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Monday, November 06, 2006


Last week in Astronomy (2)

The Hot Topic of the week was that NASA has slated a shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. New Scientist had the announcement and also discoursed on the groovy instrumentation to go up. The Lab and ScienceNow also put in a good word for the old light bucket. Bloggers were not to miss out, The Bad Astronomer waxed lyrical, and also discussed the instrumentation, Stuart, Tom, DaveP, Emily Lakdawalla and Voyage to Arcturus all put in a word on this iconic telescope.

Next up in popularity is the upcoming Transit of Mercury on November 8/9 (depending on where in the world you are). There is of course my page for Southern Hemisphereians, Tom, A Voyage to Arcturus and Top of The Lawn all discussing this event.

The antics of the expanding gas shell of V838 Monocerotis was discussed in New Scientist, but Stuart went one better and made a truly amazing animation.

Not content with this, Stuart also released Astronomy Media Player, a fantastic one stop shop for audio and video astronomy podcasting. Use it to look up the latest Jodcast, with and interview with on of Astronomy Picture of the Days main men.

In the "teaching old dogs new tricks" department, Deep Impacts fuzzy camera may be used to study Exoplanets. Emily Lakdawalla blogs this in some detail.

Remember Brian May? The ex-Queen guitarist is an Astronomer, and has written a new popular science book on space, time, and the history of the universe with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott. Brian has also recorded a guitar solo promotional track for it featuring Patrick Moore on drums. Hat tip to Bad Science.

In other news, the surface of Venus may be older than we thought, and gas clouds slamming into galaxies at thousands of kilometers per second act as giant particle accelerators. See the stories at ScienceNow and New Scientist.

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