Bad Astronomy's Latest Posts
I know, it was for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but when I saw this I thought it was pretty funny. Plus, pink is cool.
So, Star Trek Into Darkness. The new Trek movie. Big summer blockbuster. Lots of box office, lots of buzz. Yeah, that. I didn’t like it. Now, I didn’t hate it. It was fun, and entirely watchable. But, well, I just didn’t actively like it. It was OK for a fast-paced action movie where you can just watch and go along for the ride, but as a Trek movie it fell short. I think this reboot series still has a lot of promise, but this movie, for me, was just marking time. Here’s why. Obviously, […]
A new study has just come out that looked at nearly 12,000 professional scientific journal papers about global warming, and found that—of the papers expressing a stance on global warming—97 percent endorse both the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are causing it. Ninety-seven percent. That’s what we call a “consensus”, folks. The study was clever. They found the papers by searching on the terms “global warming” and “global climate change”. Once they compiled […]
Today is the official U.S. premier of the new movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, and yes, I’m excited. Maybe too excited. I’m a Galaxy-class Trek dork (here's plenty of proof of that), and have been since I was a little kid. I actually liked the 2009 reboot, mostly (see below), and liked all the series and movies to a certain degree (except Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but c’mon, right?). Still, as a scientist, I can’t help but notice that every now and again, just sometimes, maybe, […]
Last week, the Kepler spacecraft software detected an abnormal drift in the pointing of the observatory. As it was designed to do, the software sent the spacecraft into safe mode (putting the observatory to sleep, so to speak) and alerted engineers on the ground. When Kepler was restarted, Reaction Wheel 4 wouldn’t start back up. These wheels are needed to point the telescope; it needs three for normal operation. Reaction Wheel number 2 failed in 2012, so Kepler’s been running on that […]
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