solar system

stellar physics


galaxies & cosmology

particle physics

cultural literacy

late-April 2013

comet ISON
will it be the comet of the century
in late November,
when it becomes
brighter than the full moon?

frozen spectacles
why we seem to be living in
an usual time

SN 1006
~1000 years after
it was seen around the world

"Way-Too-Bright" Supernova
Confounds Astronomers

Supernova Dust Found in
Antarctic Meteorites

Supernova evidence in ancient fossil bacteria?

a horse(head) of a different color

pop quiz:
test your knowledge of exoplanets

2 promising places to live,
1200 c-years from Earth
(NY Times)

Kepler finds 2 planets in
life-friendly orbits

(Washington Post)

Kepler's tally of exoplanets

The Cosmic Menagerie
what did the first aliens
look like?

Front Row at the Dawn of Time
a baby picture of the universe

new insights on how spiral
galaxies get & keep their arms


college for free
but have to be willing to milk cows,
build ships , or salute

college prestige vs. sanity
(how/why parents/students make
stupid decisions
about where to go to college)

Revisiting the "Value" of Elite Colleges,
and why -- for most students -- it's zero

just in:
this year's college acceptance rates

The Impossible Decision
for and against grad school

prioritizing science education:
a special Science magazine issue

current events

Two terrorists ... Send America Over the Edge
why terrorism won, this time

two bombings, two very different results:
"hysterical ... overreaction" in Boston
vs. "life ... goes on" in London

How to Put America Back Together

Why Gun Control Failed
(with charts & graphs)

The Excel Depression
Austerity Remedy = Flimflam
will discovery of spreadsheet mistake
stop Republicans' call for austerity?
don't bet on it

why Congress is so disrespected:
they constantly lie;
1 example, 3 versions:

The Spineless Gun Vote

betrayal on gun control

A Senate in the Gun Lobby's Grip

why intelligent people don't live in Texas

early-April 2013

Europa's equatorial ice spikes
may prevent satellite landing

still another explanation for
the moon illusion

mini-supernovas discovered

first detection of x-ray emission from
solar-type stars in the SMC

denser-than-iron exoplanets?
who ordered that?

smallest exoplanet yet...

Kepler's supernova remnant gives clues to

distance scale of universe

Hubble finds most distant type Ia supernova ever
(z = 1.914)

a redshift-lookup table: given redshift, read its
age, distance, etc

how the Higgs Boson might
doom for the universe

another neutrino likely ruled out
by Planck

ISS magnetic spectrometer detects
dark matter signal?

mid-March 2013

comet PanSTARRS
first naked-eye comet in a while....
apparently on its first and last visit
to the inner solar system

water on Mars could have supported
life long ago

the aurora borealis in real time

update on the Russian mega-meteor

3rd closest star system to the sun discovered
(have you checked your dorm room lately?)

interstellar cloud about to be devoured by
Milky Way's super-massive black hole

oldest known star in the Milky Way?

denser-than-iron exoplanets?
who ordered that?

smallest exoplanet yet...

Planck satellite results

on March 21, the embargo will be lifted on the first results from the
cosmic-background-exploring satellite Planck.....

first announced:
universe is 0.08 billion years older
than previously thought:
now it's up to 13.81 billion years;
also, Hubble constant goes slightly down;
dark matter slightly up;
dark energy slightly down;
  new evidence for inflation;
more inhomogeneities than expected

NY Times front page story
NY Times pictures
Washington Post front page story
LA Times front page story
Scientific American story
Planck science results page

evidence for still another shredded galaxy just found
inside the Milky Way

gravitational lens creates cartoon of space invader
your tax dollars at work

book review: A Universe from Nothing
is about a theory of everything

Fermi provides evidence of supernova origin
of cosmic rays

romancing the Higgs boson

(a very long NY Times article)

course pages for astrophysics and galaxies/cosmology 2012 -2013

february pages
january pages
december pages
november pages
october pages
  september pages
  august pages