Steinn Sigurðsson

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

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

LIGO explains

February 11th was a good day. I spent the day at the “Dynamics and accretion at the Galactic Center” Conference at the Aspen Center for Physics, where about 75 physicists have spent the week talking about black holes and stuff. This morning we watched the LIGO press conference, frantically deciphered the papers, and had a…

A New Kepler Orrery

Ethan Kruse has update the Kepler Orrery, just in time for Extreme Solar Systems III now under way. Enjoy

Skrekkur is an annual talent show for Icelandic schools, roughly 9-10th grade, and it has grown to become quite a big deal. The winning act is usually stunning and original and very well executed, and I don’t just say that ’cause my little cousins keep winning… This year the winning performance, from Hagaskóli, was extraordinary,…