Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -
Astronomy and Other Sciences

See an Unexplained Object in the Sky ?

Have a Question About Astronomy or Other Sciences ?

Ask an Expert from Friends of the Zeiss !

It is simple to ask a question; just send your question to this e-mail address:

< FAQ@planetarium.cc >

You will receive a response within 48 hours. If your question cannot be answered within that time, you will be advised when an answer can be expected. You will then receive your answer by electronic mail. And, that answer (excluding your name and e-mail address) may be added to the

Friends of the Zeiss FAQ answer page.

Several members of Friends of the Zeiss, some of them former employees or volunteers of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in Pittsburgh, are available to answer questions on Astronomy, Earth and Space Sciences, Meteorology, Optics, and other sciences. These experts include:

* Francis Glenn Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics , Kent State University. Professor Graham was a long-time Planetarium Lecturer at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), where he operated the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, which prior to its 2002 dismantling was the oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world ! He was Founder of the American Lunar Society in the 1980s. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of Friends of the Zeiss. Further information about Professor Graham:
** Short biography of Professor Graham.
** On 2011 December 13 (St. Lucy's Day), the Board of Trustees of Kent State University bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus of Physics upon Professor Graham, shortly after his retirement from the University. The University Faculty had unanimously recommended this action, without receiving a request from Professor Graham. Professor Graham was honored by this designation and said, "I was just doing my thing. I love explaining stuff and dreaming up new stuff. It's a love that was nurtured by the environment at Buhl Planetarium."
This Board of Trustees action is documented in the Kent State University Summary of Board Actions from Dec. 13, Posted Dec. 13, 2011.
More regarding this new designation.
** Short Resume
** Weblog by, and Photograph of, Professor Graham
** Selected Astronomical Observations Recorded by Professor Graham:
Dyke, Barb V., et.al. "Saturn Through the Buhl Planetarium Heliostat."
Report of the Alternative Curriculum Astronomy Workshop,
The Tripoli Federation, Pittsburgh 1975 April 2.
1983 (Conjunction: Jupiter, Uranus), 2004 (Transit of Venus), 2005 (Very Slight Eclipse of Sun), 2005 (Partial Eclipse of Moon)
** Photographs of Professor Graham:
*** Looking up at the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector, of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, on display-only at The Carnegie Science Center.
*** Pointing to a Carnegie Science Center wall display regarding one of his former Buhl Planetarium students, Astronaut Mike Fincke.

* Eric G. Canali, Former Floor Manager, Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center). Mr. Canali also is Founder and Manager of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club: Link 1 *** Link 2.

* Glenn A. Walsh, former Coordinator of the Astronomical Observatory and Planetarium Lecturer at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center). Mr. Walsh also created and managed Buhl Planetarium's Embryology Exhibit, including the weekly hatching of chicks and occasionally ducklings; so, he can also field some Life Sciences questions.


See an Unexplained Object in the Sky? Have a Question About Astronomy or Other Sciences?
Ask an Expert from Friends of the Zeiss!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -
Astronomy and Other Sciences

The following are the questions and answers to some frequently asked questions, in the fields of Astronomy and other Sciences. After reading the answer, if you need more information or a clarification, or if you have a question not covered in this FAQ, send your question to the following electronic mail address:

< FAQ@planetarium.cc >

Internet Web Site Master Index for the History of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

FAQ Index

Astronomy / Space Sciences --
General

Astronomical Observatories

Historic Observatories

Sun & Moon

Comets

Meteor
Showers

Seasons of the Year /
Cross-Quarter Days

Time

Atmospheric /
Meteorology

Physics

Optics

Earth Sciences
and Geology

Life Sciences /
Biology

Computers /
Internet

Science In
General

Science In
History

Eclipse of the Sun / Solar Eclipse:
Tips For Safe Viewing

Quick-Reference Page - Science Including
Current Weather Info & Maps
Precise Time & Calendars

NEWS: Planetarium,
Astronomy, Space

Citizen Science
Projects

Astronomical Calendar

Current Month

Calendar Archives

Astronomical Glossary

Astronomy / Space Sciences -- General

How do you safely view a Solar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Sun?

Are “hand-made” or “home-made” solar filters or eclipse-viewing glasses safe to use?

How do you find safe eclipse-viewing glasses?

Star or Planet ? What is that very bright, star-like object in the sky?
See an Unexplained Object in the Sky ?
Have a Question About Astronomy or Other Sciences ?
Ask an Expert from Friends of the Zeiss !

Stargazing Simplified *** Mullaney's Roster of 300 Night Sky Wonders Now On-Line
(Both are authored by James J. Mullaney, astronomy writer, lecturer, and consultant who has served as Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.)

Why Were Stars Used on the American Flag?

How can you view the International Space Station (ISS) with the naked-eye?

Moon Illusion: Why does the Moon look so large when it is low in the sky?

NASA: 2005 *** NASA: 2007 *** NASA: 2008

What is Perihelion, Aphelion, Perigee, and Apogee ?
What terms are used for the closest and farthest points in Earth orbit of the Sun and lunar orbit of the Earth ?

How do you form an Amateur Astronomers' club?

What is an Astronomer?

Great Moon Hoax of 1835 (Life Discovered on the Moon!)

The Astronomy President: John Quincy Adams

The Origins Of The Man-In-The-Moon
(2006 Feb. 9 - Space.com)

"How We Learn About the Universe"

International Space Station (ISS): Science Studies *** Sighting Opportunities

What were old mechanical planetarium machines called?

How do I acquire FREE BOOKS FROM NASA ?

Dark Matter

*** For Halos around the Sun or Moon, Rainbows, and other Atmospheric phenomena, see Atmospheric / Meteorology.

When is the Martian New Year?

Astronomical Observatories

Hubble Space Telescope

Historic Observatories ---

America's 1st Public Observatory - Cincinnati Observatory (1845) *** The Astronomy President: John Quincy Adams

America's 2nd Public Observatory - Allegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh (1861)

America's 5th Public Observatory - Buhl Planetarium Observatory, Pittsburgh (1941)

The Sun and the Moon of Earth

*** Solar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Sun
SPECIAL NOTE: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN OR A SOLAR ECLIPSE WITH A TELESCOPE, BINOCULARS, OR ANY OPTICAL DEVICE, AS IT COULD CAUSE PERMANENT BLINDNESS INSTANTLY !!!
LOOKING AT THE SUN OR A SOLAR ECLIPSE WITH THE NAKED-EYE COULD ALSO CAUSE PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE !
THERE ARE NO NERVE ENDINGS IN THE EYES, HENCE EYE DAMAGE COULD OCCUR WHILE NO PAIN IS FELT !
SAFE WAY TO VIEW A SOLAR ECLIPSE OR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN
---

Hybrid or Total-Annular Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun

*** Lunar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Moon
SPECIAL NOTE: Unlike a Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun which is dangerous to look at and for which special arrangements must be made to view safely, a Lunar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Moon is safe to view with the naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope. ---

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - When the Moon enters Earth's partial shadow, known as the Penumbra.

*** Full Moon --- (Special, Monthly Full Moon Names)

Harvest Moon (September or sometimes October)

Hunter's Moon (October or sometimes November)

"Blue Moon"

"Black Moon"

"Blood Moon" --- Link 1
Image of one type of "Blood Moon"

"Super Moon" (Lunar Perigee Full Moon) --- Link 1 *** Link 2 *** Link 3 *** Link 4 *** Images Comparing "Super Moon" with "Mini-Moon"

"Mini-Moon" (Lunar Apogee Full Moon) *** Images Comparing "Super Moon" with "Mini-Moon"

Smallest Full Moon of Year ("Mini-Moon") -- Link 1 *** Link 2 *** Link 3 *** Images Comparing "Super Moon" with "Mini-Moon"

St. Valentine's Day Full Moon

* Special names of the Full Moon phase each month, originated by Native Americans, Colonial Americans, or early Europeans ---

(In some of these articles, these special names may be listed in second half of article.)

January *** February *** March

April: 2015 * 2014 *** May (Also see: May Full Moon affect on U.S. Civil War) *** June: 2016 * 2014

July *** August: 2015 * 2014 * 2013 *** September: 2015 * 2014 * 2013

October: 2015 * 2013 *** November *** December: 2015 * 2013

Other Names of the Full Moon Phase

*** More on the Moon of Earth ---

Moon Day - A National Holiday ?

The Origins Of The Man-In-The-Moon
(2006 Feb. 9 - Space.com)

Moon Illusion: Why does the Moon look so large when it is low in the sky?

NASA: 2005 *** NASA: 2007 *** NASA: 2008

Great Moon Hoax of 1835 (Life Discovered on the Moon!)

*** What is Perihelion, Aphelion, Perigee, and Apogee ?
What terms are used for the closest and farthest points in Earth orbit of the Sun and lunar orbit of the Earth ?

Comets

What is a Comet?

What is the best way to view a Comet?

Should We Worry About Comet ISON ? (2013 Oct. 10)

Meteor Showers

What is a Meteor Shower?

What is the best way to view a Meteor Shower?

Lyrid Meteor Shower (April)

Leonid Meteor Shower (November)

Geminid Meteor Shower with Mysterious Origin (December)

Ursid Meteor Shower (December)

The Seasons of the Year / Cross-Quarter Days

Seasons of the Year *** Cross-Quarter Days

**** Cross-Quarter Days ---

What is a "Cross-Quarter Day" ?

Are there "CORRECT" dates for the CROSSQUARTER DAYS ?

Cross-Quarter Days: Mid-Summer *** Mid-Autumn *** Mid-Winter

**** Seasons of the Year ---

*** Summer ---

What is the significance of the "Summer Solstice"? Why do our days get longer until June 21, then they get shorter?

Explanation: Link 1 with Diagram (c) 2005 E.G.Canali *** Link 2

Solstice Moon Illusion (2008)

Stonehenge-Type Summer Solstice Event in America?

Snowballs on the Summer Solstice Event in America?

Cross-Quarter Day in Mid-Summer

*** Autumn ---

Why Leaves Change Color *** Autumn Foliage Reports

Harvest Moon (September or sometimes October)

Hunter's Moon (October or sometimes November)

Cross-Quarter Day in Mid-Autumn:

What is the Astronomical significance of Halloween, All-Saints Day, and All-Souls Day?

Link 1 *** Link 2 *** Link 3 *** Link 4

**** Winter ---

Winter Solstice

Mid-Winter


Malerbo, Dan. "Let's Talk About: Changing Seasons." Column.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2010 July 1.
Column author Dan Malerbo is Educational Coordinator for the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium and Observatory at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. He also served as a Planetarium Lecturer at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center).

*** What is Perihelion, Aphelion, Perigee, and Apogee ?
What terms are used for the closest and farthest points in Earth orbit of the Sun and lunar orbit of the Earth ?

When is the Martian Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) ?

Time

History of Standard Time
Link 1 *** Link 2

Daylight Saving Time

How long has Daylight Saving Time been in use?

What is the Leap Year Pattern?

What is the origin of the Seven-Day Week?

Atmospheric / Meteorology

Lunar Halos: What is a Ring or Circle Around the Moon? - First Question *** Second Question
Photographs (by Julie Hall) of Lunar Halo in Crossville, Tennessee on the evening of 2007 January 29: Photo 1 *** Photo 2

What is a Rainbow?

Lightning Behind Clouds ? "Heat Lightning" ?

Why Leaves Change Color *** Autumn Foliage Reports

*** For general information on Astronomy and Space Sciences, see Astronomy / Space Sciences -- General.

Physics

What is Sound ? Answer for Children *** Answer for Adults

Optics

How long does it take to cool a large mirror being produced
for one of the world??s largest astronomical telescopes?

Earth Sciences and Geology

How do you determine the correction for a magnetic compass?

Malerbo, Dan. "Let's Talk About: Tides." Column.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2010 July 8.
Column author Dan Malerbo is Educational Coordinator for the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium and Observatory at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. He also served as a Planetarium Lecturer at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center).

Life Sciences / Biology

Why Leaves Change Color *** Autumn Foliage Reports

Computers / Internet

How do I find old Internet web pages, free-of-charge, no longer available on the Internet ? The Wayback Machine Internet Archive.

How do I acquire FREE ELECTRONIC BOOKS FROM NASA ?

Science In General

What is the Scientific Method? *** History of the Scientific Method

How can a non-scientist participate in science research? Citizen Science Projects

Science In History

History of the Scientific Method

Italian Astronomer Galileo Galilei - 1564 February 15 to 1642 January 8.

John Quincy Adams - 1767 July 11 to 1848 February 23.
Sixth President of the United States of America, who worked to establish astronomical observatories in America, as well as the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution.

Planetarium Concept Born - 1914 February 24

Historic 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds - 1938 October 30

John Fitzgerald Kennedy: The Loss of the Man Who Sent Us to the Moon - 1963 November 22

Apollo 8 Orbits the Moon Christmas Eve - 1968 December 24

The Historic Mission of Apollo 11, Man Walks on the Moon for the First Time - 1969 July 20

The Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster - 1986 January 28

Dobsonian Telescope Inventor Dies - 2014 January 15


Other Internet Web Sites of Interest

History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries

History of Astronomer, Educator, and Optician John A. Brashear, Friend of Andrew Carnegie

History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh -
Which Housed the Oldest Operable Major Planetarium Projector in the World !

History of The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Chicago - America's First Major Planetarium !

The Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh -
Historic Cable Car Railway Serving Commuters and Tourists since 1877 !

Other History Links


Edited By Glenn A. Walsh
Sponsored By Friends of the Zeiss

This Internet Web Page: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ >
Internet Web Cover Page: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
Electronic Mail: < FAQ@planetarium.cc >

Internet Web Site Master Index for the History of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh


Disclaimer Statement: This Internet Web Site is not affiliated with the Andrew Carnegie Free Library,
Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves Civil War Reenactment Group, Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium and Observatory,
The Carnegie Science Center, The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Institute, or The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

This Internet, World Wide Web Site administered by Glenn A. Walsh.
Unless otherwise indicated, all pages in this web site are --
?\ Copyright 2004, Glenn A. Walsh, All Rights Reserved.
The author thanks The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Library Community Network/Three Rivers Free-Net
for use of their digital scanner and other computer equipment, and other assistance provided in the production of this web site.
Contact Web Site Administrator: < FAQ@planetarium.cc >.

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