The Mysterious Island

Right now, there’s a story going around (again) about the magic islands on Titan. In brief, the Cassini orbiter can see the flat seas of Titan as reflective patches, and the rough terrain above sea level as bright busy spots. Cassini has seen some rough patches appear and disappear in the large lakes of Titan….

on Interstellar and Internal Consistency (spoilers!)

A fair warning: There are spoilers within.  Read at your own discretion. Christopher Nolan’s interstellar is out this week, and us regular astronomers are finally getting to see what critics have been gushing about and calling “the most scientifically accurate movie ever” (ok, not those words, but if you’re reading this at some point in…

in which I talk writing

The fundamental unit of scientific respectability is the scientific paper. It has been ‘scientific papers’ for at least 300 years, and it seems like that’s what it will be for the forseeable future. Why? Well, partially tradition. We all trust the scientific paper to be the end-product unit of a scientific project.  It describes the…