Author Archives: David L. Chandler

Sputnik 1

A Celebration of Spaceflight

The launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, heralded the beginning of the Space Age and paved the way for Moonwalking astronauts, robotic exploration of the solar system, and space tourism — but not Tang or Teflon.

Cooperation on Texas Dark Skies?

In the ongoing struggle between expanding development and the protection of vanishing dark skies, it looks like there's a success story in the making outside Houston — and possibly an example for other areas facing similar threats. The George Observatory, run by the Houston Museum of Natural Science and located about 50 miles from the…

Decoding Titan’s Climate

With blistering heatwaves in the U.S. and devastating floods in Europe and Asia, perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing the solar system has places with far more inhospitable weather than Earth. Take Saturn's moon Titan. It's the only rocky world we know of that may have something like Earth weather, with oceans and…

Solar Weather Probed in Depth

A new analysis of observations from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) reveals detailed and unexpected weather patterns not only on the Sun's visible surface but down to depths of about 15,000 kilometers — roughly two percent of the Sun's radius. The unexpected patterns include short-term giant storm systems analogous to Earth's hurricanes and Jupiter's…