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The Summer of ’82

David: You knew enough to tell Saavik that how we face death is at least as important as how we face life. Kirk [sadly, resigned]: Just words. David: But good words! That's where ideas begin. In June of 1982, I found myself waiting in a long, long line at a mall. Show More Summary

The Densest Galaxies Ever Discovered

I think one of the most interesting facts in astronomy is a simple one to state: Galaxies are cannibals. They eat each other. The Milky Way grew huge this way; our galaxy is in the top tier of spirals in the Universe. (Many are bigger,...Show More Summary

Hey! It's Not Rocket Science!

I mentioned in a recent post that I met astronaut Chris Hadfield at Comic Con in early July. Chris is the real deal: He is a friendly, funny, warm, intelligent, and hard-working human being who truly and passionately wants to make the world a better place. One way to do that is to get more people interested in science. Show More Summary

New Horizons Looks Over Its Shoulder at Pluto

I’ve been expecting — and seeing — amazing images of Pluto from the close approach flyby of the New Horizons probe from mid-July. And even though I knew the images taken once the spacecraft was past Pluto would be lovely, I still wasn’t...Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Stars

You’re the only star in heaven, You’re the only star that shines, You’re the only star in heaven, Now that only star is mine. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “The Only Star in Heaven” Stars are the building blocks of the visible Universe....Show More Summary

Space Walking at Comic Con with Adam Savage

Every year, I go to San Diego Comic Con, the annual nerd bash where something like a mole of people converge on the town to celebrate pop culture. It’s a lot of fun, and one of the joys for me is to get together with friends I don’tShow More Summary

What’s in Store for the Doctor in Season 9?

As you might know, I’m a pretty big Doctor Who fan (as in OHMYGODILOVETHISSHOW), and I’m really looking forward to the next season. While the last season had some issues (arg, “Kill the Moon”) there were several great episodes, and tons of lovely scenes. Show More Summary

Pluto and Charon Keep Getting WEIRDER

If there’s one thing we always find when we see a solar system object up close for the first time, it’s something surprising. Or somethings. Or lots and lots of somethings. New images and data were released today from the New Horizons probe, now well past Pluto and its system of moons. Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: How Far Is Far?

Astronomy is weird. Everything we study is really, really far away. So far away really, that for most of history we didn’t know how far away they were. It was impossible to measure. But then some Greeks decided to figure out how bigShow More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Tripping the Light Fantastic

For the two dozenth episode of Crash Course Astronomy, we have to take a step away from the straight astronomy stuff and talk a little bit about light. After all, pretty much everything we know about the Universe is information sentShow More Summary

Incredible Kinetic “Sculptures” Use the Science of … Hair Dryers?

It’s been a long time since I’ve used a hair dryer—a chamois is more useful these days—but even when I had thick, luxurious auburn hair (and I did) it never would have occurred to me to use hair dryers like artist Antoine Terrieux did. Show More Summary

Getting Excited About Pluto? I Am!

In just a few days, we’re going to see a whole new world. Worlds, actually. Pluto is ready for its close-up, and so is its moon Charon, which, at more than half Pluto’s diameter, is a decent-size place to visit, too. It feels like the...Show More Summary

“Oh, Right, I Can Be A Person Now”

Wil Wheaton is a dear friend of mine. I have a huge amount of respect for him, for many reasons. He is kind, he is generous, he is honest. I’ve heard countless interviews with him talking about the mistakes he’s made in the past, and...Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Meteors!

I’m not gonna lie to you: This is one of my favorite episodes of Crash Course Astronomy we’ve done so far. It was a lot of fun, and this is just such a fantastic topic to talk about. So here you go: “Meteors, Meteoroids, and Meteorites,...Show More Summary

Which Hunt?

In early June, Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt was asked to speak at a luncheon sponsored by the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations at a science communications meeting in South Korea. What he said there is now Internet history. Show More Summary

A Refreshing Illusion: Flat Glass of Water

I love fun illusions, and I happened upon one that’s pretty interesting to see: An artist draws a glass of water that is startlingly 3D: Oddly, the illusion is actually more convincing to watch at lower resolution and with a smaller window; that washes out the pencil strokes and actually makes the illusion more realistic. Show More Summary

What Lurks in the Outer Solar System?

Where does the solar system end? You might think of the solar system as being the Sun, a bunch of planets , and various asteroids and comets. But it’s more complicated than that. Nothing in the Universe ever really has sharp boundaries when you look at it closely. Show More Summary

The 2015 Earth and Sky Photography Winners

The good folks at The World at Night — dedicated to preserving the night sky and raising awareness about light pollution — have announced the winners of the 6 th annual International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, and as usual they are...Show More Summary

Dancing Lights Against the Sky

When you look up in the sky enough, you'll see some really, really weird things. YouTube user QuadeM13 was out riding his bike and noticed a strange light beam flashing and twisting around above a cloud. He stopped and took some video...Show More Summary

What Do We Do About Misogyny Online?

Not surprisingly, the issue of misogyny on the Internet has hit the news again. The blatant and horrid misogyny women face online has been an issue for as long as there’s been an Internet. Recently, though, with the advent of GamerGate,...Show More Summary

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