Archives for May 5, 2009

In 1862, an under-manned, under-equipped Mexican army defeated the French at the battle of Puebla on May 5th. Cinco de Mayo, started because of this event, has now become a widespread holiday in the US, where awareness and appreciation of Mexico and Mexican culture are of paramount importance. So before you go out to Chi-Chi’s…

Maccarone and cheese Einstein!

There’s a new scientific paper online today about a very special and rare type of star: an ultracompact X-ray binary star. (One of the authors is surnamed Maccarone.) Let’s start by explaining what these things are, how they work, talk about this one in particular, and what it all means. You’ve heard of binary stars…