Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I read Ender's Game a long time ago, back when I was in high school. When I think back and remember the science fiction and fantasy books that shaped my childhood years, that is one of the few that I can remember. One of my friends would send me the latest news on the Ender's Game movie for the past decade or so. It seemed we waited forever for the movie to be made.

Well, the movie has been made and I saw it a week or so ago. I'm not a movie critic, but while watching it I kept thinking back to the book. About how much I'd forgotten, and how much I'd remembered. It had been so long I decided to go back and re-read the book.

Read on for my review of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Astronomy: Cloudy Weather on a Nearby Brown Dwarf

Artistic rendering of clouds in the Luhman 16 system. Credit: ESO/I. Crossfield/N. Risinger

Brown dwarfs are failed stars in the sense that they are not large enough to fuse hydrogen in their cores like our own Sun. As such, they straddle the boundary between planets like Jupiter and faint, cool stars. Gas giant planets have been found around many stars in our Galaxy, but they are frequently hard to study given the proximity to their host stars. Brown dwarfs provide an alternative as they can be studied more carefully without worrying about a bright star being too close.

One aspect of giant planet and brown dwarf science that has been active of late has been the study of their atmospheres. To this effort, Dr. Ian Crossfield, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, and his team have created an impressively detailed map of the closest brown dwarf system we know.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Astronomy: The 223rd American Astronomical Society Meeting

Last week, I was at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Now, I'm back in Chile and have finally written up a post about my experiences there. It's taken a while to write this up, mainly because I got very excited for some of my science at the meeting, but more on that later. Now, without further ado is a brief discussion of my time at the meeting and why I always enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Blog in Review: 2013

This completes the second year I have been running my blog. As before, I provide some overall statistics for how the blog ran last year and since it's start. The nature of the blog has changed throughout the year, though it still retains some of its original spirit.