Tag Archives: Science

Video

That Planet that’s a Large, Gaseous Cloud

No, not Neptune. No, not Jupiter. Don’t make me say it. Okay, fine.

Your Moment of Solar Zen

It’s Friday, so what better way to relax than to kick back and watch and incredible and incredibly relaxing time lapse film of 10 years of The Sun!

That’s no moon. Oh wait, yes it is!

February 29th is sort of a little bonus of a day, so perhaps in line with thinking about traveling to the moon early this week, there’s more space news.

In fact, we have a second moon. No, really. Our planet has a temporary second natural satellite. See the coverage from New Scientist, NBC News, and Mental Floss. Now granted it’s not big enough to land on (it’s about the size of a car) and it won’t be parked in our orbit forever, but all you picayune trivia buffs rejoice!

Space is big. Really, really big.

I saw Ad Astra this past weekend, which is doing its part to make sci-fi hard like vibranium not squishy like flubber

NASA is very clear on the whole “Space is big” thing.

Scientist James O’Donoghue decided to make an animation to demonstrate how “warp speeds” worked in Star Trek, its various incarnations known for loving science… while certainly not being beholden to rigidly adhering to known norms because writers.

In any case, even though vast distances can be crossed in three days or three weeks “at maximum warp” based the needs of the episode, official unofficial definitions of how faster than the speed of light Star Trek‘s warp speeds have been documented. So, Warp 9.9 –basically the point where Scotty would presumably tell Kirk in no uncertain terms that the Enterprise is about to fly apart– is 2,083 times the speed of light. That’s fast.

But space is big. Really, really big. So fast is, wait for it, relative.

So I don’t agree with the headline that warp speed is “achingly slow” –I mean I’d like to get to the next star system in the same time it take us to get to the other side of the planet– it only goes so far, so fast.

Why Isn’t the U.S. Metric Already?

Just over 240 years ago, the United States announced its separation from Britain… a separation that could be measured in many ways, but definitely in miles.

And while pretty much the rest of the world has decided to “Make Mine Metric,” Americans remain unconvinced. Why? The Verge has some theories.

Going Faster than the Speed of Light with Imaginary Numbers

For many of us writing science fiction, a common decision point is how hard or soft we should make the world(s)¬†we’re building. A perennial area is whether we allow faster-than-light travel or not (i.e., warping, folding space, entering stargates, traveling through hyperspace, etc.).

Scientist and science fiction author Catherine Asaro explains her own journey in coming up with a way to have interstellar ships that can move at the speed of narrative without¬† willfully ignoring Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Recommended Reading: The Actual Science Behind Dyson & Other Dryers

Recently, there’s been some news stories making the rounds on the Internets about the Dyson “air blade” hand dryer things actually being horrible germ-distributing death machines, etc. etc. etc.

The reason for this conclusion appears to be the usual search for sensation by reporters as explained in this entertaining article by Emma Bryce.

Don’t worry hypochondriacs, you can still worry.