Marion Hanahoe

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Google Doodle: Earth Day Doodle has a few science errors.

I like Google. I know, I know, there have been some issues with them, and I understand all that. But the company really does seem to try to make the …

Astrophoto: Gorgeous star trails over Australia.

Astrophotographer Mike Salway has a good eye for the sky. A while back, I featured his amazing picture of a lighthouse set against the Milky Way, and …

Betelgeuse: Red supergiant blasts out arc of material billions of miles long.

The famous star, marking the shoulder of Orion, is a red supergiant, a massive and massively swollen star. It’s <i>ridiculously</i> huge; if you replaced the …

Sun cycle: Video shows three years of solar activity in three minutes.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched into space in February 2010. Since that time it’s been staring at the Sun unblinkingly, taking …

Saturn’s rings: Cassini images show meteoroid collisions with ice particles.

Space is a dangerous place to be; tiny rocks fly around at high speed, and a collision with one can ruin your whole day.<p>Phil Plait writes <b>Slate</b>’s Bad …

Fox News: “Global Warming” versus “Climate Change”.

I haven’t mocked Fox News in a while—it’s so easy it seems almost cruel—but this compendium of dumbosity spewed by that channel needs to be seen to …

Herschel observatory: European astronomical observatory ends mission after four years.

On May 14, 2009, the European Space Agency launched the infrared astronomical observatory Herschel into space. For very nearly four years, this …

Cosmic collision: Merging galaxies create vast cloud of superhot gas.

Collisions between objects occur at all scales in the Universe. Asteroids impact moons and planets (and each other), gas clouds light-years across …

Phytoplankton from space: Algae bloom seen from satellite.

One of the great ironies of space exploration is that by leaving the Earth, we sometimes get a better view of it. It shouldn’t be too surprising; a …

Tunguska meteorites: Scientist claims to have rocks from famous impact.

<i>[For the tl;dr crowd: A scientist claims to have found meteorites from the Tunguska event. I am very skeptical, because of reasons, but willing to be</i> …

Eta Aquarids: Meteors from Halley’s Comet.

Halley’s Comet (technically, Comet 1P/Halley) orbits the Sun once every 75 years or so. Its orbit is highly elliptical, taking it out as far as …

Solar eruption: Different spacecraft see a solar eruption from different angles.

I’ve written twice in the past few days about the Sun and its incredible power. In a funny coincidence, not long after I posted the beautiful …

Spock vs. Spock: Car ad pits actors who played Spock against each other.

Let me be clear here: THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST AD OF ALL TIME.<p>Phil Plait writes <b>Slate</b>’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, …

Arctic sea ice: Global warming is melting more ice every year

It’s no surprise to regular readers I am quite concerned about climate change. My concern on this issue is two-fold: one consists of the actual …

Time-lapse video: “Horizons”, by Randy Halverson.

Regular readers may know the work, if not the name, of Randy Halverson. I’ve featured his night-sky photography and time-lapse videos so often on the …

Gaua Island: Photo from space shows a volcanic plume.

On May 31, just before 9:00 a.m. local time, the International Space Station was passing over the small island of Gaua in the south Pacific. Well,</i> …

Leo Cluster: A buzzing hive of galaxies.

The Universe is built in layers. The fundamental units, you could argue, are stars. Some are solitary (like the Sun), some orbit each other as binary …

Aphelion 2013: The Earth is at its farthest point from the Sun.

At about 15:00 UTC today, July 5, 2013 (11:00 a.m. EDT), the Earth reached aphelion, the point in its orbit when it’s farthest from the Sun. At that …

Global warming: Wall Street Journal article cites bad evidence, draws wrong conclusion.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I am no fan of the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> op-ed section. In fact, I think it’s simply awful: They …