Author Archives: Tony Flanders

About Tony Flanders

Contributing editor Tony Flanders has been working with S&T in some capacity since 2003.

A prominent solar flare captured by SDO's AIA instrument in June, 2011

SkyWatch 2012: The Sun

The Sun is incredibly dynamic — something that's difficult to convey properly in the pages of a book or magazine. If you watch a major solar flare through a telescope, it will often change from one minute to the next. Time-lapse movies compress the time scale, allowing you to see this motion directly. In the…

SkyWatch 2012: The Deep Sky in Motion

Due to the vast distances separating deep-sky objects from Earth, few show obvious changes on scales shorter than a human lifetime. But there are exceptions. When stars explode or flair, their energy and/or cast-off material can create changes visible thousands of light-years away. For instance, the star V838 Monocerotis flared in 2002. The flash is…

Vesta, the 2nd-largest asteroid in the main belt

SkyWatch 2012: Asteroids

Many asteroids have been visited by spacecraft since the Galileo probe flew by Gaspra in 1991 en route to Jupiter. These spacecraft encounters have yielded a treasure trove of detailed images and data. To study an asteroid's surface completely and in detail, it's necessary to orbit the asteroid rather than just photograph it in passing.…

Trudy Bell-113px

The Great Telescope Race

During the 1800s, the United States experienced a veritable explosion in telescope construction, going from an astronomical backwater to the undisputed world leader in less than a century. How and why did this remarkable transformation take place? Award-winning science journalist, author, and astronomy historian Trudy Bell describes this process in “The Great Telescope Race,” a…