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

News headlines talk about a rare green comet appearing in the sky. The comet itself is rare, but green comets, not so much. What makes some comets appear green?

By Valerie Stimac

January's moon is called the wolf moon, but it's also known as the center moon and the freeze up moon (among other names). Here's why.

By Valerie Stimac

This doughnut-shaped ring around the sun is home to millions of comets, moons, dwarf plants and other celestial objects.

By Valerie Stimac

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

By Valerie Stimac

When December's moongazing rolls around, you'll want to take a look at the cold moon, an appropriate moniker if there ever was one.

By Valerie Stimac

Blood moons always bring out the stargazers though they aren't that rare. So what makes blood moons red? And do they differ from lunar eclipses?

By Valerie Stimac

A light-year is a way of measuring distance, which doesn't make much sense because "light-year" contains the word "year," which is normally a unit of time. So, how does a light-year measure distance?

By Valerie Stimac

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In 2022, the full moon, called the hunter's moon, will occur Oct. 9. Why is it called that and when can you see it?

By Valerie Stimac

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