You are here

History of Astronomy

Radio Programs

Frank Watson Dyson Keeping a nation on time January 8, 2018

More Cassiopeia A A little blast hides a big blast January 3, 2018

Aries Drawing celestial borders December 26, 2017

Fornax Science and death in the night sky December 18, 2017

Pulsars Discovering a “scruffy” star November 27, 2017

Pleiades The odds of making a star cluster November 23, 2017

The Crane A crane strides across the southern sky November 12, 2017

First Look A first glimpse at a new universe November 2, 2017

Evidence of a Planet Early evidence of a planet? October 24, 2017

Harold Weaver Probing a “mysterious” molecule September 27, 2017

Van Maanen’s Star Discovering a faint loner September 12, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran The “shifty” eye of the bull September 11, 2017

Arthur Compton From cosmic rays to gamma rays September 10, 2017

Last Discovery Picking out a new moon September 9, 2017

Kuiper Belt Discovering the Kuiper Belt August 30, 2017

Milky Way Center Discovering the galaxy’s distant heart August 26, 2017

Moon on the Move The Moon moves across the sky August 15, 2017

Looking for Canals II Sensational reports from Mars August 4, 2017

Looking for Canals Looking for Martian canals August 3, 2017

The Dolphin A practical joke in the night sky July 15, 2017

Langley Research Center A research center turns 100 July 14, 2017

First Blast A powerful blast from the past July 2, 2017

Alexis Bouvard Inklings of an eighth planet June 26, 2017

Busy Sun Some busy years for the Sun June 21, 2017

EUVE Looking through a galactic “Swiss cheese” June 7, 2017

Star War Solar storms and a military alert May 29, 2017

Lynx Looking for a faint cat May 25, 2017

Matter vs. Antimatter The matter of antimatter May 16, 2017

Moon and Venus Looking for a neighboring moon April 22, 2017

Loud Sun Listening in on the Sun February 27, 2017

Supernova 1987A III Keeping an eye on a dead star February 24, 2017

Supernova 1987A II Catching “ghosts” from an exploding star February 23, 2017

Supernova 1987A Looking for a hidden star February 22, 2017

February The oddest month of the year February 1, 2017

Fornax Firing up a celestial furnace January 19, 2017

War Surplus Reflections on war-time astronomy December 9, 2016

War Work Soldiering through a war December 8, 2016

Off to War Astronomers head to war December 7, 2016

Guiding Lights II Computing the positions of the stars December 6, 2016

Guiding Lights Guiding ships by the stars December 5, 2016

Lewis Rutherfurd New ways to see the stars November 25, 2016

Cepheus Recording ancient constellations October 25, 2016

Financing a Career A successful career from a global panic October 10, 2016

Moon and Aldebaran Moving toward a moving target August 24, 2016

Milton Humason An unusual path to astronomy August 19, 2016

Lunar Orbiter 1 Mapping the surface of the Moon August 18, 2016

Perseid Meteors Finding the cause of meteor showers August 10, 2016

Moon and Spica Shifting the starry background August 7, 2016

Gaspra A breakup creates a big family July 30, 2016

Rudolf Wolf A cycle of storms on the Sun July 7, 2016

Herbert Friedman Watching the Sun with a “rockoon” June 21, 2016

Moon and Saturn A vigorous debate about Selenites June 18, 2016

Van Vleck Observatory Re-dedicating a century-old observatory June 15, 2016

Barnard’s Star Discovering a close but faint neighbor June 6, 2016

Eltanin “Shifty” drops of starlight June 4, 2016

Hydrogen Discovering 'inflammable air'... May 28, 2016

Mars Opposition V Seeing things on the Red Planet — after this. May 22, 2016

The Great War, V American astronomers in World War I May 13, 2016

The Great War, IV War changes an astronomer’s destiny May 12, 2016

The Great War, III The man who solved Einstein’s equations May 11, 2016

The Great War, II Science in the battlefields of Europe May 10, 2016

The Great War Bad timing for eclipse watchers May 9, 2016

Pyxis and Antlia Going high-tech in the night sky — after this. April 13, 2016

Coma Cluster A bright but dark galaxy cluster March 30, 2016

Assault on a Comet A fleet takes aim at a comet March 5, 2016

Interferometry Taking the measure of a giant February 8, 2016

Moon and Companions Two planets without moons February 5, 2016

Luna 9 The first soft landing on the Moon February 3, 2016

Caroline’s Cluster A surprising star cluster January 14, 2016

Sculptor Looking into a galactic well December 10, 2015

Morning Trio The first look at a hidden landscape October 21, 2015

51 Pegasi A puffy planet gets some attention October 11, 2015

Uranus at Opposition A good showing for “George’s Star” October 10, 2015

Cosmic Background The crackle of the Big Bang September 30, 2015

Proxima Centauri Discovering our closest neighbor September 9, 2015

First Professor Ready for the first day of class September 1, 2015

Messier 22 “Discovering” an ancient star cluster August 23, 2015

Stellar Tourism Visiting an observatory by stagecoach August 15, 2015

Mariner 4 Getting the first good look at Mars July 12, 2015

Fred Hoyle Unlocking the secrets of the stars June 23, 2015

False Alarm A hint of an interstellar radio station May 26, 2015

Hercules Handing down pictures of the stars May 10, 2015

Evening Mercury Measuring a planetary day April 25, 2015

Hubble at 25 II The “blunder of the century” April 22, 2015

Hubble at 25 Hubble Space Telescope takes flight April 21, 2015

African Astronomy Changing views of southern skies March 24, 2015

Spring Storm Making a mess of Easter Sunday March 23, 2015

Moon and Regulus A royal heart for a royal beast March 2, 2015

Solar Max Taking a look at the busy Sun February 13, 2015

Johannes Hartmann Filling the space between the stars January 10, 2015

Dwarf Planets A new name for leftover building blocks January 4, 2015

Quadrantid Meteors The changing landscape of the sky January 1, 2015

Featured Images

Edwin Hubble at the 100-inch Hooker Telescope

First View November 2, 2017

Sniffing Venusian Air October 17, 2017

Map showing the path of the Peekskill meteorite

Bright Visitor October 9, 2017

Lynx in the west, late May

Faint Cat May 25, 2017

Composite image of Supernova 1987A

Brilliant Dead Star February 22, 2017

Attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Off to War December 7, 2016

Galileo view of the asteroid Gaspra

First Look July 30, 2016

Surveying the Moon June 2, 2016

Luna 9, February 1966

First Landing February 3, 2016

Telescopes in the cargo bay of space shuttle Columbia, December 1995

Space (Shuttle) Telescope December 8, 2015

Artist's concept of the star system 51 Pegasi, featuring a giant planet

The First October 12, 2015

First Eyes on Mars July 13, 2015

Artist's concept of Solar Max in orbit

Sun Watcher February 14, 2015

Double Dribble November 20, 2014

Postcard of the historic Elgin Watch Company Observatory in Illinois

Star Time October 25, 2014

Otto Struve, first director of McDonald Observatory

First Director May 8, 2014

Autographs from the dedication of McDonald Observatory

Who's Who May 7, 2014

Construction of McDonald Observatory's 82-inch telescope, ca. 1934

Celebrating May 6, 2014

Participants in the McDonald Observatory dedication, May 5, 1939

Getting Started May 5, 2014

An early view of the primary mirror of McDonald Observatory's first telescope

Seeing the Light December 31, 2013

Annie Jump Cannon

Astronomical Pioneer December 10, 2013

Female "computers" at Harvard College Observatory

Data Processing Center December 9, 2013

The life and times of William Herschel

Stellar Musician November 14, 2013

Artist's concept of Mariner 2 flying past Venus, December 14, 1962

First Encounter December 13, 2012

Solar eclipse of August 19, 1887, from near Berlin

Fire in the Sky August 18, 2012

False-color view of Comet Swift-Tuttle, 1992

Swift Comet July 16, 2012

H-R Diagram

Stellar Plot July 7, 2012

Victor Hess prepares to ascend in a balloon to study cosmic rays, 1912

Radiation Hunter April 7, 2012

Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin is home to the world's largest refractor

Still Going August 18, 2011

Illustration showing the Great Comet of 1861

Great Comet June 30, 2011

Venus's path across the Sun during the transit of 1761

Bright Passage June 6, 2011

Martian 'Canali' March 14, 2010