“Significant Find” Indeed

It would seem NASA weren't exaggerating when they said they were going to announce a “significant find” on Mars today. They've photographed strong evidence of liquid water on Mars! It appears to be coming from an underground source of some kind, and flowing out onto the surface. Due to the thin atmosphere and cold temperatures … [Read more…]

I’m Going To Mars!

Okay, I'm not actually going to Mars, but my name is! As a donor to and member of the Planetary Society, my name is being included on the DVD to accompany the Phoenix lander to Mars in 2008. It will contain a lot of Mars-related material, including messages from Carl Sagan and Arthur Clarke, Orson … [Read more…]

Good-Bye “Planet” Pluto

Finally! Pluto is a planet no longer. I've long been of the opinion that Pluto was undeserving of it's status as a planet, feeling it's little more than just another Kuiper Belt object. My opinion was validated further three years ago with the discovery of 2003 UB313, another large Kuiper Belt object. Larger even than … [Read more…]

Opening Our Eyes

I read/heard two interesting things recently that got me thinking. First, I was reading an article in Astronomy magazine about UB-313, the (potentially) tenth planet that was recently discovered orbiting our Sun. Based on the limited set of observations they have, astronomers attempted to calculate the planet’s orbital speed and how elliptical said orbit is. … [Read more…]

Bass! How Low Can You Go?

Okay, this one is really nerdy… I read today about the lowest frequency “sound” ever measured, being made by the oscillations of a black hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster. The sound waves (if they can truly be called sound at all) travel through the gas and plasma that surrounds the black hole. Sound is … [Read more…]

Go! Go! MRO!

Word just came in that The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully performed orbital insertion and is now circling the red planet. It continues to be such a wonderful and exciting time for us astronomy nerds! Hooray! I can’t wait to see what new things it discovers. Plus, it gave me a convenient opportunity to say … [Read more…]

Reconciling Spirituality With Science

Anybody that’s known me long enough knows that I’m a pretty big skeptic, a literal realist. I believe in science, not oogy-boogy mysticism. Lately, though, I’ve been talking a lot about spirituality and souls and all manner of other un-measurables. The un-quantifiable. So how do I reconcile all these seemingly disparate views? Easy, I believe … [Read more…]

Go New Horizons!

Nice to see NASA's New Horizons probe has finally launched and begun it's journey to Pluto. I'm personally very excited to finally learn more about mysterious Pluto, even if I will have to wait until 2015 (when the probe's 9 year journey is complete.) Even though I'm of the crowd that doesn't consider Pluto a … [Read more…]