Almost a century later, the discovery would go to a 24-year old working his first job in the field: junior astronomer Clyde Tombaugh with the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. (It was given its name by an even younger space enthusiast: 11-year old Venetia Burney of Oxford, England.) The astronomical body had been observed before, but Tombaugh was the first to posit that it could be a planet. … [Read more...] about Our Closest Look Ever at Pluto’s Weird, Beautiful Surface
First solar eclipse
And in 2001, a pair of psychologists at England's University of Leicester demonstrated that playing soothing music to dairy cows increased their milk production. Strategies like this aren't new to the Patterson dairy, where classical music is played for cows and calves around the clock, says Deanna Lanier, who earned a bachelor's degree in animal science production management before returning to Patterson Family Farms to work alongside her grandfather, Dean Patterson, and her father and brother. … [Read more...] about Study: Cows Grow Bigger, Give More Milk After Early Positive Human Interaction
Celestial Navigation for Mariners As Fienberg explains, astronomers aren't the only ones who employ celestial coordinates. "Anyone who navigates by the stars uses them too," he says. "Even though all modern ships and boats have GPS systems onboard, sailors and other mariners are required to learn celestial navigation in case the GPS fails. If you can see Polaris, i.e., the North Star, you'll know which way is north — and, by extension, which ways are south, east, and west too. You'll also know your latitude, as the altitude of Polaris above the horizon is equal to your latitude. And if you have an accurate clock, you can also find your longitude by consulting a table of which stars are due south at the time you're observing." … [Read more...] about How Do We Find Things in the Blackness of Space?