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19 December 2010

AGU 2010 – Day 2: Shoemaker Lecture and Icy Moons

My massive summary of the Day 2 AGU planetary sciences talks, starting with the Shoemaker Lecture, and then covering Titan, Enceladus and other icy moons. Hydrocarbon volcanoes and icy geysers and hidden oceans, oh my!

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29 July 2010

Force Fields and Plasma Shields

Force fields are common in lots of science fiction, but how realistic are they? That’s the question I tackle in the latest Science of Starcraft post. Head on over and check it out!

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28 May 2010

Solar System Tour: The Sun

Everyone knows about the sun, it’s that really bright thing that rises every morning and sets every evening. Not everyone knows much about it though. For example, did you know the sun is actually a star? Ok, so maybe you knew that. But if you’re so smart, what’s it made of? The sun is almost entirely hydrogen, with a bit of helium mixed in and a tiny amount of all …

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6 January 2010

Pulsar "Clocks" Will Help Find Gravity Waves

How do you detect a ripple in space-time itself? Go check out my article at Universe Today for the answer*. *Yes, technically the answer is also in the title of this post, but you should check out the Universe Today article for a little more detail.

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13 November 2008

Tectonics on Mars

Mars is often touted as the “most earth-like” planet, but if you take a look at its surface there are some aspects that are decidedly alien. Sure, there are dry river beds and canyons and volcanoes. But there are also craters. Everywhere. So many that, when Mariner 9 sent back the first spacecraft images of Mars, people were dismayed to see a surface that looked just like the moon! Is …

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16 October 2008

DPS 2008 Day Five: Icy and Not-so-Icy Moons

Today was the final day of the DPS meeting here at Cornell, but the sessions were still very interesting. They served to remind me just how little we know about the outer solar system. Also, remember you can go and watch all the sessions yourself! I believe the plan is to transfer all the videos to a more permanent location soon, so I will keep you posted. The first few …

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3 July 2008

What shape is the solar system?

A cool bit of news from beyond Mars this week: Voyager 2 has relayed new info on the shape of the solar system! New data from the spacecraft, published yesterday in Nature, indicates that Voyager 2 passed through the termination shock in the heliosphere back in August/September of last year. Without the jargon, that means that Voyager 2 reached the location where the solar wind goes from super-sonic to sub-sonic, …

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