astronomy

Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Last week was a great one for fans of the aurora borealis.  The Northern Lights were visible far further south than normal, thanks to increased solar activity. Ambient light made seeing them basically impossible in metro Milwaukee, but out in the country, there were lots of sightings.

So what’s responsible for the shimmering, colorful atmospheric magic?  Astronomy contributor and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee, Jean Creighton, explained to Bonnie North exactly how they work - starting with two basic ingredients: the sun and the earth's atmosphere.

NASA's Marshall Flight Space Center / Flickr

Jean Creighton, Lake Effect astronomy contributor and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee, joins Bonnie North every month to discuss the many different topics the universe and space exploration has to offer.

nasa.gov

From landing a probe on a comet to even more discoveries on Mars, it’s been quite a year for astrophysics and cosmology.

ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

It was big news last week when the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet. 

NASA

The Rosetta mission - the first probe ever to land on the surface of a comet - had no people aboard.  

NASA/JPL/MSSS

There was much excitement in India yesterday when that country’s first effort to send an orbiter to Mars succeeded. 

Ryan Wick, flickr

Astronomy contributor Jean Creighton joined us to talk about what stars and constellations are visible to us in the night sky this month. 

"It’s going too fast and the isotope ratios are different; this one came from elsewhere," says Creighton. "That means that you can look up at a really bright star. Arcturus is really bright, and pretty, and you’re looking at a piece of another galaxy."

Wikimedia Commons

After a long winter of what felt like Wisconsin’s own “Polar Vortex,” it’s time to escape from under our roofs and enjoy the longest day of the year. 

How Astronomers Conduct Research

Feb 28, 2014
Bill Jacobus, flickr

When the whole universe is out there to explore, how do astronomers decide what questions they want to ask?

NASA/Carla Thomas

A Milwaukee astronomer is about to take the trip of a lifetime, traveling 45,000 feet into the sky aboard a NASA aircraft.

2013's Top 5 Astronomical Stories

Dec 23, 2013
NASA

Throughout 2013, Dr. Jean Creighton kept her eye on astronomical news. From a fireball in Russia to the Kepler Telescope, Creighton highlights her top five stories of the year.

What Happened to All Those Moon Rocks?

Sep 26, 2013
NASA

The Apollo moon missions (11 through 17, minus the infamous 13) collected more than 800 pounds of moon rock. But whatever happened to those samples?

NASA

Even though it's no longer considered a planet, Pluto still excites the imagination as it skims the outer reaches of our solar system.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

An astrophysicist says the search for extraterrestrial life is about to get interesting.

5 Neat Facts About Neptune's New Moon

Jul 25, 2013
wikipedia.

Scientists have discovered a new moon for Neptune, raising its number of moons to fourteen.

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