Monthly Archives: March 2014

Dwarf planets and the problem of the IAU

What is a dwarf planet? Under the definition accepted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a dwarf planet is any object orbiting the Sun that is large enough to become round under its own gravity, but is not large enough … Continue reading

Posted in Planets, Space | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

2012 VP113: a weird new “dwarf planet”

Astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott Sheppard announced this week the discovery of a new icy world in the outer Solar System, named 2012 VP113. Trujillo is a colleague of Mike Brown, who discovered the dwarf planet Eris, which is larger … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , ,

Math is hard

Math is hard. That may sound strange coming from an astrophysicist with a degree in math, but in some ways, it’s very true. Yes, it gets easier with practice, but only up to a point. I can attest from experience … Continue reading

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On Giordano Bruno

The new Cosmos TV series has drawn criticism for its depiction of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican Monk and philosopher who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600. A lot has been said about this, including criticism of the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion, Science | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Television review: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s long awaited sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage premiered on Sunday. For those of you who have not seen it, you can watch the full episode on the website. My feelings … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Science, TV Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The new Cosmos series premiers!

In 1980, the great astronomer and popular science figure Carl Sagan (top) premiered the acclaimed PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which introduced millions of people to the wonders of the universe for the first time. It remained the most … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Current events, Science | Tagged , ,

Another look at names

A while back, I wrote about the various resources I use to select names for characters. Now, I’d like to add one more: the Baby Name Wizard Blog. This blog is about much more than helping parents name their kids. … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged ,