Friday, December 5, 2008

When I was their age...

I was only interested in finding the closest convenience store that would sell us beer without ID.

Astronomy is a rare science. Someone like me is never going to discover the gene mutation that causes some terrible disease or develop a car that runs on air, but virtually anyone with a teensy bit of knowledge and access to a basic telescope can make amazing discoveries just like people with PhDs who work at observatories and get interviewed on Space Place Live.
(See Comet Hale-Bopp as an example.)

Congratulations, kids. Very inspirational.

Students Find Exoplanet


Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah.

"Scientists predict Leonid meteor STORM for November, 2009."

See, I like when they tell me these things way in advance, so I can save up for airfare to my dark-skied hometown.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In other news...

Korea has unveiled a prototype lunar lander it's developing.

The first comment at UT?

"Surely this is My Little Pony's lunar lander?"


Here it is, in all its pink and teal glory:

Not gonna rise from the ashes this time.


Phoenix is officially dead, and no one's even listening for it anymore.
Thanks to the entire Phoenix team for a fantastic few months.
From the moving goo on the lander legs to a Martian snowfall, this was a really entertaining mission.
(Oh yeah, and scientifically-groundbreaking, too.)

So long, little fella.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fifty years ago today.


Fifty years ago on November 30, Ann Hodges was napping on her couch in Alabama when she was struck by an 8 pound meteorite.
Sounds funny and all, until you see the photo of the unfortunate woman's hip and read about how her landlady successfully sued her for the meteorite, citing her rental agreement did not provide "mineral rights."
Mrs. Hodges had to buy the rock back from the landlady.
And that landlady was a young Leona Helmsley.*



*No it wasn't.