Author Archives: Jeff Mangum

Should an Aspiring Astronomer Consider Working in Other Countries?

Question: Hello! My name is Tyr. I’m 17 year old from Israel and in a few months I’m going to graduate from high school. I’ve been fascinated with physics, astronomy and mathematics since I was a little boy.  When I … Continue reading

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Where Can I Find Fluxes for Strong Radio Galaxies?

Question: I am trying to calibrate New Horizons radiometry data and need flux of strong radio sources (Cas A, Cyg A, Tau A, and Vir A) at 7182 MHz.  Is there a good catalog of this basic information (flux at … Continue reading

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A Question About Pursuing a Career in Astronomy

Question: I’ve been interested in astronomy and all things space all my life and I’ve never taken the time to actually look into the job outlook until now. Everyone is telling me that if I become an astronomer then I … Continue reading

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Where Can I Find Transit Times for Astronomical Objects?

Question: Is there a way or a program available that will tell me what point on earth is 90° below it. For example for the sun and moon they show when the sun is 90° above a certain location. Can … Continue reading

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How Many “Official” Moons Does Jupiter Have?

Question: I am writing a piece for middle school students about the planets of our solar system and am trying to find an up-to-date figure for how many moons are officially recognized around Jupiter. I’ve seen figures from 23 to … Continue reading

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Why Does a Small Change in Height Cause the Full Moon to be Occulted by a Nearby Mountain?

Question: I cannot find an answer to this conundrum anywhere on the Web, and it’s not at all a function of the famous Moon Illusion.  Late last month (March), the full moon rose over a 7500-foot elevation ridgeline that’s located … Continue reading

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Are Grades and Undergraduate Research Important for Graduate School Applicants?

Question: Hi, I am an undergraduate freshman at University of California, Berkeley. I am interested in astronomy and currently in the path of an Astrophysics major.  My question is, what is the most important advice you can give to a … Continue reading

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Why is the New Horizons Flyby of 2014 MU69 So Much Closer than its Pluto Flyby Distance?

Question: There is talk of New Horizons travelling to another object in the Kuiper Belt. The fly by will be at about 1900 miles, much closer than the fly by of Pluto. How are the distances of observation of these … Continue reading

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Does the Prime Meridian of Mars Ever Parallel to the Celestial Prime Meridian?

Question: Is there ever day in Mars history where the Mars prime meridian is parallel to the prime meridian on the celestial sphere? If so what is it?  For example on earth on 1950-3-21T04:35-21 spring equinox the earth prime meridian … Continue reading

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What is the Distance to the Moon and How is it Measured?

Question: What is the true distance of the moon from the surface of the earth, since VLT @ Paranal can shoot a high powered laser to measure the distance? Based on surface temperatures recorded by NASA, it appears to be … Continue reading

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