Archives for July, 2010

“We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -Astronaut Bill Anders, Pilot, Apollo 8 Humanity’s ventures to the Moon have always been symbolic of the greatest things our species has ever achieved. In fact, Bill Anders, quoted above, is also famous for taking…

Ask A Commercial Astronaut Anything!

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” -Galileo There should be a big vote going on today about the future of spaceflight in America. Obama has outlined his new space policy, and has called for the commercial sector to step up and get involved in spaceflight, particularly in low-orbit,…

“Don’t blame yourself. The apocalypse wasn’t your fault. Actually, it was just as much your fault as it was anyone else’s. Come to think of it, if you’re an American, it was probably about 80-90 percent more your fault than the average human. But don’t let that get you down. It wasn’t exclusively your fault.…

How Sure are we of the Higgs?

“`It’s quite hard to destroy the Earth.’ Does that statement make anyone else nervous? I mean, does that sound like experience talking?” -from the comments on the LHC at slashdot Last week, I started an open thread, giving you the chance to ask about how certain we were about the validity of certain physical theories.…

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein Every weekend, I try to add a little something that’s a little more than the science, astronomy, and physics I talk about during the week. Well, this…

“The Dark Matter Crisis?” Hardly.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” -Plato Imagine, if you will, the year 2200. Forget about the flying cars and robotic exoskeletons, though. I’m thinking about the incredible scientific tools we’ll have at our disposal, as…

The Biggest Star We’ve Ever Found!

“The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you’re the Prodigal Son; you’re quite a prize!” -Tyrell, from Blade Runner Look up at the night sky. On a clear, dark night with normal vision, you can literally see…

How Good is Your Theory? Open Thread I

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. -Douglas Adams When I started writing about science online in January of 2008, I put the word out that I would accept questions from my readers. After all, I knew that there was a lot of misinformation…

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” -Abraham Lincoln Last weekend, I presented you with two remarkable covers, one from music and one from astronomy. This week, I’m going to show you the reverse of that; going back to the forgotten originals. Many of you…

“If you only look at a person through one lens, or only believe what you’re told, you can often miss the truth that is staring you in the face.” -Kevin Spacey One of the most powerful ideas from Einstein’s theory of Gravity — General Relativity — is that any massive object in the Universe not…