Jean Creighton

Astronomy Contributor

To Dr. Jean Creighton, physics is the gateway to astronomy. She studied physics at the University of Athens and went on to earn a masters degree from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Waterloo. She began teaching astronomy at UW-Milwaukee in 1999 and in 2007, she took over as director of UWM's Manfred Olson Planetarium.

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We talk with our astronomy contributor Jean Creighton regularly about the latest discoveries in astrophysics, but we've never really talked about how those discoveries are paid for. So, for November's astro chat, Creighton explains the process of writing a grant proposal for the National Science Foundation:

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Our astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, says it’s a special time of year. Earlier this week, we officially slid into fall and experienced the autumnal equinox (or we did if we were up at 2:50 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 23). While our calendars mark the first official day of fall, the autumnal equinox is more than just a day. 

"The definition of an equinox is when the path of the sun, which is called the ecliptic, crosses the equator of the Earth, projected on the sky," Creighton explains. "It's a time and a place in the sky." 

NASA

2019 has been the summer of the moon. Man first stepped on the moon 50 years ago, and over the past few months we've been looking at back at the history of the space race and ahead at what future missions might look like.

READ: 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 11 Moon Landing Has Wisconsin Scientists Looking Back, Forward

NASA History Office and the NASA JSC Media Services Center / NASA

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission was the pinnacle of NASA’s decade long efforts to conquer space flight. It occurred just eight years after President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

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Every month, astronomer and contributor Jean Creighton joins us to talk about the cosmos. While the cosmos, full of its different stars, planets, and physics concepts can be intimidating, Creighton says we should allow ourselves to wonder at the beauty. Plus, it's actually healthy if you feel like some of the concepts allude you.

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Whether it's an accelerating car, a person biking or a thrown object, most motion is visible to the human eye. However, even at rest we all are in motion - at least on a cosmic scale.

Lake Effect's Bonnie North and astronomy contributor Jean Creighton started a conversation last month about celestial motion, and Creighton picks up the story by explaining another kind of motion - proper motion:

NASA Goddard

Contributor Jean Creighton, who is the Director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium on the UW-Milwaukee campus, joins us each month to talk about all things astronomical. Today we learn about celestial motion, and when we first knew that stars move through space.

NASA / Flickr

Astronomers, astrophysicists and fans of space travel marked the end of an era earlier in February. After 15 years on the surface of Mars, the Opportunity Rover mission finally ended, after more than six months had gone by with no success in communicating with the craft.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, joins Bonnie North to talk about the legacy and impact of the Opportunity Rover. Creighton also explains the reason behind all seasons here on earth, and the difference between seasonal changes, the climate and weather. 

NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad idea," wrote Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor Jean Creighton disagrees with that sentiment. In fact, she’s been dedicating her current shows at UWM’s Manfred Olson Planetarium to the beginning of said universe.

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NASA

The past year has been marked by major collisions — both metaphorical and literal — that have changed the world and our view of the universe. Recent discoveries have confirmed scientific theories, brought more materials from space and brought to light how earthly elements came into existence.

Every month, Lake Effect’s Bonnie North speaks with our astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, the director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM. This month, she gives us her list of the top astronomical discoveries of 2018. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are preparing to give extra thanks this holiday weekend when their latest mission to Mars — the InSight Mars Lander — touches down on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday afternoon.

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Last month, director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee and our regular astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton explained how the sun stays together, even though it is made of gasses and plasma.

READ: Here Comes The Sun, But What Holds It Together?

NASA/SDO / NASA.org

If, as the They Might Be Giants song goes, the sun a mass of incandescent gas, how does it all stay together? That's the question astronomer and Lake Effect contributor Jean Creighton answers for us this month. (Hint: gravity has something to do with it...)

Bill Dunford / NASA

When we talk about proper alignment, we’re often talking about our spines, or our priorities, or perhaps our metaphysical place in the universe.

Contributor Jean Creighton is all for those kinds of calibrations, but the kind of alignment she wants to talk about in this month’s astronomy chat is planetary.

"We have an unusual situation where we can see four planets, practically simultaneously, in the night sky," she notes.

NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office

These days, the word 'asteroid' usually only comes up when we're talking about the extinction of the dinosaurs. But astronomy contributor Jean Creighton notes that a near-Earth object,or NEO, is either a comet or asteroid that gets within 30 million miles from the Earth's surface. But what would we do if a massive object were hurtling toward Earth today?

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