Ah, the end of the week. Time to relax, unwind, and look over the most interesting things to happen this past week in science. While I may be biased, being an astronomer, the most exciting things to happen recently have all been about space!
The biggest news of the week was an asteroid passing so close to Earth that it came closer than many communication satellites. Coincidentally, shortly before this, a large meteor fell over Russia.
In a rather uncomfortable coincidence, a measure of the type of damage that can result from such rocks from space was demonstrated earlier on Friday when a meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia, raining fireballs over a vast area and causing a shockwave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people.
Rather more distantly, Pluto’s family seems to keep growing. Everyone’s favourite planet has now had a family of 5 moons discovered around it, and the public are being asked to help name them!
According to the New Horizons research team, after the discovery of P4 in June 2011 it was decided to wait to see if any more moons were discovered in order to choose names that fit together as a pair…
One of the big events of the science communication community online so far this year was the ScienceOnline2013 conference. Kelly Oakes gives a nice rundown at Scientific American.
What I took away from that afternoon was the idea that, most of the time, if you want to make something, you probably can. Don’t worry about finding the perfect tool, or the perfect idea. Try something and see if it works.
And to end on a lighter note, here’s mathemusician Vi Hart explaining space time using a music box. Have a good week!