeed Mars. She was excited as she saw a planet. (just not Uranus).

I’m glad she has a curious mind, and I’d like to encourage it. The low power binoculars I had are not really useful for any astronomy usage. Does anybody know of some inexpensive telescopes what would be good for observing the moon and planets?


High power binoculars on a tripod are probably the most affordable solution - you can make out a very tiny disk on Jupiter, and clearly see the moons. You could probably make out that Saturn has “ears” too.

They’re good for observing deep sky objects too (and Uranus - which is way too dim to see with the naked eye for any mortal observer).


About now, you should be able to see Mars near the moon–high overhead at dusk. Follow the ecliptic toward the southwest and you should be able to pick out Jupiter near the horizon and Saturn about half-way between Mars and Jupiter. They’re all brighter than anything else in the sky except the moon. You can Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings with a decent pair of binoculars.


We have a small starblast dobsonian scope from Orion. Does a decent job for planets and the moon. Biggest thing impacting your viewing, though, is light pollution.

However, this scope is great for young kids. My son’s have all used it as they grew up.


How many Chinese astronomers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


We have an Orion Funscope that lives up to its name. Cheap and portable. We’ve used it to view the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and its Galilean moons, and Saturn. You can get much better views with a better telescope, of course, but the Funscope is just about our speed.


No need citizen. The collective will light your way with the brightness of The Red Book. All else is capitalist fantasy.


None. Astronomers are not afraid of the dark.


Who needs Bill Nye or Neil Degrasse Tyson, Scott Manley is totally my science guy. I’m still hoping he does a video on First Man.