Monthly Archives: August 2013

A ringed (?) planet (?) with moons (?) far, far away

The majestic rings of Saturn are one of the most beautiful sights in our Solar System and a favorite target of stargazers. But all of the gas giant planets in our Solar System have rings, at least very faint ones. … Continue reading

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In the sky: Nova Delphini 2013

A rare event is happening this month–one that only happens once every few years–a naked eye nova is visible in the night sky. This is not a supernova, but what is sometimes called a “classical nova”, literally, a “new” star … Continue reading

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Kepler Mission officially retires from planet hunting

Today, NASA announced that the Kepler Spacecraft has been officially retired from its primary mission of looking for Earth-like planets around other stars. Two of the spacecraft’s four reaction wheels–basically gyroscopes that keep it pointed straight–have failed in the past … Continue reading

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In the sky: the Perseids

The most reliable and visible of the dozens and dozens of meteor showers that occur over the course of the year is the Perseid shower. The Perseids occur every year in July and August when Earth passes through the tail … Continue reading

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The diamond planet (that was once a star)

I’ve written before about pulsar planets, planets that form from the debris left over after a supernova, or that get captured from another solar system. But PSR J1719-1438 b is not like either of those planets. It’s a fragment of … Continue reading

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Book review: Year Zero by Rob Reid

So here’s the deal: aliens exist, and they’re all highly refined artists…except they all suck at music. Humans make the greatest music in the universe, but we’re terrible at all 139 other forms of art that are worth doing. A … Continue reading

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Camp NaNoWriMo: what I learned

Yesterday I completed Camp National Novel Writing Month with a total of 50,118 words. It was a fun month, even if it’s not something I could do all the time. Here’s what I learned. It wasn’t that hard. Don’t get … Continue reading

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