Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ category

Milky Way’s Dark Matter Shaped Like a Squashed Beachball

January 7, 2010

Yep, yet another Universe Today article. Go check it out, and leave your comments there!


Pulsar “Clocks” Will Help Find Gravity Waves

January 6, 2010

How do you detect a ripple in space-time itself? Go check out my article at Universe Today for the answer*.

*Yes, technically the answer is also in the title of this post, but you should check out the Universe Today article for a little more detail.

Rings around the Earth – Implications

November 30, 2009

Last week I posted a video that speculates what it would look like if the Earth had rings like Saturn. Well, over at Quantum Rocketry, Joe Shoer has two excellent follow-up posts. First he calculated what the rings would really look like with gaps caused by Earth’s moons rather than just copying and pasting Saturn’s rings. Here’s a simulated image, but you should check out the full post for more info.

A simulated view of rings around the earth, with gaps based on the position of the Moon. Credit: Joe Shoer

And then, even more thought-provoking, he went on to consider the implications that rings would have to civilization and early astronomy. His post is well worth a read. Here’s a teaser:

I’ll say that again: If the Earth had rings, the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Egyptians might have had a sense of the scale of the Cosmos. The Romans and Indians might have known what a parsec is.

Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, Remixed

September 25, 2009

This is awesome.

Disney’s “Mars and Beyond”

September 12, 2009

I just stumbled across this awesome Disney cartoon from 1957 over at the blog. It’s worth watching just for the various bizarre aliens, but is also surprisingly informative about the history of astronomy, the origin of earth and life, and our fascination with life on Mars. Also note how they call galaxies “island universes”.

New Hubble Images

September 9, 2009

Four images taken with the brand-new camera on Hubble have just been released, and although there are no solar-system objects in the bunch, I can’t complain too much. I mean, just take a look at this! Enjoy!


Hubble Servicing Mission Pictures

May 21, 2009


Last weekend, NASA astronauts rendezvoused with the Hubble space telescope and repaired and upgraded the observatory in a series of five extremely challenging spacewalks. Their mission is now accomplished, Hubble has been set free to continue orbiting and doing cutting edge science, and the shuttle will be landing tomorrow morning. On Monday, the Big Picture had an awesome series of photos of the launch and the mission. And if that’s not enough, there are a bunch more mind-blowingly cool pictures at Geenstijl. We can’t all be astronauts, but at least we get to see some of the spectacular views…