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Astronomy Jokes and Space Explorers

Space Shuttle Columbia
Lost over Texas, 8:59 a.m, Saturday, 1 February 2003

Columbia's Crew

Rick D. Husband (Commander) - William C. McCool (Pilot)
Michael P. Anderson (Payload Commander) - David M. Brown (Mission Specialist)
Kalpana Chawla (Mission Specialist) - Laurel Clark (Mission Specialist)
Ilan Ramon (Payload Specialist)

A Personal Note

On Saturday, 30 January 2003, I finished the “Newton and physics” section of this site and planned to start the “space and astronomy” on Sunday. A few hours later happened the space shuttle Columbia tragedy.

The space and astronomy jokes section of this site is dedicated to the memory of the seven astronauts that perished on mission.

"If there was no such thing as Night the Sun would have run out twice as fast."

We cannot know where in the sky
A signal is lurking, or why.
We will search even though
The chances are low.
The payoff is well worth a try.

Why is an astronaut like a football player?
They both want touchdowns!

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might.
It's just a satellite

Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) (87 -150 AD)

A celebrated Greco-Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and geographer. He made his observations in Alexandria and was the last great astronomer of ancient times. Although he discovered the irregularity in the moon's motion, known as evection, and made original observations regarding the motions of the planets, his place in the history of science is that of collator and expounder. He systematized and recorded the data and doctrines that were known to Alexandrian men of science. His works on astronomy and geography were the standard textbooks until the teachings of Copernicus came to be accepted.

From the remark of Sherlock Holmes:
"It's a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence."
It follows that astronomers are bad detectives.

– Nick Schutgens, Phd thesis.

Q: What is an astronomical unit?
A: One helluva big apartment.

Freshmen in the general-science class at Mark Twain Middle School in Mar Vista, Calif., were studying astronomy.
"What do we call a group of stars that makes an imaginary picture in the sky?" the teacher asked.
"A consternation," one student replied.

– Contributed to "Tales Out of School" by Ralph E. Hedges, The Reader's Digest Association, 1996.

Copernicus' parents: "Copernicus, young man, when are you going to come to terms with the fact that the world does not revolve around you?"

Nicholas Copernicus (1473–1543)

A Polish astronomer. He established in his writings the Copernican system, the first modern European theory of planetary motion that placed the sun motionless at the center of the solar system with all the planets, including the earth, revolving around it.

From the remark of Sherlock Holmes:
"It's a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence."
It follows that astronomers are bad detectives.

– Nick Schutgens, Phd thesis.

Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero.

Learn more about space and astronomy

Q: How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?

1) Ten! One to change the bulb, and nine to argue how their own bulb gives better colour.

2) None! Astronomers aren't afraid of the dark.

3) See the FAQs.
"What sort of light bulb should I buy?"
"Should I start with a candle?"
"Where should I buy my light bulb?"
"Where NOT to buy a light bulb."
"What type of light bulb to avoid?"
"What will I be able to see with my bulb?"
"How do I deal with telescope-pollution?"
"Can I buy a bulb for a friend?"
"Can I use my bulb in the daytime?"

A true incident that occurred in my class.
We were celebrating Galileo's birthday. The previous Friday I had given an hour long lecture on computing angular distances using star charts of the Mercator style. After the class sang Happy Birthday in Italian, I asked the following: "All right, who here can tell me the distance from Betelgeuse to Procyon using your standard chart?" A hand shot up immediately and my chest swelled with pride. They had gotten it, I thought. "About an inch and a half," came the response.

– J. (embarrassed)

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)

A great Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. By his persistent investigation of natural laws he laid foundations for modern experimental science, and by the construction of astronomical telescopes he greatly enlarged humanity's vision and conception of the universe. He gave a mathematical formulation to many physical laws.

Learn more about Galileo Galilei

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

– Galileo Galilei

In class when students say to me, "Are you Serious?"
My reply is: " the brightest star in the night-time sky, I am Sirius!"

Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right.

– Robert Park, of the American Physical Society

Q. What's the most popular snack on Mars? A. Marshmallows.

Pupil: "Please Sir! Did you hear that scientists have found life on another planet?"
Teacher: "What are you talking about?"
Pupil: "They found fleas on Pluto!"

Jupiter came down to Earth one day and decided to help these two criminals to rob a bank. Anyway, to make a long story short, they got caught and the three of them found themselves in court. The judge sentenced the two earthlings to fifteen years, and Jupiter was a bit shocked when he was sentenced to ten years.
"But your honour" said Jupiter, "I didn't even take part in the robbery!"
"Yes" said the judge. "But you helped them ... Planet!".

Johannes Kepler (1571–1630)

German astronomer. He was influenced by the Copernican teachings. In 1600 Kepler became Tycho's assistant in his observatory near Prague. On Tycho's death (1601) Kepler succeeded him as court mathematician to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. In 1609 he published the results of Tycho's calculations of the orbit of Mars. In this celebrated work were stated the first two of what became known as Kepler's laws - three mathematical statements that accurately describe the revolutions of the planets around the sun. Kepler's laws opened the way for the development of celestial mechanics, i.e., the application of the laws of physics to the motions of heavenly bodies.

Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.

Two astrophysicists are discussing their research in a bar one evening when a drunk who has been sitting and listening in at the next seat turns and says, in a very worried voice, "What was that you just said?"
"We were discussion stellar evolution, and I said to my colleague here that the Sun would run out of nuclear fuel and turn into a red giant star in about 5 billion years, possibly melting the Earth."
"Whew!" says the drunk, "You really had me worried. I thought you said 5 million."

Q: How far can you see on a clear day?
A: 93 Million miles...From here to the Sun.

Yuri Gagarin (1934–1968)

Yuri Gagarin a Russian astronaut (cosmonaut), was the first man in history to be rocketed into orbital space flight. His flight on Apr. 12, 1961, lasted 1 hr. 48 min. and circled the earth once. The vehicle in which he traveled, named the Vostok (East) 1, weighed over five tons; it reached a maximum altitude of 188 mi (303 km). All control over the spacecraft was handled from the ground, the pilot's reactions being carefully recorded. The success of this flight may be said to have opened the modern era of man in space.

Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when he lost control of his Mig-15 trainer.

Learn more about Yuri Gagarin

How do you know that Saturn is married more than once? Because he has lots of rings.

When do astronauts have lunch? At Launch Time.

How did the astronaut serve dinner in outer space? On flying saucers.

After eating his first meal on the moon, the astronaut reported, "The food was good, but the place lacked atmosphere.

What was the name of the first satellite to orbit the Earth? The moon.

Apollo 11
First Man on The Moon

Launched: 16 July 1969
Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969
Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis - Sea of Tranquility
Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969

Neil A. Armstrong, commander (first man on the moon)
Michael Collins, command module pilot
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot

Learn more about the Apollo mission

Q: What is more useful: the sun or the moon?
A: The moon, because the moon shines at night when you want the light, whereas the sun shines during the day when you don't need it.

NASA just disclosed details why the Rover wouldn't accept any commands. They took a picture of the Rover's built-in display which showed a Windows screen and the text, "press any key to continue".

The New York Times, among other papers, recently published a new Hubble photograph of distant galaxies colliding. Of course, astronomers have had pictures of colliding galaxies for quite some time now, but with the vastly improved resolution provided by the Hubble Space Telescope, you can actually see lawyers rushing to the scene...

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

The first large orbital optical observatory. Built from 1978 to 1990 at a cost of $1.5 billion, the HST (named for astronomer E. P. Hubble) was expected to provide the clearest view yet obtained of the universe. The telescope can observe 24 hours a day in a sky that is always clear and always has perfect seeing. Among the instruments are two high-resolution cameras and two spectrographs. The HST was launched from shuttle Atlantis in 1990. The telescope was repaired by astronauts of the space shuttle Endeavour in Dec., 1993, who replaced critical instruments and added corrective optics while in orbit. Orbits the earth at an average altitude of 550 km. Hubble has a 2.4-m (7.9-ft) primary mirror, is 13.3 m (43.5 feet) long - the length of a large school bus. Hubble weighs 11,110 kg (24,500 pounds) - as much as two full-grown elephants. Its solar arrays cover 36 square meters (384 square feet) - equal to the area of a highway billboard.

View the entire collection of Hubble images.

Janet Reid was driving her daughter westward after the Malibu fires when the smoke in the sky made everything look surreal.
"Oh, Wendy, look at the sun," she told her daughter. "It looks like a big ball of fire."
The three-year-old preschooler replied: "It is a big ball of fire."

– from Los Angeles Times, Jan 13, 1997

"It's a good thing the guy in charge of naming galaxies was into chocolate bars and not Chinese food. Otherwise, the Milky Way might have been named Moo Goo Gui Pan, and who wants to have to learn about that?"

My Astronomy Hero

A theologian and an astronomer were talking together one day. The astronomer said that after reading widely in the field of religion, he had concluded that all religion could be summed up in a single phrase. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," he said, with a bit of smugness, knowing that his field is so much more complex.
After a brief pause, the theologian replied that after reading widely in the area of astronomy he had concluded that all of it could be summed up in a single phrase also. "Oh, and what is that?" the astronaut inquired. "Twinkle, twinkle, little star; how I wonder what you are!"

According to astronomers, next week Wednesday will occur twice. They say such a thing happens only once every 60,000 years, and, although they don't know why it occurs, they're glad they have an extra day to figure it out.

There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program: your tax dollar will go farther.

– Wernher von Braun.

Learn About rockets and other space devices

It is not conclusive yet, but the NASA believes the Mars Pathfinder has found proof of life on Mars. The CD player was stolen.

An astronomer is on an expedition to Africa to observe a total eclipse of the sun, which will only be observable there, when he's captured by cannibals. The eclipse is due the next day around noon. To gain his freedom he plans to pose as a god and threaten to extinguish the sun if he's not released, but the timing has to be just right. So, in the few words of the cannibals' tongue that he knows, he asks his guard what time they plan to kill him.
The guard answers, "Tradition has it that captives are to be killed when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky on the day after their capture so that they may be cooked and ready to be served for the evening meal".
"Great", the astronomer replies.
The guard continues, "But because everyone's so excited about it, in your case we're going to wait until after the eclipse."

What kind of star wears sunglasses? A movie star.

How did the astronaut serve drinks? In sun glasses.

Serious & Funny Astronomy and Space Links

Astronomy Trivia - astronomy humor, jokes, games, quizzes and trivia.

Night Sky Info - Weekly information about the night sky, astronomy articles and observations.

Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT) - Telescopes, Eyepieces, CCD Cameras and Telescope Accessories from top manufacturers like Meade, Celestron, Tele Vue, SBIG, Coronado Instruments and many more.

Universe Today - space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday. - astronomy and space website index from astronaut to x-ray

Unexplained Mysteries - paranormal phenomena including space and UFOs. - aviation & aerospace reference guide

Astronomers and Space Explorers - astronomers' and space explorers' biographies.


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Last updated: June 2013
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