IT WON’T BE LONG NOW! (Feb, 1951)


Rocket-powered spaceships will make overnight trips to the moon by 1975

IF YOU’D like to be the first human being to take a rocket-powered spaceship trip to the moon you have to get on line.



WITH STRANGE-LOOKING instruments that catch radio waves from the stars, Australian scientists are probing the mysteries of the universe. So far they have identified 100 “radio stars”—highly localized sources of cosmic static.


There actually are few liquid mirror telescopes in operation at the moment. The biggest is the 6 meter Large Zenith Telescope.



PROF. ROBERT W. WOOD, of the Johns Hopkins University, has perfected an invention — based on a discovery — that may revolutionize the present costly and cumbersome methods of studying the stars and exploring the universe for new planets, suns, moons, and asteroids.


The high school I went to, Bronx Science, had a smaller version of the planetarium projector from the Hayden Planetarium. Interestingly, Neil deGrasse Tyson went there too.


Walter Favreau pushes the moon around and darkens the sun—all in his day’s work at New York’s Hoyden Planetarium.

By Lester David

WALTER Favreau is the only man in the world who literally moves heaven and earth to get what he wants. He spins the sun like a yo-yo on a string, unhinges the stars and sends the planets whirling crazily through the solar system.

Sun Gives Off Ultraviolet Rays (May, 1930)

Astronomical writing got a lot easier to understand once they started referring to other stars as stars instead of suns.

Sun Gives Off Ultraviolet Rays

IT IS fortunate for human beings that the earth revolves around a mild and friendly sun instead of around some other of the suns which astronomers discover among the stars. Dr. B. P. Gerasimovic of Harvard Observatory has just reported, for example, some of these other suns which would sunburn every creature on earth to death in a few seconds because of their enormous output of ultra-violet rays.

How Many Stars in Sky? 40 Billion (Mar, 1932)

I believe this article was posted around the time that astronomers started using the term “galaxy” in the modern sense. (Though I couldn’t find any firm dates on when this occurred) Previously the prevailing term had been Spiral Nebulae or other assorted terms like “star cloud” used below. This makes sense as it was only in the 1920’s that Hubble showed galaxies existed outside of the Milky Way.

Incidentally, the current estimate for the number of stars in the Milky Way is 200-400 billion. And of course the Milky Way is only one of roughly 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Yeah, the universe is a really, really big(video).

How Many Stars in Sky? 40 Billion

NEW counts of the number of stars that could be seen with perfect telescopes of unlimited power were announced recently by astronomers of Mount Wilson Observatory. The number of stars visible to an unaided human eye probably is not over 6000. But large telescopes, like the great 100-inch one at Mount Wilson, which is the largest in the world, show millions of stars even in a small part of the sky.

Want to listen to the stars? Do it with steel wire! (Oct, 1961)

Want to listen to the stars? Do it with steel wire!

The University of Illinois will soon begin operating a mammoth radio telescope to map and catalog radiation from galaxies that are invisible to optical telescopes. The findings will throw further light on the evolution of stars and perhaps help solve other mysteries of the universe.

Universe Whirls on Plaster Sky (Aug, 1930)

“AMERICA’S only planetarium” is a line that kind of jumps out at you.

Universe Whirls on Plaster Sky

AMERICA’S only planetarium, a million-dollar project, was opened recently on an artificial island in Lake Michigan just outside Chicago.

A planetarium is a building in which points of light, representing stars and planets, are projected against a dome by means of illuminated stereoptican slides to show spectators the movements of the heavenly bodies. This is accomplished by a huge, scientifically accurate projection machine.

Cooling space pilots from launch to landing (Oct, 1961)

Cooling space pilots from launch to landing

New concepts in airborne cooling have become vital to the progress of America’s space program. For example, Garrett is now developing an advanced system for the Boeing Dyna-Soar manned space glider. It will use the liquid hydrogen fuel for the vehicle’s own accessory power system to control the temperature of the pilot and equipment throughout the flight.

Costly Ball to Guide Astronauts (Nov, 1961)

I wonder if this was part of the inspiration for Gravity Probe B, a satellite designed to measure how spacetime is warped by the earth. It had some seriously spherical gyroscopes:

At the time, the gyroscopes were the most nearly spherical objects ever made. Approximately the size of ping pong balls, they are perfectly round to within forty atoms (less than 10 nm). If one of these spheres were scaled to the size of the earth, the tallest mountains and deepest ocean trench would measure only 2.4 m (8 ft) high

Costly Ball to Guide Astronauts

A LITTLE metal ball, worth more than 30 times its weight in gold, is being tediously fashioned into shape as part of a guidance system that may help future astronauts find their way around the universe.

General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y., says the sphere of niobium will be a critical part of an inertial guidance system giving pinpoint accuracy to navigation of a jet, ocean liner, space ship, or submarine—largely as a result of suspending it in a vacuum and rotating it as the heart of a super-precise gyroscope.