AAS: T minus 1-week and counting

Just a heads up: I will be attending the American Astronomical Societies Summer meeting in Honolulu next week. Expect lots of news and interviews.

Anyone wanting to meeting up can find me at 6:20pm on Monday (after the Cannon lecture) outside of registration.

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1st International Sidewalk Astronomy Night

Tonight, all across the world, guerilla astronomy will be waged on the public as amateur and professional astronomers inflict their hobby on individuals in random locations. Today is the 1st Annual International Sidewalk Astronomy Night. There is a nice article (written by yours truly with great editting by David Tytell) on the Sky and Telescope website. Check it out and get involved!

Image by: Claudio Lopresti

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Ringworld: When Good Sci Fi Gets Old

Ringworld: When Good Sci Fi Gets Old

04orbit_pr.jpgIt’s summer, and that means I get to read fiction. The time I spend preparing for class during the semesters prevents me from often getting to enjoy the simple luxury of a book that I’m not either teaching from or reviewing. With my grades turned in, it times time to find a good paperback. Wanting to be a properly educated geek, I turned to Larry Niven’sRing World“. While I’m only a little way’s in, I already have this feeling of “Wow, this was great science once, but that was a long time ago.” Just as astronomy text books can go out of date, science fiction books based on science can go out of date.

No significant spoilers ahead.

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Party at Fraser’s!
Or at least a Carnival at Universe Today

Instead of writing a long post today, I’d like to encourage everyone to click over to my Astronomy Cast cohost Fraser Cain’s Universe Today and check out the list of posts he has pulled together for this week’s Carnival of Space.

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A new day rises on other Worlds

A new day rises on other Worlds

07depthxnightarm.jpgWe seem to be entering a renaissance age of planetary science. Using the great observatories of the Earth (on and off the surface), scientists are discovering new worlds of every imaginable shape and size. More locally, we are building space craft to explore our solar system. New Horizons is on its way past Jupiter as it heads to the Kuiper Belt and the non-planet Pluto. Phoenix has been delivered to Florida, its layover station as it travels from Colorado to the polar ice caps of Mars. Waiting in the wings are plans to go Europa and look for life. As we explore these worlds, care is being taken to leave them as pristine as we find them, and we are using the results of our great terrestrial experiment at civilized life to identify some of the ways life can effect atnospheres. Our goals are simple: explore, leave no biological imprint, and find other life via their biological imprints.

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