Archives for May, 2008

Brought to you by Max Cannon, creator of Red Meat and also the dude who helps run the awesome independent Loft Cinema here in Tucson: Hilarious… Also, if you haven’t caught it yet, don’t forget to check out this week’s Carnival of Space, where we have an entry about actually seeing a supernova go off.

Want to be a Professional Astronomer?

We need one of those propaganda videos, like the Marines had when I was a kid: Seriously, I remember watching that and actually thinking it would be awesome to be a Marine! (And for those of you who don’t know me that well, I loathe armed conflict.) Well, I’m a scientist. Can’t we do anything…

The Arrow of Time

The laws of physics are the same forwards in time as they are backwards, right? At least, that’s what some physicists will tell you. They have (some) good reasons for saying this. After all, if you watch the planets orbit the Sun, they look like they obey the same laws of physics whether you watch…

A Little Baby… Supernova?

We know, more or less how supernovae work. We’ve seen them just hours after they first go off through telescopes and satellites. The Crab Nebula, also known as M1, was a supernova that went off nearly 1,000 years ago in our own galaxy, for example, and we can simulate pretty well that it formed like…

Hole in the Universe? What Hole?

Some of you who’ve been following astronomy for awhile might remember this report, where a group of astronomers reported finding a giant “void” in the Universe. What is a void? Well, galaxies are distributed pretty randomly, but because of gravity, they cluster together. A small example is our local group which looks like this, and…

A Star with a Napoleon Complex?

No, really, I can hang with the big boys! Although this is usually something we hear from people who are seemingly out of their league, due to diminutive stature, here on Earth: (Muggsy Bogues is awesome.) Apparently, there are stars out there that have the same Napoleon Complex. According to this Press Release, a star…

Weekend Diversion: Godzilla Science?!

Sometimes, you find weird stuff on the internet. But sometimes you find even weirder stuff in scientific journals. To what do I refer? A paper in the Journal of Mathematical Geology back in 2000 entitled Godzilla from a Zoological Perspective, by Per Christiansen. This was written as a critique of the “new Godzilla” movie, arguing…

Big News about Black Holes!

This has been all over my inbox since the press release came out yesterday; it’s been on slashdot (thanks Brian), it’s been at space.com, and there’s a mediocre writeup on Universe Today. What’s the big news? Black Holes don’t destroy information after all! What is this whole information thing, anyway? Take a look at all…

Pluto has been Melting!

Sure, astronomers might not call it a planet anymore, but every schoolchild knows how badass Pluto really is. It’s got a giant moon, Charon, and two smaller ones, Hydra and Nix. In addition to being colder than ice with an average temperature of 44 Kelvin (that’s colder than liquid nitrogen), I’m here to bring you…

And on the sixth day…

Good news for science from… the Vatican? No joke. Father Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory and chief astronomer for the Pope, has just issued a public statement stating the following things: Intelligent beings could exist in outer space. Life on Mars cannot be ruled out. The search for extraterrestrial life does not contradict…