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astronomy

April’s shooting stars!

A shot of the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower as it peaked in the skies over Earth.

The Lyrid meteor shower will dazzle the skies this weekend. This meteor shower—one of the oldest meteor showers known to man—occurs every April when the Earth crosses the orbital path of the Comet Thatcher. Tiny bits of ice and dust from this comet hit the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a streak of light across the sky—a meteor!

The Lyrids are known for uncommon surges that can sometimes bring the rate up to 100 per hour. Those rare outbursts are not easy to predict, but they’re one of the reasons the tantalizing Lyrids are worth checking out.

Launch Delay for the James Webb Space Telescope

By Dr. Lisa Will, Fleet Science Center's Resident Astronomer

 

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has long been described as the “successor” to the Hubble Space Telescope. Because Hubble won’t last forever, JWST has been designed to push beyond the boundaries of what we’ve learned from Hubble and is planned for launch before Hubble loses functionality .

 

First Date: A Fleet Love Story

The Fleet has members throughout the United States. But Dr. Stephen Skaper and his wife, Dr. Laura Facci, are our only international members. While living in San Diego, Stephen joined the Fleet the year we opened, and over the past 45 years, he and Laura have supported us while they lived here, then in England and now in Italy, where they are semi-retired.

Get Ready for the Upcoming Solar Eclipse!

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, San Diegans will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse. It will be visible as a total solar eclipse within a narrow path up to 70 miles wide, traversing the contiguous United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Over half of the population of the United States lives within driving distance (400 miles) of the path of the totality, which makes this an amazing opportunity for eclipse enthusiasts.

US Postal Service to Unveil a Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamp at the Fleet Science Center

Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamp
By Nathan Young
 
On Wednesday, August 2, at 6 p.m., the U.S. Postal Service will unveil the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamp during a ceremony at the Fleet Science Center.
 
The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp is the first U.S. stamp to use thermochromic ink, which reacts to the heat of your touch. Placing your finger over the black disc on the stamp causes the ink to change from black to clear to reveal an underlying image of the moon.
 

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