Archives for April 21, 2009

The Gliese System: Addendum

In addition to the article I just wrote about the newly discovered planet in the Gliese system, Dynamics of Cats has a great writeup as well. They also have a picture that I didn’t include in my original post, and it’s so good that I’m including it here: Take a look at that. Two of…

Say Hello to my Little Rocky Friend!

One of the holy grails of modern astrophysics is to find a planet orbiting another star that can support life on it. There are all sorts of missions dedicated to searching for habitable worlds. But with one star system, Gliese 581, we may have hit the jackpot. To look at Gliese 581 in the sky,…

The Solar Cycle and Global Warming

The Sun is doing something interesting, and has been for the last few years. As a solar physicist noted last year, there really haven’t been many sunspots lately. Look at 2001 (left) and 2009 (right) for the difference in sunspot activity. But there’s more. In addition to virtually no sunspots, the Sun is having fewer…

What does Torque in a Car do?

You’ve seen it a bunch of times when you’re reading the specs on a new car: the number of foot-pounds of torque that it puts out. Well, the 2009 New York Auto Show just happened, and I was reading the synopsis of a new Mercedes that just came out: 369 foot-pounds of torque, it says.…