astro

Category archives for astro

A couple of years ago, the Templeton Foundation funded the New Frontiers program to pose “Big Questions” in some areas of science. This is a slow liveblog – part II will be tomorrow with more cosmology and life in the universe Seed funding was provided to 20 investigators and small groups to start exploratory research,…

Some people, with good cause, do not like the phrase “dark side of the Moon”. The reason they do not like it, is because of a common cognitive misconception. Historically, the phrase refers to the farside of the Moon, which for most of history humanity could not observe, at all, because the Moon is synchronously…

Heights of Lunacy

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.” While the Moon has a nearside and a farside, it does not, actually, have a dark side or a light side, now. At least not a fixed dark side, just a slowly moving night side, and day side. But it…

Moonlighting

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall on the Dark Side of the Moon…” The Astrowright has been doing some lunatic slow blogging on an interesting problem: from Ron Hodges – NASA medialibrary from apod One of these is not like the other… Jason discusses how we came to be thinking about these things in Part I:…

Smile, and the whole Universe smiles with you! – A Happy Asterism for #AAS224 A beautiful UV co-added image of the UDF from Hubble But, if you look closely…

sans serif

yet again I trip across a snarky tweet about a distinguished scientist using comic sans or some other whimsical and easily read on a screen unprofessional and unserious design choice in a presentation these theological wars are becoming as bad as PC/Mac or emacs/vi flame wars of yore anyone care to summarise, rationally, and briefly,…

“Standing down on this one” – was the first line of the email I read at about 7 am this morning as I rolled over and grabbed my phone, having had about 4 hours of sleep. After staying up past 2 am to run some numbers, we would, after all, not be submitting a request…

Not entirely coincidentally the general topic of misogyny, microaggression and harassment was featured on the Women in Astronomy blog recently: Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Defining the Problem Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Survival of the Clueless Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: The Serial Harasser’s Playbook Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Power to Speak Up…

Senior Review is out: summary – Swift #1, then NuStar. K2 gets partial funding. Spitzer is terminated. Panel recommends not cutting off the bottom but balancing fields. NASA Response to the 2014 Senior Review for Astrophysics Operating Missions – Final Version for Release (5.16.14) – this is an edited update of the NASA response that…

Why Fortran Lives

Julia is a nifty new language being developed at MIT I stole this plot from github, it shows Julia’s current performance on some standard benchmarks compared to a number of favourite tools like Python, Java and R. Normalized to optimized C code. And, there, in a single plot, is why Real Programmers still use Fortran…!