Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Word Sudoku (Qudoku!) Puzzles for Saturday, 5/2/2009

New Word Sudoku (Qudoku!) Puzzles for Saturday, 5/2/2009

Messier 81

...A spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. This composite image includes X-rays (shown in blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center (, optical data (shown in green) from the Hubble Space Telescope (, infrared (shown in pink) from Spitzer Space Telescope ( and ultraviolet data (shown in purple) from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) ( The inset shows a close-up of the Chandra image where a supermassive black hole lurks, about 70 million times more massive than the Sun.

Image Credits:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D. Pooley and CfA/A. Zezas
Optical: NASA/ESA/CfA/A .Zezas
IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA
UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J. Huchra, et al.

Today is National Astronomy Day, an event meant to bring astronomically curious neophytes together with astro-intelligent aficianados to explore the heavens. The day is always held on a Saturday near the first quarter moon, so you'll have some very bright objects to view. (It's called “first quarter” because it is one quarter of the way around in its orbit, measured from one new moon to the next. Some people call this a “half moon” because it's halfway to a full moon--and you see half of the 'circle' in the sky. But the illuminated portion of a first quarter moon truly is just a quarter of the whole sphere. Wikipedia has a great graphic of the lunar phases at

Visit, the home of Astronomy Magazine, to learn more about this day; check out your local observatory or science center to see what they have planned for star-viewing tonight.

And what better day to remind you that the world celebrates the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope to study the skies and Kepler’s publication of Astronomia Nova. This is a year-long international celebration of astronomical and scientific milestones. Visit to get a quick background and see a fabulous video; visit if you want to help astronomers classify galaxies!

I have collected Hubble and Spitzer images for as long as they’ve been available online. I probably have 400-500 now. My Google screensaver cycles through them, much to my personal delight. I could watch the show for hours.

In honor of this year’s astronomical celebration, I present you an IYA 2009 slogan as a Qudoku puzzle set, using two 8x8 Word Sudoku puzzles to supply the necessary letters.

8x8 Word Sudoku Puzzle
Each column, row, 2x4 rectangle and the set of circled cells contains the letters in the anagram exactly once

8x8 Word Sudoku Puzzle
Each column, row, 2x4 rectangle and the set of circled cells contains the letters in the anagram exactly once
Copy the circled letters from each Word Sudoku puzzle into the corresponding numbered cells of the quote grid to spell out an IYA 2009 slogan

Solutions first thing in the morning.


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