Category Archives: astronomy

From the Archives: Are you ready for the Great American Eclipse?

In “From the Archives,” I bring back some of the posts from my earlier blogs.

The semester is in full swing and it’s… a doosie. With questions starting to pop up about the upcoming total solar eclipse in North America on April 8th, I thought I’d revive my post from the PREVIOUS total solar eclipse over North America in 2017. All of the links still work, but, obviously the 2017-specific links won’t help you with the upcoming one. You can also see my my “Procrastinator’s Guide to the Solar Eclipse” from that year on Skepchick.

The link for finding solar viewers IS relevant for this upcoming eclipse, so be sure to check that out. I’ll be back with 2024 specific information soon!


Continue reading

From the Archives: Ruby Payne-Scott, pioneer of Radio Astronomy

In “From the Archives,” I bring back some of the posts from my earlier blogs.

This one was written in March 2009 in celebration of Ada Lovelace Day and women in science. I had first heard of Payne-Scott from Miller Goss, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory when I was an undergraduate research intern. Since then, Ruby Payne-Scott has received wider notoriety, including a Google Doodle for her 100th birthday. You can read all about her in the 2013 book by Goss, Making Waves: The Story of Ruby Payne-Scott: Australian Pioneer Radio Astronomer.


In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, where bloggers have pledged to write about their favorite woman in technology, I am compelled to share a little bit of the story of Ruby Payne-Scott.  It is only in the last few years, due in large part to NRAO scientist Miller Goss, that her great story has come to light.  I’ve twice seen talks by Miller on the extraordinary life of this woman, and hope to see what more information they uncover about her in the future!

Continue reading

Video Killed the Radio… Astronomer? No, not really

In March 2020, teaching became a whole lot harder. Luckily for me, I’d already had some help in designing an online asynchronous course for Astronomy 101. That summer, I made an upgraded version of my previous lectures to go along with my new set of class activities that included ones from Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy by Stacy Palen and Ana Larson.

Last semester I was finally prompted to post them on YouTube when I had trouble linking to our institutions private media server. Although we’re back in the classroom again, I have found it helpful to assign these lectures before class or for students who have missed class.

The videos range from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the topic and depth of each. Each video is roughly one week’s material in a normal-length semester. The entire playlist is being compiled here, and they post once per week until it reaches all 15. I hope these are of help to someone!

Note: I don’t do any post production. I guess it’s from all those years of Google Hangouts on Air! You get to see my rambling typical classroom self with the occasional interruption by a dog since these were recorded at home. These were also recorded after my snap decision to shave my hair off in quarantine and rock a buzzcut for a few months.