Physical Science

The Astro Alphabet (Synopsis)

“When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off.” -Vanna White A couple of years ago, I had the idea to make a special entry showcasing 26 different astronomical phenomena, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, that idea’s been built upon and improved, and I’m happy to…

Northrop Grumman Foundation Gives a Unique Look at NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

True to its mission of helping to advance STEM education in dynamic ways, the Northrop Grumman Foundation, a major sponsor of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, will take visitors up close and personal this April with one of the most ambitious projects today in space science: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. At Festival Expo 2014, get…

Superheros are Anti-Science

I’m not really a comic-book guy, but I’ve watched a bunch of comic-book movies recently. Kate was really fired up for the new Captain America movie, so I finally got around to watching the first one as background for that, then when I was sleep-deprived last week I watched the second Thor movie via on-demand…

“All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” -Victor Hugo During all other full Moons, I wouldn’t dare show you a galaxy for Messier Monday. But when you get…

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” -Voltaire It’s been another great week over on the main Starts With A Bang blog, where we got to touch on a number of remarkable topics, including: Why are we made of matter? (For Ask Ethan #31) Trompe-l’œil Art (For our Weekend Diversion)…

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…

Visit the National Science Foundation and Friends Pavilion at the Expo!

The National Science Foundation returns to sponsor the USA Science & Engineering Festival and will showcase an incredible group of exhibits at the NSF and Friends Pavilion! Visit the National Science Foundation’s exhibit area to explore tsunami waves, mind control, robots, spiders, cranberry acids, crazy physics experiments and more! Stage performances, a wearable tech fashion show and…

Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction

The last hurricane season in the Atlantic was anemic, being one of least active periods on record. This was attributed to extra dust blown off the Sahara which inhibits hurricane development. Right now, the various forecasting agencies around the world are agreeing that there is a greater than 50% chance, perhaps a 70% chance of…

“Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.” -Samuel Johnson You might look up at our Sun in the sky, delighted at its brilliance and life-giving brightness, thankful for all it’s brought to our world. But we’re all just a little bit dismayed at the crushing realization that it won’t live forever, and will…

On April 14th, 1912, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg during her maiden voyage. The collision occurred at 11:40 PM ships time, and by 2:20 AM the ship broke apart and foundered with over a thousand people still on board. Of the 2,224 people on board just over 700 were rescued. There have been…