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...

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...

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...

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,”...