Some links for today. We’ll start with Star Wars and go from there. The Best-Case Scenario: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – There’s a new Star Wars film out this week. It’s a total surprise; I haven’t seen ads or merchandise for it anywhere. Reviews are starting to trickle in, albeit ones light on details. … Continue reading Link Round-Up: December 16
There’s a Carbon Leaf song that’s an especial favorite of mine — “Blue Ridge Laughing” from Ether-Electrified Porch Music has this magnificent line: “Space brings back boyish wonder.” I cite it from time to time, especially on clear nights when you can see clear into infinity, such as here or especially here: The sky tonight … Continue reading Space Brings Back Boyish Wonder
This morning, on my way into the office, I was thinking about Pluto and why its surface appears to be so young. I began to formulate a hypothesis in which Pluto, in the early days of the solar system, was actually in the inner solar system, then through gravitational interactions it was flung into the … Continue reading Pluto and the Solar Systems of Distant Suns
One scientist thinks that the origin of Saturn’s rings has been found. A moon, at least the size of Titan, if not larger, collided with the gas giant in the early years of the solar system. As it was torn apart by tidal forces, its frozen surface spun off and formed a ring system. That’s … Continue reading On the Origin of Saturn’s Rings
Sometimes research will lead one down strange alleys. I spent the afternoon doing some research into the Aristotlean and Ptolemaic conceptions of the geocentric universe. In so doing I discovered an unusual belief held by ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures (and written about by Plato in the Epinomis), that Saturn was a star like the … Continue reading On Research Avenues
New pictures from the Cassini mission show how truly strange Saturn’s rings are. The rings as seen in pictures taken by the Voyager mission twenty-five years ago have changed somewhat–features have moved or disappeared–and new structures in the rings have been noted. Go! Look! Marvel!
First, scientists find the Mars Polar Lander. Now, astronomers on the Cassini project have found a moon tucked inside Saturn rings. The unnamed moon showed up in pictures taken by Cassini last week. The moon appears in the images as a tiny ball in a 155-mile wide black space in the ring known as the … Continue reading On Saturn's newly-discovered moon