Valerie Stimac

Valerie Stimac

Contributing Writer

Valerie Stimac Bailey is a California-based freelance writer and travel blogger. She runs several websites on travel, space tourism, and even Harry Potter — she's basically been lucky to turn all of her favorite things into her professional career. When not busy writing, you can find her out exploring as near (or far) as she can, stargazing, or going to the movies.

Recent Contributions

Apollo astronauts left a lot of stuff behind on the moon. Can you see any of that from Earth, even with a telescope?

By Valerie Stimac

There are eight phases in the lunar cycle and the moon is in one of them every night. What are these phases of the moon?

By Valerie Stimac

And this month's buck moon is extra-special because it is a supermoon!

By Valerie Stimac

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Do you love looking at beautiful pictures of the night sky? How do space photographers get those shots? And could you join their ranks?

By Valerie Stimac

Surprisingly, the solar system isn't odorless — it has a distinct scent that some astronauts like and others think is stinky. So, what does it smell like and why?

By Valerie Stimac

The Tau Herculids meteor shower was made of debris from the broken comet SW3 and produced a lot of shooting stars, but not quite the meteor shower that was hoped for.

By Valerie Stimac

Sonification is the process of taking data and turning it into sound. When it come to the universe we live in, scientists are finding that the sounds are definitely otherwordly and very beautiful.

By Valerie Stimac

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Aldebaran is not just the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, it's also the 14th brightest star in the sky.

By Valerie Stimac

If you imagine the eight major planets in a single line stretching out from the sun, this alignment occurs roughly every 13.4 trillion years. And our solar system is 4.5 billion years old.

By Valerie Stimac

The oldest megamaser ever measured, estimated to have been emitted some 5 to 6 billion years ago, was observed in 2022 from a radio telescope in South Africa.

By Valerie Stimac

Many people dream of climbing Mount Everest, but what if it were possible to scale the highest mountain in the solar system? That mountain is more than twice as tall as Everest! So, where is it?

By Valerie Stimac

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Researchers have been asking this question for almost a century and now we're a little closer to the answer. Something else to ponder: Every 27.5 million years there is usually a mass extinction.

By Valerie Stimac

Starship is a reusable spacecraft and second-stage rocket built by SpaceX. The end goal of the massive spaceship is to send humans to the moon and eventually to Mars.

By Valerie Stimac

Not sure what you're seeing in the night sky? Astronomy software such as Stellarium makes stargazing easier by helping to explain what you're seeing when you look at the stars.

By Valerie Stimac

Astronomers at Haleakalā Observatory in Hawaii noted a bright X-ray emission in 2018, which persisted for three weeks and glowed ten times more brightly than previously studied supernovas, but are just now beginning to understand it.

By Valerie Stimac

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The gegenschein, "faint light" in German, occurs under very specific astronomical conditions when the sun reaches the exact opposite of Earth from wherever you're stargazing.

By Valerie Stimac

Winter is the perfect time to look for Orion's Belt in the Northern Hemisphere. If you're new to stargazing, we'll show you how to find it.

By Valerie Stimac

The Quadrantids are a short but powerful meteor shower that shows up in early January. How can you glimpse it?

By Valerie Stimac

Whether to deepen faith or just to have some time for personal reflection, thousands of people walk, ride or bike el Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrim's route, every year. Want to join them?

By Valerie Stimac

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Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of scientists discovered what could very well be the first exoplanet outside the Milky Way. It's massive and might even orbit a black hole.

By Valerie Stimac

Before humans can go to Mars, NASA needs to know how to prepare for the challenges. So, they're looking for a few brave men and women to live in isolation for a year at the Johnson Space Center. Want to join them?

By Valerie Stimac

Today, Blue Origin flew its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and three others into space, a week after Virgin Galactic flew its billionaire founder Richard Branson on the same mission. Will space tourism be more than a millionaire's hobby?

By Valerie Stimac

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his brother plan to blast into space next month. But even if you're not related to a billionaire, you can still experience the fun of space at a 'down-to-Earth' price.

By Valerie Stimac

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In recent years, Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most moons in our solar system. How many does it have and could it have even more?

By Valerie Stimac

You know Saturn and Venus and Mars and ... some others. Can you put the eight planets of the solar system in the correct order? There are several ways to do this.

By Valerie Stimac