10 days of Space Science!

10 days of Space Science!

This is going to be another crazy wonderful week on Astronomy Cast Live. Just like we covered the American Astronomical Society meeting last January, this week we will be covering BOTH the launch of STS-123 and the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, TX. Making this possible are: Scott Miller (A SIUE student I work with) who is spending his Spring Break in Florida for the launch, Rebecca Bemrose-Fetter who is spending her Spring Break in Texas at the LPSC, and of course me and Fraser. I will be in Texas at LPSC, and Fraser will be participating remotely, working to help get you wall-to-wall coverage of all that is going on Johnson Space Flight Center to Kennedy Space Flight Center. We invite you to join us, and ask you to please announce the...

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The Largest Planet, A Monster, A Frenzy, and the search for media alluring adjectives

The Largest Planet, A Monster, A Frenzy, and the search for media alluring adjectives

After spending roughly a week away from my press feed, I found myself face to face with a lot of intriguingly titled press releases. One announces: “Astronomers Find Largest Exoplanet to Date,” and another teases “Monster Galaxy Pileup Sighted,” and yet a third promotes “BLACK HOLES IN FEEDING FRENZY” (Yes, the press officer yelled in type). Other provocative titles employed the words: Largest, flood, giant, colossus and puff. While some of the stories lived up to the hype, in general the truth is far less interesting than the title. (image left, credit NASA / JPL-Caltech / K. Rines (CFA)) Case in point, let’s consider that “Largest Planet.” When I see the word largest, I tend to think high mass and high...

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All the news you’ll see again: Solar Atmospheric Heating, Tidal Tails, and Crab Nebula Explosion Date

Here’s highlights of the news I’ll be talking about later:

  • Scientists have (again) found new tidal streams of material around the galaxy from a previously unknown, now shredded galaxy
  • Scientists have (again) found a new explanation of how the Sun heats its chromosphere
  • Scientists have (again) dated the Crab Nebula explosion to 1054 AD
  • New results, new press conferences and press releases, and, well, the same old same old. Science moves forward in incremental steps, and sometimes things circle and circle as they slowly move forward.

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All the news that tried to escape

All the news that tried to escape

Today’s American Astronomical Society news feed brought me a small handful of press releases. Three releases (1, 2, 3) all related to the approximate mapping of the exoplanet HD 189733b and the discovery that exoplanet HD149026b is the hottest known world. Cool. The forth and final press release I received was also planetary science related, and embargoed, so I can’t really tell you anything beyond that my news feed lead me to believe that astronomers are currently only studying planetary science. The truth is, astronomers are exploring all the heavens have to offer in voracious detail, but the press officers (and press in general) are neglecting a lot of cool science going on in other areas.

Flipping over to the arXiv e-print service, a different picture emerges. The couple dozen submitted works for Wednesday, May 9, spanned subjects from string theory to CMB Anisotropies and the outer Solar System (1, 2). Some papers are still in peer review, and others will never be submitted to journals. All the papers are sitting there waiting to be read and learned from, and hopefully someday cited by someone not on the author list.

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Three New Species Discovered in the Milky Way

Three New Species Discovered in the Milky Way

hidden.gifScientists this week have discovered three previously undiscovered species: a new species of reef lobster living off the cost of the Philippines, a new source of gamma-ray radiation associated with star forming regions, and a new class neutron star+supergiant binary found the Milky Way Galaxy. Each of these three discoveries leads it’s respective discoverers to believe there are a myriad of things still waiting to found in the oceans and outer space. In our cyinical era of “been there, done that,” it seems there is nothing new to wow the mind, but these three new critters indicate our planet and our universe still have a few surprises in store for explorers.

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The Explosive Universe

The Explosive Universe

picture-1.pngNOTE: more links will be added tomorrow.

Many things are in the pipeline for production. In the past 24 hours I have recorded numerous different interviews and tidbits with people working on supernovae, in science reporting, and astronomy education. I have so much material I’m not quite sure when I’ll find the time to edit it together, but time will be made, and Astronomy Cast will have some great new material in weeks to come.

Today’s press conferences spanned a wide gamut, talking about everything from dwarf galaxies to disk formation to, I kid you not, hot chocolate…

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