in which I look at the Pillars of Creation

One of the big blockbusters of the American Astronomical Society meeting was the Hubble 25th Anniversary image: a new magnificent shot of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. Seriously, look at it. Source: Hubblesite.org

on Rosetta, Philae, and C/67P

One of the more exciting things you can find at the American Astronomical Society meeting are new results in fields you don’t normally keep up with, and about space missions you’re not involved in . The team behind Rosetta and the Philae lander put out a very nice and detailed talk about what they learned…

on the American Astronomical Meetings.

There are roughly 15,000 professional astronomers* in the world.  Of them, roughly 7,000 are in the United States. Of those, over 2,700 of them made an appearance at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

on the Death Star

So this story is going around: http://www.iflscience.com/space/more-dozen-stars-will-be-making-close-encounters-earth http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedorminey/2014/12/29/outer-solar-system-likely-to-collide-with-orange-dwarf-star/ http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/death-star-coming-us-study-says-its-possible-dont-panic-n277741 A star is going to collide with the solar system! The Death Star is coming! We’re all doomed! Dooooooooomed!   Well, not really. This is an ordinary case of a press release taking things a little too far because it sounds more dramatic.

on the New Years Eve Giant Cookie

I promise I’ll start talking about astronomy again soon. One thing I’m known for is a New Years’ Eve Giant Cookie. I’ve been doing it for about 15 years, ever since one New Years’ Eve when I wanted chocolate chip cookies but didn’t want to be bothered with the long process of swapping sheets in…