Monthly Archives: November 2012

NaNoWriMo: the home stretch

At this moment there are just three days left in National Novel Writing Month. That may not sound like much, but it’s still 10% of the whole month. So if you’re still a little behind, don’t give up! And even … Continue reading

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing | Tagged ,

In the sky: Jupiter

Look to the east after sunset, and you will see a particularly bright star, which is not a star at all–it’s the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is a favorite target of amateur astronomers because it’s one of the easiest objects in … Continue reading

Posted in Stargazing | Tagged ,

Welcome to the Future, Episode 1

Ah, “the Future”: an era of flying cars, jet packs, ray guns, and robotic maids…well, from that list, it looks like we’re doing pretty well for ourselves. No, the future isn’t quite what we expected. The Internet has made us … Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo halfway (and a bit) through

If you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo), we’re a little over halfway through. If you’ve kept pace so far, at the end of the day today, you should be up to 28,333 words. Even if you’re behind, … Continue reading

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Nomads of the galaxy

Far from the warmth and light of any star, there are still planets…depending on what you call them. There is no doubt that objects the size of planets have been found floating in space by themselves. There are several in … Continue reading

Posted in Planets

In the sky: the Double Cluster

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, as most of you are, then late autumn and early winter is a great time to see some of the most famous objects in the night sky, like the Pleiades, the Andromeda Galaxy, and … Continue reading

Posted in Stargazing

Intro to Celestia

Have you ever wondered what the night sky looks like on Mars? Or Pluto? Or Alpha Centauri? How about finding out the relative positions of the planets on March 28, 2073 (as a science fiction writer might want to do)? … Continue reading

Posted in Stargazing

The “puffy planets”

Under extremely high pressures, matter stops behaving normally. The atoms get squashed in weird ways and turn into a state called degenerate matter. Planets about as massive as Jupiter and larger are big enough to contain degenerate matter. This leads … Continue reading

Posted in Planets