Astronomy

Boise State University

The Physics Department at Boise State University wants to buy a digital planetarium to help teach kids about STEM. And they’re hoping to raise money to pay for the project.

NASA/CXC/M.Weiss / Flickr

They're weird and they're hard to find. Boise State University's Physics Department hosts a talk about black holes Friday at 8 p.m. at the Education Building. Michigan State University Mark Peacock joins Idaho Matters to talk about the study of black holes. 

  • Our team of Idaho reporters breaks down the week's headlines.
  • Studying black holes and binary stars.
  • Homegrown Theatre.

visitsunvalley.com

Light pollution is the presence of artificial light in the night sky and as development has increased throughout the west, astronomers lament the lack clean, dark skies to observe the heavens. Fortunately, Idaho is home to some of the darkest skies in America and we talk about efforts to create a "dark sky reserve" with Stanley mayor Steve Botti and former Ketchum mayor Nina Jonas. 

  • Friday Reporter Roundtable.
  • Promoting advance care planning for Idahoans.
  • Idaho's dark skies.

Boise State University

Boise State’s physics department is opening up its newly refurbished observatory for some stargazing Friday night, along with an evening of research into how galaxies form.

Shutter Runner / Flickr

Ketchum has been named an official “dark sky community.” The designation by the International Dark Sky Association strengthens an effort by the Sawtooth region to land the first International Dark Sky Reserve in the country.

Katy Mersmann / NASA

In the latest installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we asked what you've been wondering about the August 21 solar eclipse in Idaho. We got a lot of great questions, and because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, Samantha Wright decided to answer all 17 of them.

Jerry Mathes

The August 21 total solar eclipse is less than three weeks away. Towns around Idaho are expecting big crowds of people coming from all over the world to watch the moon cross in front of the sun. Unofficial estimates run as high as 250,000 visitors flooding into the Gem State.

The two-minute blackout is an event that appeals to people for many reasons. Some are coming to be part of a once in a lifetime event. Others are interested in astronomy. What is it about the eclipse that could motivate a quarter million people to come here?

NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC)

Scientists from Boise State University and the University of Washington are studying a newly found group of planets around a nearby star. They’ll talk about their research Friday night in Boise. Turns out, these planets are good candidates for hosting life outside Earth.

Google and www.eclipse2017.org

It’s a big deal. That’s what one Boise State University professor says about this summer’s total solar eclipse. He's raising money online to help towns and cities prepare for an influx of people hoping to see the eclipse.

Physics professor Brian Jackson says campsites and hotels are already booked up for August 21 across the eclipse path in Idaho. He says Idaho is centrally located for prime eclipse watching.

ESO/M. Kornmesser

Late last month, scientists announced they had found an Earth-like planet around a nearby star. Faraway planets, known as exoplanets, have been found before but this one is relatively close to our sun and is in what’s called the habitable zone around its own star. A researcher from Washington says that means it could be in a position to support life.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A local astronomer has made his crowdfunding goal and Boise will soon have an observatory again.

Elizabeth Haslam / Flickr

Sunday night will offer a chance to see the last total lunar eclipse until 2018.

This eclipse is special, says Brian Jackson, an astronomer who teaches at Boise State. That’s because it will also be what’s known as a “Blood Moon.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

On top of the tallest academic building on the Boise State campus sits a large metal dome. It is an observatory that has been at the school for more than 35 years. At one point, the dome was a hive of activity, giving students and the public a chance to peer deep into our solar system. Now it sits mostly empty and unused, after years of neglect.

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