Friday, July 11, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


From Cassini. Wow. Just freaking wow.

Go and Ask

Cosmic Variance is currently taking questions about Quantum Theory so as to explain it in a way that is easily understandable. I urge you to go and ask all of your burning questions about said theory. I doubt they'd appreciate stuff like, "What the F*^K does it all mean, anyway?" but maybe more specific things like "Why was Schroedinger all obsessed with killing cats?"

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I just got all my pictures from my tour developed onto some CDs. I'll post a little journal with them here sometime in the near or not-so-near future, but if you do the stupid Facebook thingy, I have a lot of them over there. Here's one that turned out really well, though, for your viewing pleasure.

UT: Canada to Build Worlds' First Asteroid-Hunting Satellite

Just yesterday (June 30th) was the 100-year anniversary of the Tunguska event, when a small piece of ice or rock created a huge blast crater near the Podkammenaya Tungus river in Siberia, flattening trees and scaring the heck out of people in the surrounding area. Thankfully, the blast didn't happen in a populated area and nobody was killed, but there are many more pieces of debris floating around out there in space. If we want to do something about an asteroid headed our way, or keep astronauts safe from space debris, knowing is half the battle. Thanks to a new microsatellite being built by the Canadian Space Agency, we will soon have a better map of the objects surrounding the Earth's orbit. More...

Friday, June 27, 2008

UT: Dark Matter is Denser in the Solar System

Dark matter was theorized to exist relatively recently, and we've come a long way in understanding what makes up a whopping 23% of our Universe. Our own galaxy is surrounded by a halo of dark matter that adds to its mass. A recent paper on the dark matter closer to home – right here in our own Solar System – reveals that it is denser and more massive than in the galactic halo. More...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UT: Homer's 'Odyssey' May Chronicle Ancient Eclipse

I love writing this story, and how much it's stirred stuff up in the comments. Ah, writing about literature and astronomy together. If I could fit bicycles in there somehow, that would cover all three of my major passions...

Homer's 'Odyssey' May Chronicle Ancient Eclipse
It's likely that sometime in your education career, an English teacher had you enjoy (or suffer through, depending on your tastes) at least part of that classic of classics, Homer's Odyssey. It tells the story of Odysseus, a Greek general, who embarks on a 10-year journey back home after battling in the fall of Troy. The tale is filled with imagery that is referenced often in contemporary films and books. As old as it is, one would think that we've learned pretty much all we can from the book, but a new analysis of celestial events referenced in the Odyssey reveals that Homer may have documented a total solar eclipse. More...