astro

Category archives for astro

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…!

Distant Cousins: Kepler-186f

Big Eyed Beans from Venus – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band! Cool. Literally Comparable to Mars in effective temperature, bit larger than Earth, probably slightly more massive than Earth (mean density could be lower), atmosphere unknown. Might well have extensive surface regions with persistent liquid water.

Backreactions

A frightening fraction of my open tabs are some of Bee’s posts at Backreaction – so to save my browsers, I dump them here for further future perusal: Are irreproducible scientific results okay and just business as usual? Shut up and let me think Should the Nobel Prize be given to collaborations and institution? Women…

Hubble Plateaus

In times past we have lovingly tracked the proposal frenzy as the near annual Hubble Space Telescope proposal deadline approaches. As was noted by Julianne several years ago, and confirmed over the last half dozen cycles, the shape of the curve of number of submitted proposals as a function of time until the deadline is…

Rocks falling from the sky

In the great tradition of tracking Amazing Norwegian Meteorite Stories, we bring you: Meteorite almost hits Norwegian skydiver h/t Stjörnufræðivefurinn Short Norwegian version…

The Curl of Space

Imagine you were a very clever ant, living on a large log, floating in a big lake… …a very large, deep, cold lake. Being a not incurious, clever ant, you contemplate the lake in its infinite and insurmountable vastness. Surely knowing what lies on the lake, or even beyond the lake (if such can be…

You are at university. Do you like stars, and stuff? We revisit old ruminations on career paths ’cause it is topical… Another rehashed blast from the past. Should you do astronomy as an undergrad? (the following is in part shamelessly cribbed from a colleague’s previous freshman seminar for our majors): Do you like stars and…

So, now you’re at university, and you’re thinking about heading for grad school … A seasonal revisit of some old rumblings* *NB: this discussion should not be construed to be anything but hypothetical ramblings, they do not reflect in any way the official position of any academic institution, department or graduate program, especially not the…

What should a high school student do to get on a track to become an astrophysicist?