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Wishing upon the Shooting Stars: The Geminid Meteor Shower

Have you been wishing for something and it hasn’t come true? Well you are in luck. The Geminid meteor shower will be giving us plenty of shooting stars (meteors) to wish upon from Dec. 4-17, and according to Ptolemy (1st century A.D.), when there are shooting stars the gods will be looking down on us […]

A Special Kind of Moon

There is something about a full moon that affects us (sometimes literally!) and our admiration of it can be found in art, literature, music, and poetry.  The full moon is revered in many cultures across the globe.  In North America, tribes of Native Americans gave varying names to the full moons according to the season, […]

Transit of Venus: The Unsung Heroes

The following is a guest post by Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA/ National Institute of Aerospace, who presented a lecture on the Transit of Venus at the Library of Congress on May 8, 2012. You can view his lecture on our webcast page and Youtube channel. On June 5th, 2012 most people will have the opportunity […]

The “Stars” of Titanic

I answer a fair share of questions from authors, historians, and filmmakers who are trying to find weather or astronomical observations for a particular time and place so they can accurately describe a moment in time. You can imagine my delight when I read that film director James Cameron will be including a historically accurate […]

Loving the Stars- Telescopes, from Galileo to James Webb

Today’s post is from science reference librarian  Margaret Clifton.  She is also the author of Saving Energy: The Fall Back Position, Stars in his Eyes and Sun Spots this Summer.  I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night – Sarah Willams (1837-1868)* In February of 2010 I wrote a post  for Inside […]

Saving Energy: The Fall Back Position

Today’s post is from science reference librarian  Margaret Clifton.  She is also the author of Stars in his Eyes and Sun Spots this Summer.  She has created the  LC Science Tracer Bullet on Time , which will be helpful to those who are interested in horology (art and science of measuring time). Daylight Saving Time (DST) in this country ends this year (2011) […]

Sun Spots this Summer?

Today’s post is from science reference librarian  Margaret Clifton.  She is also the author of Stars in his Eyes , in which she discusses Galileo’s Sidereus nuncius – The Starry Messenger. Since February the Sun has been kicking out some terrific solar flares as it moves from a quiet period toward the peak of Solar Cycle 24.  […]

Pic of the Week: Discovery

One of our volunteers discovered this intriguing magazine while he was combing the stacks for interesting and lesser known publications. Discovery: an illustrated journal of scientific news and progress for everybody launched its first issue in May 1907. Its aim was  to bring the public in sympathetic touch with scientists and their work throughout the […]

Celebrate Einstein’s Birthday with Pi

The month of March brings us a multitude of celebrations, events, and observances such as  Daylight Saving Time, the Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day, Vernal Equinox, and Women’s History Month. Also this year (2011) in March we celebrate Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Purim. We should add two more things to celebrate […]