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Friday, June 17, 2005


Not another Exoplanet

I've had a good day in the lab killing cultured nerve cells. I rigged up my digital camera and took some images through the microscope. From the pictures I can now follow neurite and nerve degeneration in individual cells rather than relying on crude spectrophotometric methods. They were such a success I've ordered Steve Mogg's webcam adaptor for microscopes, so I don't have to balance the camera precariously while imaging the cells (Level 4 have an umpteen thousand dollar fluorescent microscope that has a digital camera attached, but it is useless for bog standard light microscopy). I use Steve's adaptor for my own astrophotography.

Buoyed up by this success, and the double shadow transit tonight, I rushed home ... to cloud. And more cloud. No transit images. So to cheer myself up the Bettdeckererschnappender weisle and I watched a bizarre German version of "Behold the Man" and I trawled APOD for some cheering images.

Well, they have found ANOTHER exoplanet. This one is only about 6 times the size of Earth, so it is probably the first terrestrial planet ever found. A bit toasty though, makes Venus seem positively Arctic. Anyway, pop over to APOD and get the full story (and a nice painting).

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