Link Round-Up: December 16

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”

Space Brings Back Boyish Wonder

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 tonightContinue reading “Space Brings Back Boyish Wonder”

Pluto and the Solar Systems of Distant Suns

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 theContinue reading “Pluto and the Solar Systems of Distant Suns”

On the Origin of Saturn’s Rings

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’sContinue reading “On the Origin of Saturn’s Rings”

On Research Avenues

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 theContinue reading “On Research Avenues”

On Saturn's newly-discovered moon

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 theContinue reading “On Saturn's newly-discovered moon”