In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet — a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger” — raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a… Continue reading TED Talk: The story of ‘Oumuamua, the first visitor from another star system | Karen J. Meech
A talk on how the process would work presented a couple years ago. Interesting how closely the actual image matches the reconstruction before they did it. At the heart of the Milky Way, there’s a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close —… Continue reading TED Talk: How to take a picture of a black hole | Katie Bouman
I ran across this image of the interstellar asteroid. It struck me that I recognize an artist’s impression as the actual representation of the object. Because we do not have an actual photo, an artist made something. And yet, to me, it IS the asteroid enough that when I see the impression photo, I think… Continue reading ʻOumuamua images and representation
Fermi wondered why we have not met aliens. He recreates an equation which we are still just figuring out some of the constants. Part of it wonders how many civilizations wipe out themselves. This Great Filter makes people concerned any time life on our planet is threatened. During the Cold War, the concern was a… Continue reading The Great Filter Rorschach
Over the years, I have thought about owning a house a Mexico Beach, FL. However, I knew that hurricanes are inevitable. So, there is no way I would own one on the beach because it would likely get destroyed by a hurricane. However, I felt better about a house well back from the beach, like… Continue reading Should we rebuild after hurricanes?
Hurricane Michael leveled much of Mexico Beach, which is a place I know pretty well. Spread out over my lifetime, but a rough impression is, I think, I have spent about half a year at this particular town. That would rank it third longest of places where I have lived. Several people have expressed surprise… Continue reading Framing Dangers
What’s six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid — and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait shows us all the ways asteroids can kill us (yipes), and what we must do to avoid them.
Cosmology, origin of life, and astronomy are topics about which I read quite a bit. Any NASA and JPL discovery makes me stop whatever to read more about it. This is not something new as one of my school science fair projects was on O-Rings and Challenger. Before that I even attended Space Camp. (This… Continue reading Missing Hydrocarbons
Some NASA scientists have spent most of 2012 trying to debunk theories about the world ending yesterday.
Wired Science has a post about a newly found Earth-sized planet around our closest star system neighbor: The Alpha Centauri system — composed of three stars orbiting one another — is only 4.4 light-years away, a cosmic stone’s throw from us. Though the newly discovered planet has about the same mass as our own, its… Continue reading Foundation and Earth and Alpha