Astronomy

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Astronomy

Items sharing a similar topic, meandered onto in the depths of a major outpouring of procrastination… The path less traveled by Andrea Schweitzer (via @mattleifer) on a different way to have a career as a scientist. And for a description of one of the most successful scientists from quantum computing, an interview with Ignacio Cirac…

Glorious Dawn Record

I get a lot of press releases forward to me which usually get forwarded directly into my gmail archive. But this one I’m happy to pass along: Third Man Records is releasing A Glorious Dawn. You know the Carl Sagan remix (w/ guest appearance of the Hawkmeister) that I’ve been looping over and over again…

Apple Pie From Scratch

Via physicsandcake, on some days I wish I was as dorky and as elegant as Carl Sagan: Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our…

The Most Depressing Results in Physics

I’m a pretty optimistic guy. Okay, I’m a really optimistic guy. But even my optimism has its limits when bashing up against the cold hard reality of what experiments plus our understanding of the laws of physics tells us about the universe. Here are my top three most depressing facts about the universe coming from…

Asteroids!

A widget to watch out for wayward asteroids: JPL’s Asteroid Watch Widget tracks asteroids and comets that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. The Widget displays the date of closest approach, approximate object diameter, relative size and distance from Earth for each encounter. The object’s name is displayed by hovering over its encounter date.…

Various and Sundry

Two notes from Caltech of interest: Michael L. Roukes’ group at Caltech has produced a NEMS (nanoelectromechanical system) device which can (almost) measure the mass of a single molecule (as opposed to the many tens of thousands (is this the correct amount?) needed in mass spectrometry.) Build a 2 micrometer by 100 nanometer NEMS resonator.…

Moonquakes

As someone who was born on a lunar eclipse (explains a lot, no?) the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon has a special place in my heart. Okay, that sentence makes no sense (I was born on a lunar eclipse however), but anyway everyone is all abuzz about the anniversary of the moon…

The Secret Order of the ArXiv

The astro/physics blogosphere is all atwitter about papers the Nature embargo policy (See Julianne If a paper is submitted to nature does it still make a sound, the cat herder Hear a paper, see a paper, speak no paper, and he of less than certain principles Unhealthy obsessions of academia. He of uncertain principles loses…

Astrometry Finds Planet

It seems that astrometry has finally succeeded at detecting a planet. A star and its planets perform a complex dance as they move through space. In astrometry planet hunting one looks for a planet by looking for the “wobble” of a star as it moves across the sky. This is contrast with the two other…

See Planets!

Direct imaging of extra solar planets. The cat dynamicist has the details. (because, linking, I’ve heard, is good.) Fomalhaut b, a nice name. When I was on the road to becoming an astrophysicist, as a young grad student, I remember thinking how cool it would be to join the planet hunters. I mean being able…