Category Archives: Astronomy

“It travels at a speed of around 28 800 km/h”

ESA Blog: 20 questions for 20 years: Happy Birthday International Space Station. “This week we celebrate 20 years since the first International Space Station module Zarya was launched into space on 20 November, 1998. To mark the occasion, we are answering 20 of your most frequently asked questions about Alexander Gerst’s time on board the orbital outpost. Read on to be enlightened…”

“Is there gravity in space?
[…]
In truth, astronauts are not floating, they’re ‘falling’. But because of the high speed of the Space Station’s orbit, they fall ‘around’ Earth – matching the way Earth’s surface curves. The moon stays in orbit around Earth for this same reason. Since astronauts have the same acceleration as the Space Station, they appear and feel weightless.”

Science Podcast

Motherboard: Science Solved It podcast.

“I grew up on shows like The X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries. I checked out books on UFOs and Bigfoot from the library. I was fascinated by all of the wondrous, unexplainable things in the universe. And I still am. Only now, as an adult, a science journalist, and a skeptic, I’m much more interested in the explanations behind these mysterious phenomena.

That’s why I created Science Solved It, a new weekly podcast from Motherboard. Each episode, I explore one of the world’s greatest mysteries that was solved by science. I talk to the actual, real live scientists who cracked the case, while also indulging in some of the bizarre conspiracy theories that accompany these mysteries. Throughout the season, you’ll hear about unexplained, underwater noises, floating lights, moving rocks, and even a cartoon that gave people seizures.”

I found the podcast via this MetaFilter post: Science Solved It: theories and solutions to strange occurances, which has links and summaries to all the episodes in the first two seasons. I especially liked the episodes about the underwater flies at Mono Lake and the moving rocks in Death Valley, because I’ve been to those places years ago – plus, now I want to go see albino redwood trees (which probably won’t happen, as their location is being kept secret for good reasons).

I’ve got a cold at the moment and spent the past two days on the couch binge-listening to all 14 episodes in the first two seasons. Highly recommended!

“Are you sure there isn’t something else we could calculate?”

XKCD What if: Earth-Moon Fire Pole. “My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth? – Ramon Schönborn, Germany”

I loved this and am tempted to use it in one of my next physics lessons…

Link via MetaFilter.