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Walter's Universe

Halloween Thoughts

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With days shortening, nights lengthening, and Halloween growing near it is only natural that our thoughts should turn to the dead—and some of them were astronomers. (Insert blood-curdling scream here!)

Throughout history dead people have been interred in grounds sacred or not, either singly or in mass graves. Some had resting places in more formal tombs or crypts, perhaps even inside a church building. But did you know that a few “lucky” people are buried in observatories?

Solar Eclipses and Totality

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Totality, 1932 IN THE DISTANT PAST, the Moon was much closer to the Earth.

Very Rare Superoutburst of PR Herculis

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Winchester Observatory has monitored hundreds of variable stars with an automated imaging system over the last nine years. Most are run of the mill long period variables (mainly Mira-type stars) that vary slowly and somewhat predictably; the rest are the much more exciting cataclysmic variables (CVs)--stars that undergo sudden and dramatic increases in brightness.

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