Astronomy

New Horizons – A Painting about a Spacecraft

New Horizons – A Painting about a Spacecraft

This painting marks a point in time, when for the first time, a spacecraft sent from Earth traveled all the way to Pluto and the Kuiper belt. That text, along with some other cool facts that were looked over and recommended by my science adviser on this project, The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait are included on this piece about the New Horizons Spacecraft. This is an exciting time to be alive and wit... »

Mad Art Cast and Espresso

Mad Art Cast and Espresso

Coffee. It is arguably one of the most important elements in art. For centuries visual artists and other creators have gathered around chocolatey brown cups of the invigorating beverage to help them find inspiration and help them get through those long nights when deadlines loom. Writers, painters, dancers, actors, all forms of inventors and scientists alike have often reaped the benefit of this s... »

Italy is Sending an Espresso Machine to the ISS

Italy is Sending an Espresso Machine to the ISS

This afternoon, SpaceX is launching its Dragon V2 spacecraft to deliver 4,300 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. Among the scientific experiments and testing tools is one very large, very odd item: an Italian espresso maker, adorably dubbed “ISSpresso.” It might seem odd to send something so purely for pleasure — nobody is planning to do experiments on the eff... »

Radio Astronomers are LOOKING not Listening to the Cosmos

Radio Astronomers are LOOKING not Listening to the Cosmos

Support more of my science and art projects like this one on my Patreon. One of the myths about the science of radio astronomy is that scientists are listening to the cosmos in hopes of finding alien life. This myth has become part of popular culture primarily because of the word, “radio” and because of the very popular movie, Contact where we see Jodi Foster intently listening with he... »

Lab Track: Rocketman by Iron Horse

Lab Track: Rocketman by Iron Horse

In general, I tend to shy away from old classics as Lab Tracks in favor of new science-themed songs that few people know about, just because I like introducing people to new songs and artists. It’s not to say old classics aren’t just as worthy of having their own feature; it’s just that we all probably know about them already, so why go over them again? That’s why this part... »

Lab Track: Every Age

Lab Track: Every Age

Today’s Lab Track comes via the suggestion of Skepchick writer Jamie Bernstein, and it’s sure to give you chills. (Hey, did you know chills are associated with dopamine activity in the brain’s reward system? I wrote about that a few years ago.) The video is also very timely, what with the Philae lander touching down on comet 67P last Wednesday and humanity going oh, yeah, we land... »

That time we went to NASA

That time we went to NASA

This past weekend, Nasa Ames had an open house to celebrate their 75th anniversary — something that hasn’t happened in 17 years. It was amazing, and some of you probably couldn’t make it on account of not being in the bay area (or not being up all night the night they released tickets). We went, and took some pictures! »

Summing the Cosmos: Henrietta Swan Leavitt and The Saga of the Cepheid Stars (Women in Science 22)

Summing the Cosmos: Henrietta Swan Leavitt and The Saga of the Cepheid Stars (Women in Science 22)

Astronomy is the sifting science. Its practitioners rake the sky, star by star, collecting and cataloguing, and when they are done, they begin again, through years and decades and generations. What they leave behind are reams of papers, or stacks of photographic plates, singing to the future the shape of the sky they knew. Today, pouring over those records is the job of machines, which take the te... »

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