Astronomy

Ronel Reyes | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1MOICtA

This weekend, leading researchers in the field of astrobiology will convene on UMSL’s campus to share research and analysis of recent findings. That begs the question: what in the world is astrobiology, anyway?

Funny you should ask. Astrobiology is a branch of biology which is concerned with the study of life on earth and in space. This weekend’s conference will focus on exactly how life originated on Earth and if that is being echoed elsewhere in the universe.

Seven-year-old Phoenix Torno checks out his own reflection in the telescope's internal mirror, while his younger brother Bodhi tries to get in on the action.
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Libraries throughout the St. Louis area will soon have more telescopes available for checkout.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society put 29 telescopes together over the weekend, bringing the total number of telescopes at area libraries to 88 by March 17.

Twelve-year-old Ben Gremaud gets a preview of one of the telescopes at the St. Louis County Library, with the help of the St. Louis Astronomical Society's Don Ficken. If you look closely, you can see the library reflected in the telescope's mirror!
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio

Starting Nov. 10, you’ll be able to check out something a little unusual from some St. Louis-area public libraries: a telescope.

The program is a collaboration between the St. Louis Astronomical Society and public libraries in the city of St. Louis,  Kirkwood, University City and St. Louis County.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old and has a valid public library card and state I.D. will be able to check out a telescope for free for one week.

David Cortner

You don’t want to miss this, because it won’t happen again for more than 100 years.

Tuesday afternoon, starting just after 5 p.m., a rare astronomical event will be visible in the skies over St. Louis. It’s known as the transit of Venus. 

St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra asked University of Missouri-St. Louis astrophysicist Erika Gibb to help explain this twice-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.