Monthly Archives: December 2012


OK, let me be clear: the world is not going to end with any statistically significant probability on December 21st.  However, if you do want to get a rise out of someone go tweet @badastronomer Phil Plait and ask about … Continue reading

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New life-sustaining planets? Don’t get too excited.

Sorry to be a killjoy, but I dislike misleading article titles, like “Another Earth Just 12 Light-Years Away?” The article, from Science Express yesterday, itself is fine, but just because a planet exists in a star’s habitable zone does not … Continue reading

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The search for extremophiles

Extremophile – n. – A microbe that lives in an environment one thought to be uninhabitable, for example in boiling or freezing water. (Source: In the not-too-distant past, scientists believed that in some respect, all life was powered by … Continue reading

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The Dozenal System

With yesterday being 12.12.12, I thought I would discuss a numerical base system–the dozenal (or duodecimal) system. The dozenal system is a base-12 system.  When I first heard about it, I dismissed it as just another base system for digits, … Continue reading

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12.12.12 News

Lots to talk about today, but first I must announce that I am a twit.  That’s right, I made a twitter account.  You can find me on Twitter as @DrAndyKass.  I post tweets and retweets about science news and commentary … Continue reading

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Passing of Sir Patrick Moore

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Sir Patrick Moore.  Sir Moore, astronomer and friend of science education, passed away at his home at the age of 89, surrounded by “close friends, carers, and his cat, Ptolemy.” … Continue reading

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Polymerisation of Hydrogen and Helium

How cool does that sound? It turns out that may just be what’s happening in the middle of White Dwarf stars, based on emission spectra.  Why is that so crazy?  I’m glad you asked.  Well you just can’t make polymer-like … Continue reading

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Well hello again.  After an astonishing absence, I’m back.  My apologies–especially to Mr. Shoffner, who I think is the only person who reads these.  This is a very exciting time in research, especially in astronomy, so I had to get … Continue reading

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