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Swimming In The (astro) Pacific

As a newly minted, 1 year old professor, this is the deep end of the astronomy edu cation pool...

The Phantom Of The Laboratory

We are fortune here at Science20 to have come across an early work by Gaston Leroux.  This...

Engineering Roleplaying

Hey, you got simulation in my roleplay! Hey, you got roleplay in my simulation! Wait, it's two...

Stars That Ring Like Bells

Time to ring in a new year with pressure waves.  We can see, but not, hear true sonic waves...

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Alex "Sandy" AntunesRSS Feed of this column.

Read more about the strange modern world of a day laborer in astronomy, plus extra space science-y goodness.... Read More »

What do rock climbing, book clubs, and sci fi have in common? The answer is they all help an astrophysicist with job hunting. Read on for why and how!

Back on May 1st, 6 months ago, I decided to transition to a pure freelancer lifestyle. At the time, Stephanie P. asked "How do you transition from research to writing within NASA?" My answer was "I think I need to see what luck I get hunting, before I can speak with any credence on 'how to transition'!?!". And indeed, freelancing @NASA is still a nut to crack. Their culture doesn't encourage outside contribution as much as I think it needs to.

I'm a reasonable man, but there's a laxness in cyberspace I just can't abide with. And I'm talking to you, space.com. I'll say it straight, you may know science but you ain't giving your readers any links to the real stuff. You just echo-chamber yourself-- all your dang blag links link back to you! If you ain't gonna share your references, you ain't doing science, just flappin' yer gums. Buck up and cite like a man, ya here?

Let's look at us down home at ScientificBlogging. We got us an article on NASA's report of 'water on the Moon'. It's a purty piece, maybe a bit talky, but it's got itself some solid references. Let's list 'em:
The Wall Street Journal has a piece on Tinkering Makes a Comeback Amid Crisis. They are talking about what is referred to by varied terms such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY), the Make movement, and simply Crafting.  The concept is 'build cool stuff, like machines and lasers and robots."

While today we're pretty darned certain there is no intelligent life on Mars, in the early 20th century, it was still an open question. 

So-- about four decades before the publically known Project Ozma search-- the Navy stepped up to find out. 

Well before SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Project Ozma, Area 51, or even the 1938 radio hoax 'War of the Worlds', the Navy was looking for Martians.
A friend, John Kovalic, once quipped "I now have more social networks than I have friends."  So for today, a trio of social media webtoons.  The first is Cat and Girl, the other two are from ThisIsIndexed.com.  Enjoy!

Alex, the Daytime Astronomer

Scientists used a pair of gravity-measuring satellites, GRACE, to look at Amazon river basin water levels and, hopefully, better predict future water storage and runoff.  The twin GRACE satellites measure the mass distribution of the Earth between the two satellites, and accumulating these measurements over time lets us know how the Earth's mass shifts around.  A team led by Shin-Chan Han compared this data with simulations to look at, basically, how water is stored, released, and sloshes about within the Amazon river basin.  They compared the data with simulations.