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24 October 2011

Quantum Physics is Not Difficult- Brian Cox on BBC Radio 4

I have mentioned before that Brian Cox’s BBC series on the Wonders of the Universe and the Wonders of the Solar System were fantastic programs. For those that did not get to see them, here is a six-minute interview from the BBC Radio 4 Today program this morning. You do not have to be able to do differential equations in your head to understand quantum physics! On the other hand, …

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4 October 2011

Well Deserved Nobel Prize Goes To Adam Riess

Last week I was chatting with my wife and somehow the mention of Nobel prizes came up. I offhandedly said the Nobel Prize in Physics will go to a guy named Adam Riess, but he will probably split it with two others. Fast forward to today and my wife Marian is painting the bedroom of our home here in Oklahoma City, and listening to BBC Radio 2. The 8 PM …

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29 September 2011

The Hubble Time Machine

HubbleSite has a pretty amazing graphic up showing just how far back in time astronomers have looked using this amazing telescope and no other modern scientific instrument has captured the imagination of humans like Hubble. Eventually Hubble will burn up in the atmosphere, and that is a real shame since the most famous telescope (since Galileo made one) will be lost to history. To say that Hubble has revolutionized our …

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26 September 2011

Major Solar Storm Underway

A major coronal mass ejection has occurred on the sun and while it will only glance Earth, it is big enough to have caused a major warning from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. This is called a G3 warning and that means it’s a biggy. From NOAA SWPC: A strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) has been observed and is partially-directed at Earth. The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued …

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18 September 2011

Weekend Digest- Hadrons and Asteroids

With all the talk of the hunt for the increasingly elusive Higgs Boson, I ran across a great info graphic that makes some sense of the Standard Model. Click the image to make it much bigger and save it for future reference. It was produced by the Contemporary Physics Education Project and would make a great wall poster in classrooms. I’ve mentioned courses by the Teaching Company before and they …

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8 September 2011

Sun Unleashes Second X-Class Flare in 24 Hours

The Solar Dynamic Observatory captured the flare at 2256 GMT, just over 24 hours after yesterday’s X 2.1 flare. The NOAA X-ray flux shows it as well and the indication is this will reach the X class level. The last two flare are already causing widespread radio disruptions. Here is an update from the NOAA SWPC: 2300Z, September 7, 2011 – Twenty four hours after unleashing an R3 (Strong) Solar …

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7 September 2011

The Latest and Best Symphony of Science

  If I try to show my wife even the most basic equation her eyes glaze over, but she loves this. So do I. For Americans, the long-haired dude is Brian Cox formerly of a British rock band who did the best two series on astronomy and cosmology since Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Cox is an Astrophysicist with CERN. They aired on the BBC in the past two years and you …

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1 September 2011

A Lonely Speck In The Great Enveloping Cosmic Dark

I know  have posted it before but this demands a reprise for Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, …

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26 August 2011

Nearby Supernova Rocks Astronomical World

The image above shows a Type Ia Supernova and it is very nearby at only 21 million light years (That’s nearby to astronomers you know ;)). It’s hard to express just how big this news is, because no other supernova has been seen this early after the star exploded, and telescopes around the world are now taking spectra of the light from it. Here’s one example of how big it …

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16 August 2011

Is it A Cloud or A Shadow

A viewer (Eric Atkins) sent me this pic a few weeks back, and it has stumped quite a few meteorologists including me! At first it looks like the cloud in the foreground is casting a shadow on the cirrocumulus deck above and behind it, but this cannot be so! The sun is behind the cloud and not opposite the view from the camera. I have some fellow meteorologists looking into …

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