We all know the Earth’s Moon is amazing, but what about the moons of the other planets? All 181 moons of our solar system tell a story about how they were formed, and they have unique textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. We get many requests to add more moons to our MOVA Space collection, so we’ve selected a few of our favorites to share with you. Which of these moons do you find the most interesting and would like to see rotating on your desk in the future?
We sat down with Jarred Donkersley, Celestron’s Assistant Marketing Manager, to discuss how anyone can get started with stargazing, why astronomy is important,and his favorite space missions.
Celestron has been in business for over 50 years. How did it get started?
It all started when Tom Johnson, our founder, discovered an inexpensive way to mass produce the corrector plate of the schmidt-cassegrain telescope, making wide, short tube designs affordable for amateur astronomers. Since then there have been countless innovations, but we’ve always stayed true to our roots and dedicated to the hobby and our customers.
How should stargazing newbies get started? Give us a Stargazing 101.
We continue our conversation with Jarred Donkersley, Celestron’s Assistant Marketing Manager, to discuss how Celestron brings people together through community events, a wide array of products, and a dedication to teach people about our planet. Read part one of our interview to get a stargazing lesson.
What’s the best part about working at Celestron? What makes Celestron unique?
Celestron occupies a unique position at the forefront of a relatively small industry. Because of this we enjoy opportunities to work with all sorts of individuals and organizations. The National Park Service, The International Dark-Sky Association, Stephen Hawking, Phil Plait, John Davis, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, NASA, Bill Nye and The Planetary Society, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan of the Cosmos TV show, Kristie Reddick and The Bug Chicks, and that’s just some of the more well-known personalities. At least once a month some exciting new project gets tossed in our lap.
Add to that the fact that we have some really experienced and loyal staff that have either been in the industry or at Celestron for 15, 25, 35 years or longer and you get a sense of how deep this hobby runs for our team. Some folks at Celestron are the world experts at their particular trade or area of expertise. There’s never a dull moment.
Houston, we have a problem. Do you ever feel like you came from a different planet? Well, maybe you did! In honor of World Space Week, we put together this quiz to determine which planet you are from based on your personality. Are you quiet like the moon, free-spirited like Jupiter, imaginative like Neptune, or adventurous like Mercury? Let’s take a journey through space to rediscover which planet you should be calling home.
So we have solar cells and magnets – that’s everything we need for MOVA Creations to rotate, right? If you’ve ever held a MOVA Globe in your hand, you’ll notice immediately that there are two parts, one clear sphere on the outside and the other with the graphic encased and pivoting in fluid. Each MOVA Creation contains fluid – in between the outer shell and inner globe for MOVA Globes and Minis, and levitating the globe for MOVA Cubes.
While solar cells and magnets supply the energy and force needed to turn the globe, the fluid is the “glue” that holds the illusion together. To make sense of the MOVA magic, we will need to discuss the role of fluids.
Do you remember how cool it was to play with magnets as a kid? From attracting metal objects, allowing us to build things, to making its presence on household items, magnets are as practical as they are magical. When we were developing MOVA Creations, we wanted to create products that could truly fascinate and mesmerize. There was already a number of rotating globes on the market (most powered by electrical cords and batteries), so we wanted something that could rotate continuously on its own. That was when we turned to the practicality and wonder of magnets, things many people take for granted, into making this magic possible.
MOVA Globes and Magnets
While the technology of MOVA Creations are most associated with solar power, magnets play instrument role in making the MOVA motion and illusion possible. Because the solar cells hidden inside each MOVA Creation are concealed by the graphics, only so much ambient light can pass through and generate power to drive the rotation. To drive more force for the rotation, we needed a second source of power, and this need is where magnets come in.
Back in 2013, Alexander Hayes, a scientist on the Cassini Mission to Saturn, reached out to us about making a MOVA Globe version on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan, as a gift to his graduate school advisors. What started as a unique gift turned into one of our most intriguing and different MOVA Globe designs. We wanted to let Mr. Hayes answer the most common questions we get asked about this fascinating celestial body.
Our universe is what you would call an “open book” – limitless possibilities, open to interpretation, and never closed to new discoveries. Our planet Earth and solar system are merely tiny, tiny blips on the radar yet many of us may not know the significance of the thousands of space discoveries ever recorded. World Space Week 2015, from October 4th to October 10th, celebrates the contribution of science and technology to our better understanding of space and the world we live in. This year’s theme is discovery, which highlights the importance of recent technological innovations that allow us to explore and learn more about our universe. Now, follow along as we showcase a few cool space discoveries you may not have known of:
Just as our understanding of our universe continues to expand, so too does our MOVA Space line of products. As we’ve added celestial objects other than planets to our collection, we’ve received lots of questions about our Vesta MOVA Globe. So we went straight to the source to get you answers. We spoke to Dr. Marc D Rayman, Chief Engineer/Mission Director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who originally reached out to us and gave us the image of Vesta you can see on our MOVA Globe today. Read on to learn more about this fascinating asteroid, the Dawn mission, and what exactly all the colors on the Vesta image mean.
Toys, gadgets, puzzles and gizmos – not quite the lineup of items you think of when it comes to science. However for Ross Kelly, these items are exactly the tools that he uses to teach. It started for the Boston College organic chemistry professor three decades ago, when he purchased a soccer player figurine that was able to “levitate” a ball from a steam of air coming from its head. The science behind the intriguing toy fascinated Kelly so much that he began purchasing more items from offbeat souvenir stores, airport shops and online sites and became determined to use them to inspire curiosity and wonder in others. Since then, he has assembled a collection of over 75 eccentric gizmos and toys, dubbed the “Curiosity Cabinet” collection, that he poses to students to get them to think about an aspect of the world and foster a hands-on approach. We spoke with Kelly about how he started his curiosity cabinet, his goals for putting the collection together, and his thoughts on how people can engage with science.