Random thought 2

Posted By on May 13, 2007

N.B. I’m going to post random thoughts on weekends. We all need to laugh, learn, and think in small amounts on weekends, and this is my small contribution There are approximately 300,000,000 people in the U.S. The U.S. is spending roughly $275 million* per day on the Iraqi war. Celestron Nexstar 5″ Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo scopes cost $799 plus shipping. If the U.S. government spent on its people what it spends in Iraq in...

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In Search of Darkness

Posted By on Mar 8, 2007

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…First star? Hello? You’re supposed to come out now. Stars? Someone? Shine? Please? While I was a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin I watched the Ring Nebula (M57) disappear. When I first arrived in 1996, this former stellar atmosphere was clearly visible in binoculars from the roof of the building I worked in (RLM). In 2000 I could no longer see it, but...

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On January 24th the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) in the UK announced Michael Bode (an Astrophysics Prof at Liverpool John Moores University) will take the lead in defining a 20 year vision statement for astronomy in Europe. Dr. Bode was put in this powerful but unenviable position by ASTRONET, a consortium of eleven European science agencies. In this job, he will herd cats (e.g. scientists) until they come...

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Flying Metal Bits

Posted By on Jan 24, 2007

A quick fly through the nearby universe will show you, well, a whole lot of nothing. But, embedded in the nearest bits of that nothing are 8 spectacular planets, dozens of moons, and hundreds of random bits of rock and ice that, depending on where they orbit, fall into such categories as asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, and comets. Somewhat randomly distributed around (and sometimes on) these celestial objects are little bits of flying...

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