Astronomy

The Intersection

Category archives for Astronomy

Nothing else matters today. Nothing except what is going to happen in the very last episode of Battlestar, which has been running since 2004 and now culminates in a two hour extravaganza. We know the Battlestar is about to jump into the Cylon colony to rescue Hera, the human-Cylon hybrid child, and to make a…

Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy posted this terrific piece that started off my Saturday with a smile.  It reads like The Onion, though I also can’t find the original source. Take a look and see if you agree that author Michael Haber might be onto something… Emboldened by their success in declaring Pluto not…

I LOVE all things space–arguably more than the next girl. For years I wanted to be an astrobiologist. Infinite possibilities and the ultimate opportunity to explore the unknown. And it’s no secret to readers that I adore Carl Sagan and Cosmos, which fostered a love and appreciation of science in so many of us. All…

Mark your calendars for the launch of ASU’s new Origins Initiative on April 6, 2009. Tickets go on sale next week and the event will be broadcast live online. It looks like a terrific line up including Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Brian Greene, and new Director, (and Science Debate co-founder) Lawrence Krauss. The Origins Symposium…

Echinoderms From Outer Space!

I’ll admit PZ’s post yesterday featuring a cosmic cephalopod sleeping overhead in the Carina Nebula was both daunting and impressive…  but never fear friends, a heroic starry sea cucumber keeps vigilant in the Crab Pulsar and continues to protect us from its merciless tentacles.

Man, Copernicus has been kicking my butt. All the star tables, geometry, etc were turning me in to a pumpkin. So I pulled down a secondary source–Kuhn’s The Copernican Revolution–and night became day. I honestly think one of the reasons that Kuhn’s later and more famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, had such a…

I’ve been thrilled at the comments I’m getting in response to my posts on Nicholaus Copernicus. See for example here. So I’ve thought of a plan to invite blog readers to join me throughout the next several months as I push through a large number of other texts like De revolutionibus. For the remainder of…

[Copernicus: Yet Another Pluto Hater?!?] In my last post, I talked about the “radically strange” in Copernicus; today, let’s go on to catalogue the “strangely modern” aspects of the work: Strangely modern: The idea that the heavens are immense compared to the puny little Earth. Copernicus put it this way: I also say that the…

In my last post I remarked on how “radically strange–and yet strangely modern” I expected the 1543 work that kicked off the “scientific revolution” to be. Now that I’ve read the first two books of De Revolutionibus, I can say, boy was I right. This is the first of several posts about my experience of…

And So it Begins: De Revolutionibus!

Sane people right now are celebrating Valentine’s Day. I am holed up trying to read Nicholas Copernicus’s On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres (De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium). Having been an official student of the history of science for two weeks now, and not feeling particularly satisfied with my progress, I’ve decided it is far past…