Brad Snowder
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Latest Activity

Strega commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Lynx - the lynx'
"Thanks, Brad - I didn't know about the lynx eyesight either, bonus info!"
Sunday
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Lynx - the lynx

The constellation Lynx is one of a few that is its own translation. It means "lynx" so no fancy steps are required to explain it. In the late 1600's Johannes Hevelius named it after the wild cat because those animals have eyesight good enough to see the stars here and humans don't (true story). I've never heard the expression "eyes like a lynx" but Hevelius apparently did. The main reason for creating this region of…See More
Sunday
Brad Snowder commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Lyra - the lyre'
"Camille and Kennerlyhttp://harptwins.com/"
Mar 11
Reg The Fronkey Farmer commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Lyra - the lyre'
"Those twins could indeed cause some serious collimation errors...."
Mar 11
Strega commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Lyra - the lyre'
"Great post :)"
Mar 11
Strega commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Mensa - the table'
"Thanks, Brad!"
Mar 11
Brad Snowder posted blog posts
Mar 11
Strega commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Microscopium - the microscope'
"*waves thanks to Brad*"
Feb 25
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Microscopium - the microscope

Having named one southern constellation after a telescope, Lacaille named another after the microscope. The two star groups are beside each other. It seemed only right since each of these inventions expanded our level of consciousness by orders of magnitude, albeit in opposite dimensions of space. From sub-atomics to the multi-verse, the science of optics has bracketed our physical reality. Fundamentalist…See More
Feb 25
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Monoceros - the unicorn

The constellation Monoceros was invented to fill in a big gap in the winter sky. The ancient star watchers don't seem to have been overly concerned about the sky in a cartographical sense, so they recognized Orion and Hydra and associated them with mythical stories, but they left the dim area in between as a sort of no-man's land. It's like the early maps of the United States where large areas are simply…See More
Feb 18
Belle Rose commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Musca - the fly'
"It's "mosca" en Español ;)"
Feb 12
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Musca - the fly

The southern constellation of Musca represents a lowly fly. When Johann Bayer added it to his maps he called it "The Bee" and folks liked that name for a couple of hundred years. But then some map maker called it The Fly except there was already a fly up north which was part of Aries the Ram. I'll just let astrologers chew on that fact for a bit. During those days folks called Musca the southern fly to distinguish…See More
Feb 11
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Norma - the carpenter's square

Norma is a southern constellation and the name refers to the thingy a carpenter uses to make stuff look normal. It's a good example of how the name for a group of stars can rapidly evolve. It was first named by a French guy, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who called it "l’Equerre et la Regle." I think he always tried to give things a name at least as long as his own. The problem is, it's a little itty bitty constellation…See More
Feb 4
Strega commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Octans - the octant'
"Thanks Brad :)"
Jan 29
Brad Snowder posted a blog post

Octans - the octant

The southernmost constellation in the whole sky, Octans, is named after a celestial navigation instrument called an octant, which is better than a quadrant, but not as good as a sextant, and no where as good as GPS. Isaac Newton invented the quadrant which was a handy way of finding your way across an ocean back in the day, but the octant is lighter and easier to aim. Two guys claim to have invented the octant, Hadley…See More
Jan 29
Daniel W. commented on Brad Snowder's blog post 'Ophiuchus - the serpent bearer'
"First they spend thousands of years saying there are 12 signs.  Now they say there are 13.  I saw other speculation about a 14th sign, Cetus the whale.  Think of all of the lives messed up by using the wrong signs!  This proves,…"
Jan 23

Profile Information

Your Religious Status
Atheist
About Me:
Astronomy Instructor and Planetarium Manager at Western Washington University.
http://skywiseunlimited.com
Age
53-58
Relationship Status
Married
Why are you here?
Why not?
The religion you left
Christian
Why you left your religion.
I had no need for these hypotheses.
Twitter
twitter.com/#!/Skywise88

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Brad Snowder's Blog

Lynx - the lynx

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 11:17pm 1 Comment

lynx The constellation Lynx is one of a few that is its own translation. It means "lynx" so no fancy steps are required to explain it. In the late 1600's Johannes Hevelius named it after the wild cat because those animals have eyesight good enough to see the stars here and humans don't…
Continue

Lyra - the lyre

Posted on March 11, 2017 at 9:19am 3 Comments

orph_02 High in the summer sky you'll find Lyra, the lyre, which is a small harp-like musical instrument. On some old-timey maps it is depicted as a eagle, or sometimes a vulture, with a small lyre in its mouth. Clearly this one was designed by an astronomy club committee. …

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Mensa - the table

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 8:41am 1 Comment

tableboat Mensa means "table." It is also the name of a southern constellation mapped out by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.



Originally Lacaille meant for this area of the sky to be named "Table Mountain" after a place in Africa near Cape Town. People casually shortened the name…
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Microscopium - the microscope

Posted on February 25, 2017 at 2:33pm 1 Comment

microscope Having named one southern constellation after a telescope, Lacaille named another after the microscope. The two star groups are beside each other. It seemed only right since each of these inventions expanded our level of consciousness by orders of magnitude, albeit in opposite…
Continue

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At 12:28pm on January 27, 2012, Monica McGee (Monicks) said…

Welcome to Think Atheist, Brad! Thank you for adding me to your friends. It is great to have you here.

Message me, or tweet me (@Monicks), or contact any of the Moderators  with any suggestions or questions.

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