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Philip Plait (The Bad Astronomer)
I write about the Universe.
Occupation: Blogger, public speaker, author
Location: Boulder, CO
Added to CircleCount.com: 07/07/2011That's the date, where Philip Plait (The Bad Astronomer) has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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2013-05-23 17:34:38 (7 comments, 5 reshares, 138 +1s)
Bad Astronomy on the front page of Wikipedia right now!
The entry for my book "Bad Astronomy" is listed on the front page of Wikipedia right now! Wow.
2013-05-23 15:30:23 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 94 +1s)
Drooling over pix of Pavlof volcano...FROM SPACE!
Astronauts on the ISS took photos of the erupting Pavlof volcano in the Aleutian Islands, and they are incredibly dramatic... and also remind us that funding for volcano science is being severely cut back right now.
2013-05-23 14:07:33 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 34 +1s)
Don't miss today's Hangout with CERN: Going pear-shaped at 17h00 CEST to find out the latest news from the ISOLDE facility at CERN, from pear-shaped nuclei to a fundamental property of the rarest element on Earth.
Got a question, post it in advance via the comments on the Google+ event page: http://plus.google.com/events/cr2k6cvh30nqdkc732d9evae3is
2013-05-22 16:24:01 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 59 +1s)
Awesomely weird light show over Hawaii
A few hours ago, a huge expanding bubble of light was seen int he skies over Hawaii. It was caused by an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launch just minutes before from California. I have pix and video on the blog! [Photo by Subaru telescope.]
2013-05-17 22:30:14 (327 comments, 100 reshares, 439 +1s)
A new study looked at 12,000 climate science papers. Of those papers taking a stance on the cause, more than 97% agree the cause is humans.
2013-05-13 14:28:36 (5 comments, 11 reshares, 75 +1s)
Gallery: Top 15 Pictures from astronaut Chris Hadfield
Chris Hadfield and two crewmates return to Earth tonight, so to honor this I combed through hundreds of pix Hadfield took of the Earth from space, and picked my favorite 15. It was very, very hard to choose! But these are all very cool, each showing a different side of space exploration.
2013-05-12 22:41:56 (13 comments, 51 reshares, 180 +1s)
Astronaut Chris Hadfield sings David Bowie's "Space Oddity"... FROM SPACE
And he's good.
2013-05-11 18:42:28 (5 comments, 7 reshares, 59 +1s)
Dramatic satellite re-entry caught on video
A payload sent to orbit in April made a spectacular re-entry into Earth's atmosphere over South America last week, sparking reports of UFOs and meteors. The video is short but pretty cool.
2013-05-11 15:37:05 (71 comments, 26 reshares, 85 +1s)
Atmospheric CO2 levels hit 400 ppm for the first time in three million years
A record I really didn't need to see broken.
2013-05-10 14:10:15 (60 comments, 16 reshares, 73 +1s)
Weapons-grade reality denial
After years of reading brain-rottingly bad global warming denial articles, I think I have actually found the worst one EVER. And it was written by two scientists... one of whom is an Apollo astronaut who walked on the Moon!
2013-05-10 00:01:22 (4 comments, 17 reshares, 102 +1s)
This is quite simply one of the coolest and weirdest eclipse pix I've ever seen: today's annular eclipse at sunset, with atmospheric distortion squashing the Sun!
Pic by Geoff Sims: https://www.facebook.com/BeyondBeneath/posts/136825526506532
2013-05-09 16:58:37 (11 comments, 3 reshares, 44 +1s)
My apologies for subjecting you to that awful creationist soul-crushing garbage today. To make it better, watch this.
I offer some words there as a counterpoint to the earlier post as well; thoughts that help sustain me when I have to deal with those who don't see the world for how it truly is.
2013-05-09 15:12:11 (258 comments, 64 reshares, 196 +1s)
A fourth grade science test I would fail for sure
I know a lot of folks might be tempted to chuckle over the weapons-grade dumbosity of this creationist "science" quiz given to fourth graders in a South Carolina school, but the reality of the situation is that it is horrifying. I would even say disgusting.
2013-05-08 19:36:41 (9 comments, 8 reshares, 61 +1s)
Genie Scott is retiring
My friend and personal hero Genie Scott is retiring. This is why you should know about her.
2013-05-08 16:21:52 (3 comments, 5 reshares, 48 +1s)
A fleet of spacecraft see an epic eruption from the Sun
On May Day, the Sun blew off a billion tons of matter in a huge eruptive prominence and coronal mass ejection. Three spacecraft watched this material as it blew into space, tracing its path for millions of kilometers.
2013-05-08 16:22:23 (17 comments, 10 reshares, 82 +1s)
So you saw the Spock vs. Spock car commercial by now, right? But did you see what was on Spock's bookshelf? No, not that Spock, the real one.
2013-05-08 01:33:21 (10 comments, 13 reshares, 57 +1s)
The remains of Halley's Comet burn and linger in the sky
Check out this phenomenal picture of a meteor - and the trains from two others - in the Australian sky. Photo by +Colin Legg.
2013-05-07 14:19:35 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 47 +1s)
Infrared volcano...FROM SPACE!
Landsat took simultaneous pictures of an erupting volcano in visible and infrared light. Comparing the two is pretty interesting, and I have a nifty slider bar before/after widget to make it more fun.
2013-05-06 16:10:21 (5 comments, 12 reshares, 58 +1s)
Time-lapse video of Earth from space
This gorgeous time-lapse video of Earth made from pictures taken from the space station has a jaw-dropping short sequence of a towering volcanic plume that made my stomach drop to the floor.
2013-05-06 14:59:55 (5 comments, 5 reshares, 35 +1s)
Meteorites from Tunguska event? Maybe, maybe not.
A scientist claims he may have found meteorites from the famed 1908 Tunguska impact in Russia. His claims are interesting, but I have serious doubts. I hope I'm wrong, but my skeptic sense is tingling away here.
2013-05-05 16:09:25 (53 comments, 19 reshares, 103 +1s)
Incredibly, it is currently legal to teach creationism in Louisiana public schools. People have tried to repeal this CLEARLY unconstitutional law three times, and all three times this legal travesty has remained on the books. And when you read the shocking comment of one LA State Senator on why he defended it, your jaw will hit the floor at relativistic speeds.
2013-05-04 14:08:08 (32 comments, 96 reshares, 338 +1s)
The Sun erupts!
Yesterday, the Sun had a minor solar flare, but it triggered a magnificent towering plume of plasma, dozens of times larger than Earth, I have pix and a very cool video of the event.
2013-05-03 16:35:06 (4 comments, 9 reshares, 55 +1s)
Last year, a Soviet cold war spysat nearly wiped out a $700 million NASA astronomical observatory! It's a pretty cool story, and has some interesting orbital mechanics in it.
2013-05-03 15:28:03 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 37 +1s)
Gorgeous blue phytoplankton bloom seen...FROM SPACE!
It's amazing that microscopic organisms can make macroscopic phenomena that can actually be spotted from orbit! I have details, including a correction to some earlier posts I made about similar blooms - and why that makes me happy. :)
2013-05-02 16:00:25 (145 comments, 40 reshares, 96 +1s)
So you aced that science survey quiz. How did you do on the religion one?
2013-05-02 14:30:30 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 47 +1s)
When galaxies collide...
Two galaxies collided, a train wreck on a colossal scale. The havoc created inside them has triggered a massive wave of star formation that's gone on for 200 million years, pumping up a vast cloud of gas surrounding the pair, heating it to millions of degrees, causing it to glow fiercely in X-rays.
Man, I love writing sentences like that.
2013-05-01 18:47:50 (436 comments, 108 reshares, 301 +1s)
Why the HELL is my government attacking so science so much?
I am very angry about this, and decided to vent about it. If you're angry too, then do something. Write your Congresscritter. Talk to other people. Post about it. But these attacks on science, on reality, must stop.
2013-05-01 14:31:43 (9 comments, 30 reshares, 102 +1s)
Planning + timing + execution = AMAZING photo
Photographer Philipp Schmidli put in the effort to take a series of pictures that are simply stunning.
2013-04-30 13:56:09 (32 comments, 97 reshares, 367 +1s)
A glowering storm on Saturn in fantastic detail
Cassini sends back gorgeous pictures all the time, but this is a show-stopper: an infrared shot of a storm squatting over the planet's north pole. The close-up is incredible, but the wide angle is simply stunning. I have details in the link above.
2013-04-29 17:51:08 (13 comments, 20 reshares, 73 +1s)
Herschel Observatory closes its eye
After four successful years in orbit, the European Herschel far-infrared observatory has run out of liquid helium. The mission is now over. In honor of this amazing machine, I posted some of my favorite pictures from it. Enjoy, and be amazed.
2013-04-29 16:01:00 (20 comments, 34 reshares, 89 +1s)
A win for reality!
The maker of useless "bomb detecting" magic dowsing rods has been convicted of fraud. These pieces of junk were - and still are - being used by the Iraqi military at checkpoints to look for bombs. They don't work, and in 2009 resulted in the death so hundreds of people.
This conviction makes me happy, but very, very angry that any of this happened at all. And is still happening. The work of science, of skeptics, of reality, will never be done.
2013-04-29 14:36:01 (18 comments, 16 reshares, 63 +1s)
Go home, Sun. You're drunk.
2013-04-28 16:14:01 (210 comments, 23 reshares, 142 +1s)
SHOCKER: Fox News gets it exactly wrong about global warming.
Why, it's almost as if they know that what they're saying is complete and utter crap.
2013-04-26 17:35:00 (23 comments, 22 reshares, 145 +1s)
The ice moon Enceladus, lit by the yellowish glow of Saturn. There's more here than meets the eye...
Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/G. Ugarković
2013-04-25 19:52:40 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 60 +1s)
Cassini sees aftermath of meteoroid collisions in Saturn's rings!
In the too-seriously-awesome news for the day, Cassini has spotted the expanding debris clouds from several impacts in Saturn's rings! Nine separate impacts were seen over the years, caused by meteoroids slamming into the tiny icy particles making up Saturn's rings. I knew this had to be happening, so it's very cool to finally see evidence of it.
2013-04-25 17:55:22 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 47 +1s)
Three years of the Sun in three minutes
An amazing video compressing time by a factor of 560,000 shows the Sun's activity over the past three years unfolding in three minutes.
2013-04-25 16:17:57 (16 comments, 7 reshares, 47 +1s)
Scientists Find Invading Ultra-High-Energy Neutrinos From Another Galaxy!
I'll admit it up front: I had fun writing that headline, as well as this article. But c'mon: an experiment buried deep in the Antarctic ice uses faster-then-light shock waves to detect a pair of subatomic particles that may have originated in the cataclysmic chaos of the birth of a black hole millions of light years away. Let's see you not write a scifi headline for that one.
2013-04-25 14:45:00 (6 comments, 17 reshares, 72 +1s)
Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!
A new image of Betelgeuse taken using a connected array of radio telescopes provides amazing detail of the star, including two hot spots in its atmosphere... and an arch of material the size of our solar system!
2013-04-24 17:04:52 (10 comments, 16 reshares, 62 +1s)
Martian mountain...in 3D!
Check this out: Here's a phenomenal 3D red/green anaglyph of the Martian landscape taken by the Curiosity rover. It's really amazing, and gives you a great sense of what it must be like to stand on Mars.
2013-04-24 14:54:00 (2 comments, 12 reshares, 64 +1s)
Hubble eyes ISON
Hubble snapped a picture of the new comet ISON - which may become a naked-eye comet this winter. The picture reveals the solid part of the comet is smaller than expected, especially for a comet already so active!
2013-04-23 17:57:31 (5 comments, 7 reshares, 39 +1s)
A hundred billion stars' trails...
How about some gorgeous astrophotos of stars over the Australian countryside? The Milky Way photo is trippy and spectacular.
2013-04-23 15:01:12 (11 comments, 26 reshares, 106 +1s)
What happens when you wring out a washcloth in space?
You may have seen this video - it's gone viral - but I found that no one was really explaining it. So I did: surface tension! Molecules! Asymmetric dipole charge distribution forcing weak molecular alignment! That last one is cooler than it sounds. Though honestly, it sounds pretty cool.
2013-04-22 20:24:55 (49 comments, 57 reshares, 134 +1s)
Bad news, everyone: Futurama's been canceled. Again.
I don't want to live on this planet anymore: Futurama has been canceled, and this time it may be forever. But I have a semi-personal connection with the show, so I'll always have that (and Zoidberg).
2013-04-22 17:57:14 (18 comments, 22 reshares, 68 +1s)
Noodling Google's Doodle
Today's Google Earth Day Doodle is adorable, but - and I hate to say this - has some wee scientific inaccuracies in it. Did I miss any?
2013-04-22 14:07:35 (3 comments, 20 reshares, 72 +1s)
15 facts about our planet for Earth Day
Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, here are 15 facts (plus a bonus one) you may not know about our home planet. Did you know them all?
2013-04-21 16:36:14 (6 comments, 38 reshares, 158 +1s)
The mighty St. Lawrence river and a massive impact crater... FROM SPACE!
Astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted this picture from orbit yesterday, showing Canada's St. Lawrence river glowing in the sunlight. But my eye was drawn to the gigantic circular feature to the right: the Manicouagan crater, the 100-km-wide site of an ancient asteroid impact.
2013-04-19 22:22:46 (30 comments, 29 reshares, 158 +1s)
Blue supergiant superstars go superboom, and take their own sweet time doing it.
2013-04-19 21:17:09 (14 comments, 4 reshares, 43 +1s)
Joining us this week is the wonderful +Philip Plait!
2013-04-18 18:12:21 (25 comments, 58 reshares, 234 +1s)
Two Earth-sized planets orbit the same star...in its habitable zone!
This is very cool: two planets have been found around the Sun-like star Kepler-62, both roughly the size as Earth (40% and 60% bigger, so in the same category as Earth), and both orbit the star at the right distance to allow liquid water on their surfaces!
We don't know if they have water or not (beware of articles saying they do!) but we've seen water on other planets, and planets this size we've found before do look to be rocky like Earth. All in all, a pretty interesting and exciting discovery.
2013-04-18 14:26:00 (19 comments, 25 reshares, 89 +1s)
Galaxy at the edge of the visible Universe is cranking out stars
An incredibly distant and massive young galaxy has been found that's furiously making new stars. It makes our Milky Way look positively dead by comparison: HFLS3, as it's called, is making new stars 2000 times faster than our own galaxy. That's why we can see it at all even though IT'S NEARLY 13 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY.
Seriously. Holy wow.
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