Carbon Based

12 notes

psychedelic-physicist:

I honestly don’t get why teacher give curves. If I were a teacher the grade you earn is the grade you get. Unless almost everyone got a question wrong that number is final.

My astronomy class, both semesters this year, had an average of ~40%. This was not necessarily due to the fact that our class has a below-average intelligence, but rather, the midterms were far longer than what most people could finish in a 50-minute in-class midterm. Take this year’s midterm, for example. We had 50 minutes to do a 12 page midterm. From past experience, I didn’t read the instructions; I didn’t read the entirety of the questions; if I had to pause to think, I skipped a question. I still didn’t completely finish (although I was close.) I have never written an exam so fast in my life. In this case, it was not necessarily the class at fault. This was a completely unfair midterm and it’s not the first time a midterm has been unfair.

In a general sense, I agree with you, but you can’t say that never is an exam not worthy of a curve to adjust the average because it’s not always necessarily the students at fault. Sometimes the professor writes an exam too difficult or too long and the only way to adjust for their mistake is to curve the average.

(Source: imagineatoms)

3 notes

Astronomy at University of Toronto is the Greatest.

Apparently with getting this summer research job with Dunlap Institute, I’ve been given the oppourtunity to participate in volunteering work with the astronomy department at my school. I’ve been suggested to start with being the “Planetarium Ambassador” (how badass is that?) after which I’ll be able to man the telescopes for our monthly public tours.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better.

Filed under personal

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Forming Different Planetary Systems


Ji-Lin Zhou, Ji-Wei Xie, Hui-Gen Liu, Hui Zhang and Yi-Sui Sun
Department of Astronomy and Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics in Ministry
of Education, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
zhoujl@nju.edu.cn
Received 2012 July 9; accepted 2012 July 17 

Abstract
With the increasing number of detected exoplanet samples, the statistical properties of  planetary systems have become much clearer. In this review, we summarize the major statistical results that have been revealed mainly by radial velocity and transiting  observations, and try to interpret them within the scope of the classical core-accretion  scenario of planet formation, especially in the formation of different orbital architectures for planetary systems around main sequence stars. Based on the different possible  formation routes for different planet systems, we tentatively classify them into three major catalogs: hot Jupiter systems, standard systems and distant giant planet systems. The standard systems can be further categorized into three sub-types under different circumstances: solar-like systems, hot Super-Earth systems, and sub- giant planet systems. We also review the theory of planet detection and formation in binary systems as well as planets in star clusters.


I’m reading this paper and if anyone’s interested in the formation of different planetary systems, I highly suggest reading this. It’s so interesting.

Filed under planet formation Forming Different Planetary Systems exoplanets astronomy astrophysics

4 notes

Help Us Name the Moons of Pluto!

Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012 revealed two previously unknown moons of Pluto. So far, we have been calling them “P4” and “P5”, but the time has come to give them permanent names. If it were up to you, what would you choose?
By tradition, the names of Pluto’s moons come from Greek and Roman mythology, and are related to the ancient tales about Hades and the Underworld. Please pick your favorites on the ballot below. 
Alternatively, if you have a great idea for a name that we have overlooked, let us know by filling out the write-in form. If you can make a good case for it, we will add it to the list. See the blog page for the latest info.
Ground Rules: Feel free to come back, but please do not vote more than once per day, just so everybody gets a fair chance to make their opinion known. We will take your votes and suggestions into consideration when we propose the names for P4 and P5 to the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Voting ends at noon EST on Monday, February 25th, 2013.
Mark Showalter, for the P4/P5 Discovery Team
Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute
Learn more about the names, and then select your favorites on the ballot below.

Filed under Pluto SETI

7 notes

Large Hadron Collider is useless

Published 10:23am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (often abbreviated as CERN) and its Large Hadron Collider are a colossal use of finances, time and other resources simply to sharpen the pencil that we humans already own and use.

CERN is valid as a directionless hobby and pastime, one that leisurely whiles away the now pointless, make-busy hours of thousands of scientists, physicists and other geeks worldwide and allows numerous egos to wax wearisomely. CERN perpetuates individual and collective freedom of choice and unbridled co-creations, albeit erroneously in the presumptions underlying the current approach of inquiry because such presumptions fail to factor in God the creator who is the underlying unseen process of divine love and life.

No matter how finely one hones down their pencil, it’s still a pencil. You won’t find what is eternal and limitless in any temporal object, not even in super-fleeting, ultra tiny, super accelerated subatomic particles created through the expenditure of massive amounts of money and electrical energy.

Building bigger toys in the physical world shall always result in a pallid and unsuccessful attempt to find unseen divine principles. Divine love transformed into physical manifestations in this particular physical plane of existence can never be captured or discovered by mere mechanical contraptions nor by their size or might. It’s that simple.

The scientists at CERN are having fun. That’s good, but they will ultimately accomplish no meaningful or useful purpose.

Robert Townsend


Roscoe, Ill.

This is a joke, right?

(Source: albertleatribune.com)

Filed under CERN LHC

11 notes

NASA’s SDO Observes Fast-Growing Sunspot
The bottom two black spots on the sun, known as sunspots, appeared quickly over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013. These two sunspots are part of the same system and are over six Earths across. This image combines images from two instruments on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO): the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), which takes pictures in visible light that show sunspots and the Advanced Imaging Assembly (AIA), which took an image in the 304 Angstrom wavelength showing the lower atmosphere of the sun, which is colorized in red. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/HMI/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s SDO Observes Fast-Growing Sunspot


The bottom two black spots on the sun, known as sunspots, appeared quickly over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013. These two sunspots are part of the same system and are over six Earths across. This image combines images from two instruments on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO): the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), which takes pictures in visible light that show sunspots and the Advanced Imaging Assembly (AIA), which took an image in the 304 Angstrom wavelength showing the lower atmosphere of the sun, which is colorized in red. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/HMI/Goddard Space Flight Center

(Source: nasa.gov)

Filed under SDO NASA space astronomy science sunspots

10 notes

After feeling like I’m not good enough for so long, it is a strange feeling to experience the realization of what I have become and what I have accomplished. Not to mention the potential that I have to actually become something in the future.

Once upon a time, I was a sad girl in high school who had no friends who spent her lunches in the library and skipped class because she was depressed and had to go to summer school just to get into a university. Now, here I am, a second year undergraduate student in an Astronomy and Astrophysics specialist program, taking wonderful courses, accepted for an astronomy and astrophysics summer research program, and actually capable of making something out of my life.

What a wonderful feeling to prove so many people wrong, including myself. I can’t help but wonder what they’d say if they could see me now.

Filed under personal