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The best visualisation of the solar system yet

Regular readers may be aware of my penchant for whimsy. My happy grinnings when people mix pedantry with a sense of humour*. And today’s offering is just such a one. The description is perfectly apt: it IS a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system. But there are some wonderful surprises, and I found myself scrolling for an awfully long time, considering my inveterate inability to focus – seriously, mayflies look at me and [...]

If Ptolemy had been right, and the magical theory of relativity

Two excellent pieces of visual science communication today. The first is a visualisation of what our solar system would look like it Ptolemy had been right. As you no doubt remember, he’s the chap who posited that the _earth_ was the centre of, well, everything. Sadly I can’t embed it here, but go and check it out! It’s, um, twirly :) And comes out of ‘Astronomy: A beginner’s guide to the Universe‘, of which this [...]

TOSP Episode 17: January 16th 2012

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Greetings, listeners! This week, aimee was away in Melbourne at the inagural AdaCamp barcamp.  So Elf brought in his good friend Haritina Mogosanu, who works with KiwiSpace and World Space Week, to co-host with him. They talked about the number of planets in our galaxy, molecular time travel, calculating what’s in the universe, ‘getting’ science (or not), KiwiMars 2012, and aimee reports back from AdaCamp. [...]

TOSP Episode 13: December 5th 2011

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Another week, another collection of brilliant stuff to talk about. This week, Elf and aimee talk about groups.  Well, mostly groups, but also weta, astronomy, learning and why we don’t have a cure for AIDS.  As for groups – we look into how StarCraft 2 is contributing to cognitive science, how we can help the science of whale (dolphin) communication, and how physicists are doing [...]

And we're live!

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] UPDATE: We’re on youtube!  See bottom of post for embedded goodness :) Hello, everyone, and welcome to the first ever official TOSP episode. Each week, your hosts, Scibloggers Elf Eldridge (Just So Science) and aimee whitcroft (misc.ience), will be bringing you 20-30 minutes of some of the amazing science-related interestingness across which we came in the preceding week, including some of the Sciblogs posts which [...]

A bit of Friday fun: the Galaxy Song

Monty Python, as is widely known, are the stuff of legend. And, because it’s Friday and one is allowed to let one’s hair/pants/whatever else down, I thought I’d post a little astronomical fun: the Galaxy Song, from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life*. Enjoy, and may your weekend be marvellous :) —————– * Not to be confused with the Meaning of Liff**, although that’s pretty brilliantly funny, too. Some of the words therein have stuck [...]

Introducing a new blog: Just So Science

This could not have been better timed. Rather than making any jokes (I know, I know), we’re simply going to get straight to the point, and introduce Elf Elfridge, our newest blogger. Elf is the proud and, dare I say it, starry-eyed* owner of Just So Science, which will be looking at things which are very far away, and things which are very small.  But not necessarily simultaneously. In fact, Just So Science will cover [...]

Space geekiness: a lecture

I really, really hate it when events don’t have an online presence. I like broadcasting things.  Not to be able to do so easily, particularly when it’s something interesting, is upsetting.  I have fitlets of pique thereover.  As it were. Anyhoo, on to the point of this post: tomorrow, in Wellington, there’s going to be a lecture on radio astronomy, next gen telescopes and so forth.  To make the obvious pun, it’s going to be [...]

Stunning visions of Mars

Humanity is now the proud owner of some 13,000 photos of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Monitoring Seasonal Albedo Patterns on South Polar Residual Cap (ESP_014405_0945) Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona The photos were taken by the most powerful camera of any on NASA’s spacecraft – the aptly (if dryly) named High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE).  The HiRISE site not only lets you amble through the collection, but also offers wallpapers (for the [...]