Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018
By Kadri
The Pillars of Creation: Giant Molecular Clouds, Star Formation, and Cosmic Recycling by Martin Beech

The Pillars of Creation is an excellent mix of the history of astronomy and physics together with modern astronomy and chemistry without too many difficult terms or equations that would make reading this book exhausting and take up a lot of time for a lay reader.

Reading this book was an enjoyable experience, as various angles on the same topic or same astronomical object were presented, so that you might be reading about the observational history of the Crab nebula one moment and the reasons behind the different types of emissions that can be recorded coming from there.

All in all though, it's an excellent account of how molecular clouds form, how stars are born and how they end their lives together with what we can see observationally of those objects during different phases of their development.

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Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018
By Kadri
Research on Teaching Astronomy in the Planetarium by Timothy F. Slater and Coty B. Tatge

Teaching astronomy in a planetarium setting might sound like a very rational thing to do - the students get to see where astronomical objects are located and learn how to find them and learn about them. Whether or not it really is a good way to teach students a whole astronomy course or even just parts of it in a planetarium is still a good research topic that hasn't seen too much attention, but this book presents an overview of research on the topic bringing out some of the important aspects of various research papers and the findings on teaching astronomy in the planetarium.

Having worked at a planetarium, I would often wonder how much the students actually learned, understood or even just enjoyed the planetarium shows. This short book gave me ideas about how to go about and find out about just that.

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Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2018
By Kadri
The History and Science of the Manhattan Project by Bruce Cameron Reed

The History and Science of the Manhattan Project is a book about the historical background and science of the development of the atomic bomb. It's accessible and easy to read but covers all the interesting aspects of the Manhattan Project starting with the fascinating scientists and other people that were involved in the project and continuing with the physics and engineering that were required for the successful development of such an important and devastating invention.

Having read some biographies and more general histories of some or other aspect of the project or the people involved, I found this book delightfully inclusive and very detailed and as such a perfect book to read if you're interested in the Manhattan Project in general. It is very straightforward though, to-the-point and there isn't any unnecessary veering off the topic at hand, so the book has a very different feel to it compared to a biography where the author might try and show different aspects of the person's life and the possible reasons for behaving in a specific way or doing something, but in this book it's more about delivering facts.

The extent to which the book covers the related and connected topics is slightly astonishing, as you can read about the aftereffects of the deployed bombs having read about the different methods that were used for enriching uranium and how fission and radioactivity were discovered - all in the same place!

I'd say that if you're interested in the history of the Manhattan Project and you're not scared off by a little physics, then this is a great book to read.

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Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2018
By Karthik VJ
Learn about the features of the ionosphere! This little-explored region exists between space and Earth. It is home to the aurora, the international space station, a variety of satellites, and radio communication waves. We know it is sensitive to weather from Earth and conditions in space, called space weather. Join us as we venture to this interface to space!

Music credit: Foxy Trot by Luis Enriquez Bacalov
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2018
By Karthik VJ

This video is available for download from NASA's Image and Video Library: Click here

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Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2018
By Karthik VJ
COSMOS second season is announced. The new season is named as "COSMOS: Possible Worlds", will again delve into the cosmic revolution, profound scientific concepts and how we found our coordinates in space and time.

Here is the teaser video, enjoy!

Neil deGrasse Tyson also tweeted about the "COSMOS: Possible Worlds"

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Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2018
By Karthik VJ
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is a civilization scale mission, set to look back to the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang and help answer the question "are we alone in the universe?" After passing a key test at Johnson Space Center designed to simulate the cold vacuum of space, Webb is ready for the next step ahead of a launch in 2019.

This video is available for download from NASA's Image and Video Library: Click here!

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