Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carnival of Space #148

Come one, come all, the Carnival of Space is here!
See strange and marvelous sights, explore the universe, and spend a little time in the spacey side of the internet :-)

The show starts off with A Little Night Music from One Minute Astronomer and Cheap Astronomy's podcasting on the Shape of Space.

After you've delighted your ears, we have a piece from Universe Today: Skydiver Hopes to Break the Speed of Sound in Freefall, which is a seriously cool article.
Mike Simonsen of Simostronomy writes in about the under appreciated Ophiuchus - 13th sign of the Zodiac Apparently the astrology community is Not Happy about this one :-D
Dirty Snowballs in April? Only at One Astronomer's Noise
And the Phillies Mascot gets new spacesuit, collected by collectSpace

Next Big Future presents the Miley presentation on nuclear fusion rockets and spaceplanes, and conduces on Better superconductors for MHD
Beyond Apollo sends in a piece about Tycho, aptly titled Mission to Tycho
The Spacewriter writes in on The Saga of Eta Caritene ,set to go off at any minute! Or in 10,000 years.
Things start getting a little weird at Weird Warp: How to measure the Atmosphere of another Planet and a LOT weird over at Weird Sciences with a little light reading on Euclidean Relativity's Take on Space and Time and the plausiblity of a Time Machine

Paul D. Spudis, at The Once and Future Moon talks about how NASA lost its way back to our lunar companion, and A Babe in the Universe writes about NASA's shuttle program and Constellation in Sidemount Reconsidered

As a closer, we come to the best part of Space Blogging:

Astroengine posts some Gorgeous Baby Stars in the Orion Nebula, imaged by Spitzer
The Lunar and Planetary Institute's flickr photostream
The Planetary Society Blog Unexplained Chain of Lunar Craters

If YOU, yes you, have any recent pictures of Mercury and Venus, Discovery News wants them.

Do you run a space-related blog? Come join the Carnival! Just send a link to info@universetoday.com.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Investing in a boat might not be a bad idea...

If you're in New England, you know what I'm talking about -- the epic flooding is beyond crazy.

But, I digress...what was I going to post about? Something big....Oh yeah.

The LHC is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, 27km (roughly 17 mi) in circumference, spanning the France-Switzerland border. It's purpose is to smash protons together at very high speeds and energies, replicating conditions before the Big Bang. Physicists hope to use data from the LHC to address some major questions we have about our universe, such as the origin of mass, the grand unification of forces and the presence of abundant dark matter in the universe.

A few days ago, the LHC started collisions. THE LHC STARTED COLLISIONS!! (I get giddy just thinking about it). Hopefully some of you managed to catch the live webcast -- it was pretty cool and full of happy physicists. Cern also has posted a press release, which is also full of happy physicists. Yay happy physicists!

Moving to Lunar news, even more evidence has been found for usable water on the moon, in an old Apollo mission lunar surface picture, no less. This little gem popped up at me this morning from Astronomy Picture of the Day -- check it out!

Happy April, 

-- Kathryn

Monday, March 29, 2010

Carnival of Space, and a sagan of Sagan

Carnival of Space #147 is up, hosted by Bruce over at Weird Sciences.
There is some very cool stuff over there -- so clicky click the lovely link!

In other news, I just started chewing through "The Demon-Haunted World", by Carl Sagan. Have to take it in small chunks, it simultaneously makes me weepy and furious and inspired...but mostly wistful. I really, really wish I could have met him. Is it reasonable to mourn a man I never met, had no hope of meeting?
I am so *incredibly* motivated by Dr. Sagan, almost obsessively so. His life, his work...it mirrors much of what I hope to accomplish in my own life. I feel compelled to follow where he lead: promoting science, looking to the stars, reaching out to other life...?
I hope I can live up to his legacy, that my own life and my own work will be a credit to my inspiration.

On a lighter note...Sagan-Man!

-- Kathryn

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bits and Bobs

One Solar Piece of Flair -- the sun has been swinging back into the active bit of it's 11-year solar cycle, so they'll be lot's more interesting activity to study
(from Bad Astronomy)

Hermit mathematician refuses prize -- *this* is the guy who solved the PoincarĂ© conjecture? I know genius often goes hand in hand with eccentricity, but still...

A History of the Sky -- A time-lapse visualization of the sky over San Francisco for an entire year, from various locations. A work in progress, but *very* cool.

21 UNBELIVABLE pictures of Mars -- avalanches, ice, dust storms, and beauty beyond comparison. Pictures like these keep me going.

A Map of the Internet -- and oldy but goody from xkcd, just in case you get lost (hopefully not out by the Dragons!). What part are you from?

A New Day

I let this slip for a while... I'm now going to try *really* hard to get up a post a week.

I've got a laundry list of excuses (vacation, school, surgery), but what it really comes down to is I have a hard time imagining that people actually want to listen to what I have to say, about anything -- much less astronomy, which I confess I know very, very little about. I'm an enthusiastic fraud.

But...after today I've had, not exactly a change of heart, but a change of mind.
I had the opportunity to meet with Ann Marie Cunningham, the executive director of NPR's Science Friday Initiative, the non-profit partner of Science Friday  -- she gave a talk at Bridgewater State College about science, technology, and education.

The event didn't exactly go off as planned -- only one guest showed in addition to the organizers and myself -- but I got a lot out of it nonetheless. The smaller, more personal group allowed me one-on-one time with Ann Marie to chat about social media, the SFI, and our experiences with science education and promotion -- me as a student breaking in, she as an educator and journalist who's been doing this for years.

I told her about this semi-dead blog I started, and she really encouraged me to pick the reins back up again!
I'm not offering trendy gimics or a nice and neat schedule of features. 
I do promise to do at least one post a week, to share links when I find them, and to participate in webrings like the Carnival of Science. Scout's honor, webnag me if I lapse!

-- CS

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Onwards and Upwards

Second post, whoo!
Did you like the first post?
Was it not a magnificent piece of succinct and clever prose? No?
Yeah, I know -- the picture was pretty cool though, yes?

It's a pic Hubble took of the Red Spider Nebula -- click to biggify.
It contains one of the hottest stars known and is located in the constellation Sagittarius. The spider shape is formed by the stellar wind generated by its central white dwarf star -- the delicate "waves" of gas are 100 billion kilometres high. Pretty cool. er, hot that is.

"It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery."
-- Carl Sagan

In the Beginning

There was a blank page -- The first blank page.
It wanted for words, for introduction, explanation.
A Picture says many words, and far more elegantly then I ever could.
So, a picture: