Ken Tapping

STARGAZING NOTES: Saturn more than just a pretty star

It might not look like much, just a moderately bright, yellowish star in the southwest, but it is one of the most beautiful in the sky.

STARGAZING NOTES: Black holes may lead to worm holes

Thanks to science fiction movies and TV series, most of us have heard of black holes and wormholes.

STARGAZING NOTES: Where space begins is not obvious

Penticton astronomer Ken Tapping discusses where space begins

STARGAZING NOTES: Space not exactly the quietest place

The most amazing sounds can be heard from the Earth’s magnetic field.

Voyager passes through boundary into the unknown

However, if space is empty, how can we move from one space to another?

STAR GAZING NOTES: Out of clouds of gas and dust – a star is born

Penticton columnist Ken Tappin on: for the first time, we have been able to observe the birth of a new star.

Mapping the big bang

Once we thought we lived on the only world. Now we know there are countless other worlds. Do we live in the only universe?

Strange lights in the sky

Most of the “lights in the sky” reported are quickly identified as astronomical objects, such as bright planets

Stargazing Notes — Light buckets

On a clear, dark night, our unaided eyes can see up to 2,000 stars, and possibly the Milky Way as a silvery arch

Galaxy heading for a cosmic collision

Milky Way galaxy will collide with galaxy in Andromeda in about four billion years

Holiday hints for the astronomer

The amount of stuff available for backyard astronomers is now almost unbelievable

The cosmic recipe

Stars are very different from planets. They are generally larger, are made of hot gas, and produce enormous amounts of energy by nuclear fusion, which makes them shine. Planets are smaller, do not shine, and depend upon stars for light and heat. That difference is fundamental, which makes it intriguing that stars and planets are made using the same recipe. The only difference is how much of the cosmic recipe mixture is used.

Questioning everything there is

We are often asked “If the universe is everything, how can there be more than that?” How can we be now talking in terms of multiple universes, or “the multiverse”?

The slipping zodiac

Over the last few weeks the media have given lots of coverage about the slippage of the zodiac, and that whatever sign you think you are, you are probably really the sign before that. If you are an Aries, you might now be a Pisces, and so on. Actually, this slippage issue has been there for more than 2,000 years, which makes its sudden discovery in the last few weeks surprising.