We could see Star Wars happening right now!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. Not just the star wars intro, but a true statement if you’re an astronomer.  You see, once we start to look deep in space at the more distant objects in the universe, we are actually looking deep in time as well.  It all begins with a light year. A light year is not a measure of time, it’s a measure of distance.  When you turn on the light in a dark room, the light appears to fill the room instantly.  But it actually takes a small amount of time, as light has...

Motivation Monday: The Make or Break Cliff

There is a pattern I’ve noticed in the last few years.  As much as I have gotten better at setting goals and carrying them out, there are times when those goals come to a head, and then slowly fade away, whether I achieve them or not.  A good example of this is running.  After running a big race, which for me is a 5 Km or 10 Km run in a goal time, I find that the next few days are sluggish and slow and I have little focus and energy.  In the past this would sometimes derail my progress...

Cool Applet showing the surface of Vesta

Over the past few years, before heading to Ceres in a landmark rendezvous in March of 2015, the Dawn spacecraft mapped out the surface of the largest asteroid, Vesta.   This amazing little applet shows the entire surface of the asteroid with some craters highlighted.  Called Vestatrek, it shows all kinds of data from Dawn, including a 3D model of Vesta.  Definitely worth the time to geek out. http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov/

The Gold Rush of the Galaxy – Exoplanets

I’ve always been a fan of data visualization.  We have so much raw data in the world that can reveal incredible information about our Universe, and the only thing stopping us is the time to analyse it all.  Sometime data visualizations pop up that really put things into perspective, help us see trends that we didn’t know of before, and offer insights into where we should look in the future.  I feel like I find something amazing that someone has produced on a daily basis, and being able to visualize complex data can give anyone a deeper understanding of the...

Opportunity Mars Panorama Marks 11 Years

The Opportunity rover has just about reached it’s 11 year anniversary of it’s 90 day mission puttering around Mars.  The actual day is tomorrow since the rover landed on January 25th, 2004. To mark its incredible accomplishment, the imaging team produced a lovely panorama of what the rover would see from its current position on a high point along the rim of endeavour crater. The map below shows the path of Opportunity over its past 11 years, from the Eagle crater, to endurance crater, to Victoria crater, and finally on to the much more massive Endeavour crater, where it currently...

Motivation Monday: Why New Years Resolutions don’t Work (And why we think they will)

Ah 2015, a new year, a new chance to do things right.  This year life is going to be better, this year I’ll do everything I’ve dreamed of, this year is the year of great changes!  Sound familiar? Maybe you said that this year, or at the start of 2014, or 2013, or every year prior. It’s okay, we all make resolutions, even if we aren’t the type of person who makes resolutions.  There’s just something about the New Year that inspires us to make a fresh start and shed all of the hardships from the previous year.  We have...