With a new semester coming up, I find myself seeking better ways to teach. This led me to rethink what I currently know about teaching and presenting (hint: not a lot, actually), which led to some research, which led to this: Continue reading “Shining Eyes”
Andrew Consales is a senior at Towson University, majoring in video production with an emphasis on science communication. Andrew wasn’t a student in any of my classes, but I subbed in for his astronomy professor in October while she was forced to go to NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center with Towson’s astronomy majors. Tough gig. Continue reading “As above Is below”
A mesmerizing celebration of the Juno mission, and the creatures of a small blue planet who sent a tiny spacecraft to Jupiter, for no other reason than sheer curiosity.
Created for Apple Music, it’s haunting and inspiring at the same time. There’s a few more tracks I’ll have to check out as well.
You can keep track of the Juno mission at the Southwest Research Institute’s Juno site.
My friend Padi Boyd is an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center. She’s also a singer, songwriter, and founding member of The Chromatics, an A Capella group who sing about, among other things, astronomy. So I was happy to hear their latest number, Dance of the Planets, got made into a nice little video. Check it out:
It’s a lovely song and a reminder of how much of our perception has changed in such a short amount of time. Just 25 years ago, there was not a single known exoplanet – instead, we could only speculate about them and take a guess as to how what percentage of stars have planets, their number, and whether or not any of them might even have potentially habitable worlds.
Today, it’s a completely different story. We now know of more than 1800 worlds orbiting other stars, with thousands more waiting to be confirmed. We can confidently state that every star, regardless of its type, likely has at least one planet orbiting it. The Kepler Space Telescope showed us that planets do in fact orbit other suns in their host star’s habitable zone, can have stable orbits in binary star systems, and come in a variety of sizes around stars very different than our Sun. The upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will identify even more interesting targets for future telescopes, and get us started down the path of understanding what their atmospheres are made of.
It’s an exciting time to be discovering new worlds beyond our solar system, and Padi sums it up best with these lyrics:
At the dawn of the twenty-first century,
The dream has become a reality
We’re not quite as alone as we used to be,
There are planets around the stars