Steinn Sigurðsson

Professor of Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. Science Editor at Astrophysical Journal. Icelandic. Herder of Cats.

The Pale Red Dot project has found a planet. It is a terrestrial planet, orbiting in the formal habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Solar System. Proxima Centauri is a low mass red dwarf, and is part of a triple system, the other two stars being α Centauri A and B,…

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Iceland is playing England in the Euro 2016 Cup today, round of 16. This is the first time Iceland has been in a major football tournament, the first time, obviously, they have progressed to the second stage, and as I write this they are unbeaten in tournament play. Iceland has…

Summer continues, and the public lecture series on physics continues a pace at the Aspen Center for Physics with Dr. Catherine Heymans of the University of Edinburgh talking today on the “Dark Side of the Universe”. The talk is part of one of the three workshops currently taking place: “Testing the Laws of Gravity with…

Tabby’s Star – KIC 8462852 – remains one of the more interesting and mysterious objects in the sky. There is a good update at “Updates on Boyajian’s Star” – Astrowright’s blog and “Bradley Schaefer: Further Thoughts on the Dimming of KIC 8462852” at Centauri Dreams has the latest on the controversy over whether the star…

The Aspen Center for Physics organizes weekly public lectures durings its winter conferences and its summer workshops. This week the public lecture was by Roni Harnik of Fermilab on “The Higgs Boson and the Mystery of Mass.” The lectures are videoed by Aspen Grassroots television, and archived, and are very slowly being added to the…

“If life were a mellow elementary school run by well-meaning education PhDs what would your report card say?”

NASA: Senior Review 2016

Yay, NASA Senior Review is out: SeniorReviewReport_2016 tl;dr – everyone is above average, they’re good enough and we like you. bad news: per AAAC meeting earlier, there is not enough $ to actually pay for all these lovely toys, so something will have to give, somewhere. Someone at a high enough pay grade to take…

In 2011 Daniel Holz gave a Heinz R. Pagels Public Lecture at the Aspen Center for Physics on the topic of Gravitational Waves. The talk is one of the better explanations of what this is all about, with a bonus introduction!

LIGO: Useful Things

LIGO and allies have also provided a bunch of fun useful stuff: Have We Detected Gravitational Waves Yet? Stretch and Squash Black Hole Hunter Einstein@Home Gravitational Waves 101 – Markus Pössel’s excellent visualizations. The Data The Papers SXS – Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes visualizations The Chirp – courtesy of Georgia Tech GR group