Space

Category archives for Space

Spaced Out

The final Space Shuttle landed the other day, leading to much lamentation over the end of the program, all over the Internet. It was absolutely choking my Twitter feeds for a while, which is mostly what I was thinking about when I re-tweeted this snide comment from Robert Lamb (though, to be fair, most of…

When Aliens Attack

As I have admitted previously, I have a fondness for tv shows about UFO’s, the loonier the better. So, when I learned that there was a show called When Aliens Attack airing last night on the National Geographic channel, I was all over that. I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint– it brought…

Poll: Top Physics Story of 2010?

It’s the last week of the (calendar) year, which means it’s a good time to recap the previous twelve months worth of scientific news. Typically, publications like Physics World will publish a list of top ten physics stories of 2010, but we’re all Web 2.0 these days, so it seems more appropriate to put this…

We missed the formal presentaion at the World Science Festival stargazing event last night, and it was cloudy enough to prevent actual stargazing, but the giant mock-up of the James Webb Space Telescope is giant and cool even in the dark. More importantly, Neil deGrasse Tyson is awesome. We got there around 9:30, and he…

While I missed the controversial episode with comments about aliens, I figured I should at least take a look at the Discovery Channel’s Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, so I put it on last night after putting SteelyKid to bed. This was the big two-hour “Story of Everything” episode, starting with the Big Bang…

Voting has closed on the Laser Smackdown poll, with 772 people recording their opinion on the most amazing of the many things that have been done with lasers in the fifty years since the invention of the first working laser (see the Laserfest web site for more on the history and applications of lasers). The…

I’m a little surprised at the vehemence of some of the negative reactions to Stephen Hawking’s comments about aliens. Not so much in blogdom– Ethan’s response is pretty reasonable, for example– but there was a flurry of Twitter traffic yesterday of the form “Where does Stephen Hawking get off pontificating about aliens?” which strikes me…

As of 1:45 Monday, 217 people have cast votes in the Laser Smackdown poll. That’s not bad, but it’s currently being handily beaten by the 271 people who have voted for a favorite system of units. The nice thing about using actual poll services for this sort of thing, though, is that I can re-post…

In 1960, the first working laser was demonstrated, and promptly dubbed “a solution looking for a problem.” In the ensuing fifty years, lasers have found lots of problems to solve, but there has been no consensus about which of the many amazing applications of lasers is the most amazing. Now, in 2010, as we celebrate…

Sketchy March Meeting Notes: Monday

I’m terrible about taking notes on conference talks, especially when I’m jet-lagged and was sleep deprived even before I got on the plane. I do jot down the occasional paper reference, though, so here are the things I wrote down, and the talks they were associated with. This should give you some vague idea of…