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Happy Goatsgiving

There’s a very long list of things I feel thankful for this holiday, far too many to actually itemize. But somewhere on that list, well above the median line, would be these goofy creatures: We moved out to the country outside of Boulder...Show More Summary

On the Anniversary of Two Scientific Revolutions

This week marks the (very round number) anniversaries of two of the most important scientific papers ever published. One you’ve heard of — or at least, you’ve heard of the author and its concepts. The other you probably haven’t. YetShow More Summary

Blue Origin Milestone: Rocket Lands Safely After Trip to Space

Jeff Bezos’s rocket company Blue Origin just surprised everyone by revealing their New Shepherd rocket reached an incredible milestone yesterday: In a test run, the rocket took off vertically, reached space, then landed again vertically...Show More Summary

Black Holes Make Me Drool

Nobody’s perfect. Some people come closer than others, but that’s usually because of good editing. In my case, I have proof: Here’s the fourth Crash Course Astronomy blooper reel, showing that we don’t just bang these episodes out. We have to edit them a lot. Ironically, even these outtakes are edited; not all of them are funny. Show More Summary

Bobby Jindal Mocked on The Tonight Show

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Bobby Jindal. He’s the governor of Louisiana, and until yesterday was one of the countless people running for President under the GOP banner. He is not exactly a steely-eyed promoter of science, just as I am not exactly a fan of his. Show More Summary

The Cluster at the Edge of the Universe

I love it when a piece of news comes out that ties in so neatly with a recent episode of Crash Course Astronomy: Hard on the heels of my talking about clusters of galaxies in the distant Universe, astronomers have announced they’ve found an immense cluster 8.5 billion light years away. Show More Summary

George Hrab Shows You How to Think

George Hrab is many things: A musician, a comedian, a fine dresser, and a very good friend of mine. He’s also a skeptic, and an excellent storyteller. Those last two are why I bring him up: He gave a TEDx talk about skepticism recently, and the video is now online. Show More Summary

UPDATE: Whatever WT1109F Was, It Isn’t Any More

This morning, just before 06:20 UTC and right on schedule, a small bit of space junk called WT1109F slammed into Earth’s atmosphere at nearly 40,000 kph. The huge pressure generated as it plowed through the air heated it up, broke it...Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Gamma-ray Bursts

Back when I got my PhD in astronomy, I was pretty focused on my own research topic. Still, I grew up loving astronomy, and I never lost the bug to learn about different aspects of it. For my degree I was studying an exploding star, and...Show More Summary

The Real Reason for the Coffee Season

So you may have heard of all this nontroversy about the Starbucks annual Christmas cup only being a plain red instead of having actual Christmas decorations . This is all over social media, so I figured I’d help y’all out with this. So there you go. Show More Summary

Minute Physics: How to Go to Space

I’m not going to lie to you: I have smart friends, and they are also crazy talented. They inspire me, and it’s no surprise that they inspire each other, too. To wit: My friend Henry Reich, who creates Minute Physics, was inspired byShow More Summary

Naval Missile Test Freaks Out LA

A mysterious light seen off the west coast of California freaked out a lot of people Saturday night (Nov. 7, 2015). Twitter lit up, with thousands of pictures and videos of the object. Let me cut to the chase: As I write this (04:00Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Galaxies, Part II

Can a sequel be better than the original? When it comes to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, yes. And when it comes to an episode of Crash Course Astronomy about galaxies, then judge for yourself: In this second part I go over activeShow More Summary

Are Climate Scientists Fiddling With Temperature Data?

[Part 3 of what looks to be a never-ending series… at least, we can hope, until the Nov. 2016 election.] A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an atrocious abuse of power being flailed about by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Show More Summary

SciShow Quiz Show: Sperm, Whales, and Sperm Whales

One of the perqs of traveling up to Montana to record Crash Course Astronomy is that I get to participate with other fun stuff concocted by Hank Green’s folks up there. One of the best is SciShow Quiz Show, a semi-(well, maybe 25 percent)...Show More Summary

Crash Course Astronomy: Galaxies, Part 1

Last week on Crash Course Astronomy, we took a tour of our Milky Way: a gorgeous, splashy spiral galaxy. But there are other kinds of galaxies. They come in many shapes and sizes, all of which are beautiful, fascinating, gorgeous, and—honestly—really,...Show More Summary

Ride Along With the Halloween Asteroid TB145 As It Glides Across the Stars

On Halloween day, the 600-meter-wide asteroid (or dead comet?) 2015 TB145 slid past the Earth at a distance of about 480,000 km. That’s pretty close as interplanetary distances go, but still comfortably farther then the Moon from Earth. Not only were we in no danger from this rock, but it provided eager astronomers an opportunity to observe it. Show More Summary

Very Bright Fireball Over Europe Last Night

Last night (Halloween, Oct. 31, 2015) at around 19:00 local time, a smallish bit of cosmic debris entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over central Europe. It was very bright, and because it happened in the early evening, a lot of people saw it. Show More Summary

From the Earth to the Moon… in One Minute

I recently wrote about the huge archive of 8400 photographs from the Apollo Moon missions released on Flickr. Put together by Kipp Teague, it’s a great way to spend some time looking over one of the greatest moments in space exploration...Show More Summary

Conan and I Share a Little Oxygen Dihydride

Via Twitter yesterday, I found out I was on another late night talk show and I didn’t even know it! This is actually pretty funny, and doesn’t need any setup: I’ll admit I cringed when I heard Conan make the joke, but not as much as I cringed at the last line by Dean (the chemistry guy). Show More Summary

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