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25 May 2021

Aliens In The Sky? Show Me Some Real Evidence!

Houston, we have a problem. News outlets have found that when they publish any story that has the letters UFO in it, they get a lot of hits. This leads to two things: More UFO stories and poor journalism. Here is an example I saw this last weekend. It was on the NBC website and showed the image below: Any meteorologist can tell you what you are looking at, and …


21 December 2017

The Cosmos Lost Carl Sagan 21 Years Ago Today

His books live on. They inspire new generations of scientists and will for decades to come. If you have not read Demon-Haunted World, then buy it. Buy two more copies and give them to a smart young student for Christmas. Just doing that may change their world. It just might change everyone’s world.


21 December 2016

Science Books Make Great Holiday Gifts – Especially These!

There are few gifts better than books, so here’s a list of great science books for ages 13 and up, along with a brand new entry that is rapidly becoming a best seller. First, is Carl Sagan’s 1997 classic The Demon Haunted World. I frequently quote from it, and every true science geek will tell you they love this book. If it were up to me, it would be required …


15 May 2016

Wise Commencement Words: Ignorance is Not A Virtue

Some very wise words at the commencement today at Rutgers University, and while I suspect that a large majority of younger folks understand this, it’s worth sharing. “Facts. Evidence. Reason. Logic. An understanding of science.These are good things. These are qualities you want in people making policy. These are qualities you want to continue to cultivate in yourselves as citizens.” “We traditionally have valued those things, but if you were …


22 April 2016

You Can Thank These Three People for Earth Day

I remember very well watching the CBS Evening News (46 years ago today) on the first Earth Day. It was a major story, and I believe Walter Cronkite led the broadcast with it. We know a lot more about our planet now than we did then, and there have been some amazing successes in protecting our environment. We now know something that was not well understood then, and that is the …


11 December 2015

The Candle of Knowledge Flickers This Dark December

The Japanese have launched a spacecraft called Hyabusa 2 to look at an asteroid, and as it passed Earth this week (to get a speed boost), it grabbed this shot of the Earth and Moon in one frame. Take some time and look at that picture, and consider that the highest we go now is about a millimeter above the Earth in that image. We used to all the way …


24 December 2014

The Earth From Space on Christmas Eve

Here are some full disk satellite images from around the world on this Christmas Eve. This is an IR image from GOES East. This is a visible light image from the European Meteosat, in almost true color. Visible light image from Meteosat VISSIR over India: and the latest IR image from the GOES West Satellite- Courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center here in Maryland. Happy Holidays to you wherever you …


20 July 2013

A Lonely Speck In The Great Enveloping Cosmic Dark

Hat tip to Maksim Kakitsev who processed the raw images before NASA even. Here is the image of Earth and Saturn taken by Cassini  around 5:30 PM Friday July 19, 2013. The sun was behind Saturn, and Earth is the bright pixel below the rings. This is the second version taken by Cassini showing our small spinning fragment of solar driftwood.. The first image like this was taken by Voyager …


9 November 2011

Carl Sagan Day

Today is Carl Sagan’s birthday! Here, have some Pale Blue Dot: