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Balrog's Lair
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Astronomy and Space Science - Education and Outreach
Astronomy and Space Science - Education and Outreach

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Dark Lord Sauron gets an asteroid named after him!

(378214) Sauron = 2007 AP11
Discovered 2007 Jan. 14 by E. Schwab and R. Kling at Taunus.
Sauron is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel
The Lord of the Rings. He created the One Ring to rule the rings of power. Due to Sauron’s war-like nature, a Mars-crossing minor planet was chosen to receive his name.

Announcement in the +Minor Planet Center archive: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/ECS/MPCArchive/2016/MPC_20160904.pdf (This is also contains the announcement of the asteroid that was named after Freddie Mercury.)

Image from the +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Small-Body Database Browser: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2007+AP11%3Bold%3D0%3Borb%3D0%3Bcov%3D0%3Blog%3D0%3Bcad%3D0#elem

Tags: +Asteroid Day
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My new post on the +Vatican Observatory Foundation blog: The History of Light Pollution.

All my lectures seen to include some history - maybe I should just start going with that...

When I was researching for this lecture, I wanted to show the growth of Light Pollution over time; I kept going back, and back to how ancient mankind used light, all the way past fire to just having the Moon and stars.
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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft took of for it's first test flight this morning.

Video: http://youtu.be/iCanbuiSywg
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Read an excerpt from the introduction of Brother Guy Consolmagno's newest book: “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers’ In-box at the Vatican Observatory”

http://balrogslair.com/2014/11/19/would-you-baptize-an-extraterrestrial-an-excerpt-from-brother-guy-consolmagnos-latest-book/
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There have been numerous bolide events between 1994 and 2013

http://balrogslair.com/2014/11/18/numerous-bolide-events-between-1994-and-2013/
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Where is the Rosetta Mission and comet right now? #CometLanding  

http://balrogslair.com/2014/11/13/where-is-rosetta-now/
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NASA's Cassini Mission probes the depths of the hydrocarbon seas on Saturn's moon Titan. Kraken Mare 66 to 115 feet (20 to 35 meters) deep.

http://balrogslair.com/2014/11/10/cassini-probes-the-depths-of-titans-largest-sea/
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Carl Sagan: "astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience."
High School: We can't get anyone to teach it.

http://balrogslair.com/2014/11/10/astronomy-the-oldest-of-the-sciences-is-now-an-elective-if-its-even-offered/
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Unmanned ‪#‎Antares‬ resupply mission to the ISS blows up moments after launch.
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