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Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

The Climate Change Deception or the Real Climate Change Hoax

The Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) published The Climate Deception Dossiers in July 2015. The Dossiers’ lead authors are Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman and they categorically state that “the fossil fuel industry and policy makers learned that the climate is changing and that emissions from burning fossil fuels are the cause” “more than two decades” ago.[1]

The Dossiers‘ authors start off be saying that “there has been a climate hoax that continues today. It is the decades’ long campaign by a handful of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies—such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Energy—to deceive the American [as well as the global] public by distorting the realities and risks of climate change, sometimes acting directly and sometimes acting indirectly through trade associations and front groups”, adding that “for nearly three decades, major fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to distort climate science findings, deceive the public, and block policies designed to hasten our needed transition to a clean energy economy”.[2]  Mulvey and Shulman explain that “[t]his report presents seven ‘deception dossiers’—collections containing some 85 internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. While many of these documents have been analyzed by others (Oreskes 2011; Oreskes and Conway 2010; Gelbspan 1998), these dossiers offer the most complete and up-to-date collection yet available”.[3]

Succinctly, Mulvey and Shulman explain that the “fossil fuel industry—like the tobacco industry before it—is noteworthy for its use of active, intentional disinformation and deception to support its political aims and maintain its lucrative profits”.[4] The Dossiers‘ authors charge that the “[f]ossil fuel company leaders knew that their products were harmful to people and the planet but still chose to actively deceive the public and deny this harm. The letters, memos, and reports in the dossiers show that company executives have known for at least two decades that their products—coal, oil, and natural gas—cause harm to people and the climate”.[5]  And, in a most unsettling way, they furthermore assert that the “campaign of deception continues today. With documents made public as recently as 2014 and 2015, the evidence is clear that a campaign of deception about global warming continues to the present. Today, most major fossil fuel companies acknowledge the main findings of climate science. Many even say they support policies to cut emissions. And yet, some of these same companies continue to support groups that spread misinformation designed to deceive the public about climate science and climate policy”.[6]  Mulvey and Shulman then stress that “global warming is already having harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our economy . . . Communities, people, and businesses are now facing impacts including: Rising sea level. Global warming is accelerating the rate of sea level rise and dramatically increasing coastal flooding risks. Longer and more damaging wildfire seasons . . . Costly and growing health impacts . . . Heavier precipitation and more extreme flooding. As temperatures increase, more rain falls during the heaviest downpours, increasing the risk of floods . . . More frequent and intense heat waves. Dangerously hot weather occurs more frequently than it did 60 years ago, and heat waves have gotten hotter”.[7]

The science behind climate change is not really rocket science, as elaborated by the Dossiers‘ authors; the “fundamentals of global warming have been well established for generations. The idea that heat-trapping emissions could alter our climate dates back to the late 1800s . . . By the 1950s, scientists knew that climate change could present significant risks to people and places . . . In 1965, the highly respected oceanographer Roger Revelle explained in a report prepared for the President’s Science Advisory Committee that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide could be trapped in the atmosphere and function much like the glass in a greenhouse, to raise the temperature of the lower air’ . . . The major fossil fuel companies were likely aware of all of these developments. Evidence shows that from as early as 1977 representatives of fossil fuel companies including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell attended dozens of congressional hearings in which the contribution of carbon emissions to the greenhouse effect and other aspects of climate science were discussed”.[8]  Continuing their argument, Dossiers‘ authors state that “[t]here is ample evidence demonstrating what companies did know. Exxon, for example, had a staff scientist serve as an expert reviewer for the first IPCC scientific assessment on climate change, published in 1990 . . . The industry’s own scientists were internally warning of climate dangers by the mid-1990s, as evidenced by a leaked draft document by a team headed by a scientist at Mobil that was distributed to other major fossil fuel companies in 1995 . . . As that internal document from 1995 unequivocally states: ‘The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied’ . . . Nonetheless, despite what fossil fuel companies knew about the harm their products were causing, some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies continued to engage in an active campaign to deny the science, deceive the public, and delay action, rather than acknowledge the science publicly or change their business models and lobbying goals to be consistent with the urgent need to work toward a lower-carbon economy”.[9]

I would now like to highlight one specific case dealt with in The Climate Deception Dossiers, namely the strange instance of Willie Soon at the Smithsonian or ‘Deception Dossier #1’. Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman declare that the “documents, obtained through a FOIA request by Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center, show that Wei-Hock (“Willie”) Soon received more than $1.2 million in research funding between 2001 and 2012 from fossil fuel interests including ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Charles Koch Foundation, and Southern Company, a large electric utility in Atlanta that generates most of its power from coal. Soon, whose background is not in climate science but rather in aerospace engineering, has long used his affiliation with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to add credence to his climate-related research. Soon has written about many aspects of climate change but is best known for his work on the role of solar variability, research that has broadly overstated the role the sun plays in climate change and has been largely discredited by his scientific peers . . . Outcry from the climate science community over a 2003 paper published by Soon in Climate Research even resulted in the resignation of several of the journal editors and an admission by the journal’s publisher that the paper should not have been accepted”.

Elaborating on the strange case of Willie Soon, the Dossiers‘ authors clarify that “the Smithsonian Institution has launched an investigation into its disclosure and funding policies. As the contracts, proposals, reports, letters, and other documents reveal, Soon relied exclusively on grants from the fossil fuel industry for his entire salary and research budget . . . Particularly troubling, the Smithsonian Institution entered into funding agreements that gave Soon’s funders the right to review his scientific studies before they were published. The documents also show that the Smithsonian agreed not to disclose the funding arrangement without the funder’s permission . . . Soon reported his research articles and even his congressional testimony to his corporate underwriters as “deliverables” . . . While requirements for disclosing funding sources vary among disciplines and institutions, scientists generally expect one another to be transparent about their funding sources and to uphold scientific integrity by ensuring that funders do not interfere with or pre-determine research results”.[10]

Another interesting case to consider is the ‘Deception Dossier #7’ or The Global Climate Coalition’s 1995 Primer on Climate Change Science (21 December 1995).[11]  The document in question was composed by a team led by Leonard S. Bernstein, a chemical engineer and climate expert at Mobil Corporation, on behalf of an industry group called the Global Climate Coalition (or GCC). Bernstein starts off the GCC Primer like this: “[s]ince the beginning of the industrial revolution, human activities have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by more than 25%. Atmospheric concentrations of other greenhouse gases have also risen. Over the past 120 years, global average temperature has risen by 0.3 – 0.6°C. Since the Greenhouse Effect can be used to relate atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases to global average temperature, claims have been made that at least part of the temperature rise experienced to date is due to human activities, and that the projected future increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (as the result of human activities) will lead to even larger increases in future temperature. Additionally, it is claimed that these increases in temperature will lead to an array of climate changes (rainfall patterns, storm frequency and intensity, etc.) that could have severe environmental and economic impacts”.[12]  In the next instance, Bernstein takes off his kid gloves and goes in for the kill, casually stating that the “scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied”.[13]

[1] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers (July 2015). http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos#.VaEObpUVjpA.

[2] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[3] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[4] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[5] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 2.

[6] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 2.

[7] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 2-3.

[8] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 3-4.

[9] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 5.

[10] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 6.

[11] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 25-7.

[12] Leonard Bernstein, Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer (21 Dec 1995). http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/122/122.pdf.

[13] Leonard Bernstein, Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer.

Fly Me to the Moon: Missions Ahead

The United Press International’s Science, Health, and Environment News Reporter Brooks Hays states that “Japan’s space agency announced plans on Monday [, 21 April 2015] to send an unmanned lander probe to the moon by fiscal year 2018. The mission will be Japan’s first attempt to visit the lunar surface”; and, adding next that “[o]fficials with Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) delivered the news at a political roundtable featuring policymakers from the country’s education ministry. It’s reported that JAXA first cleared the idea (and its expected budget) with Japan’s state panel before going public with the news”.[1]

Hays explains that the “mission is expected to cost between $8 billion and $12.5 billion. The agency will use a probe called SLIM, or the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon. It will be launched to the moon by a small-scale Epsilon rocket built in Japan. Japan conducted its first lunar mission, called the Japanese Lunar Exploration Program, in 2007. The mission consisted of a series of lunar satellite probes. At the time, JAXA officials called it ‘the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program’. The newly announced lunar mission is one of several launches JAXA has planned for the next decade. The agency also hopes to put landers on both Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos”.[2]

But Japan isn’t the only one dreaming about flying to the moon . . . as told by Stuart Clark in the Guardian: the “European Space Agency has outlined its vision for what lunar exploration could be in the future in a new video released onto the internet . . . It comes in the wake of a decision to look into collaborating with the Russians over sending a lander to the Moon’s south pole”.[3]  On YouTube, ESA published the video on 19 January 2015: “[t]his 8-minute film gives an overview of the past, present, and future of Moon exploration, from the Lunar cataclysm to ESA’s vision of what Lunar exploration could be. Why is the Moon important for science? What resources does the Moon have? Is there water? Why should we go back and how will we do it?”.

And now, there is even the ‘Google Lunar X PRIZE . . . a $30 million competition for the first privately funded team to send a robot to the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth’. The Google team even published a full-length lunar propaganda movie last January: ‘Watch our cool movie about going back to the Moon. In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Narrated by Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear), this is a complete behind-the-scenes feature on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history. Adapted from the award-winning digital planetarium show, the 24-minute movie chronicles 18 teams from around the world looking to make history by landing a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the Moon. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world (26 January 2015)’.

Then, here we have NASA scientist Red Whittaker talks about using robots to explore lunar caves and lava tubes on the Moon (14 Oct 2014).

[1] Brooks Hays, “Japan to land probe on the moon in 2018” UPI (21 April 2015). http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/04/21/Japan-to-land-probe-on-the-moon-in-2018/5821429619556/.

[2] Brooks Hays, “Japan to land probe on the moon in 2018”.

[3] Stuart Clark, “Esa favours moon not Mars for next crewed mission: The Guardian (20 Jan 2015). http://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2015/jan/20/esa-favours-moon-not-mars-for-next-manned-mission.

The Big Bang Theory Debunked???

‘While the Big Bang has long been accepted as the primary theory for how the universe was formed, a new report is challenging its central premises. Saurya Das, professor of physics at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, is spearheading new research into the possibility that the universe didn’t actually start with a massive explosion, but is actually influenced by dark energy that exists throughout the universe yet is not visible to the naked eye. RT’s Ben Swann discusses with the physicist (12 Feb 2015)’.

As the BBT was originally devised by a Belgian Jesuit called Monseigneur Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) and his obit reads like this: “The originator of the “Big Bang” theory of cosmology, Georges Lemaitre, died in Loin am, Belgium, on 20 June [1966], at the age of 71. Lemaitre had spent a year in the mid-twenties touring the big observatories in the United States where he talked to the astronomers involved in the spectacular discovery that many “nebulae” were in fact extragalactic spirals receding at phenomenal velocities. In 1927, he published his solution to the problem entitled: A homogeneous universe of constant mass and increasing radiation, taking account of the radial velocities of extragalactic nebulae. Lemaitre was born in Charleroi. He first came to Louvain to study humanities at the College du Sacre-Coeur and then at die Ecoles speciales. He had achieved the status of first-grade civil mining engineer in 1914 when the first world war began and he joined the Belgian army. While he was serving as an artillery officer, he read Henri Poincare’s Electricite et optique and began to waver in his choice of a career. When he returned to Louvain after the armistice he began to study physics and mathematics. His thesis, prepared in 1920 under de la Vallee-Poussin, was on the approximation of functions of several real variables. In 1923, after receiving his doctorate, and after having studied at a seminary and been ordained a priest, he won fellowships that took him to England and to the United States. He studied with Sir Arthur Eddington for a year and then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was during this period that he became familiar with the work of V.M. Slipher, Edwin Hubble, Harlow Shapley and others on the red shifts of the receding galaxies. Models of expanding universes had been conjectured by Willem de Sitter and Alexander Fridman, but Lemaitre’s is the most widely accepted theory, starting with an initial condensed state and an explosion. In 1934 he was awarded the Prix Francqui. One of his sponsors was Albert Einstein; among his judges were Eddington and Langevin. Since the early 30’s, Lemaitre had taught at Louvain, done research, and collaborated with other scientists. His interests included cosmic rays, the three body problem, spinors, and calculating machines. At the time of his death, he was a monsignor and President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at Rome”.[1]

[1] “Georges Lemaitre” Physics Today, 19(9), 119 (1966). http://scitation.aip.org/docserver/fulltext/aip/magazine/physicstoday/19/9/1.3048455.pdf?expires=1424462736&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=3F99ACB4B1ECB51326040FBC5A328346.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter & Water on the Moon

‘The Moon – our desolate, barren satellite, last visited by man almost 40 years ago. Well, NASA has it in its sights again. This time, it plans to tap the water there! RT’s Ameera David explains what that could mean for future space exploration (9 Jan 2015)’.

NASA’s Dr. David R. Williams writes that the “Lunar Prospector, a NASA Discovery mission, was launched into lunar orbit in January 1998. Included on Lunar Prospector is an experiment called the  Neutron Spectrometer. This experiment is designed to detect minute amounts of water ice at a level of less than 0.01%. The instrument concentrated on areas near the lunar poles where it was thought these water ice deposits might be found. The Neutron Spectrometer looks for so-called “slow” (or thermal) and “intermediate” (or epithermal) neutrons which result from collisions of normal “fast” neutrons with hydrogen atoms. A significant amount of hydrogen would indicate the existence of water. The data show a distinctive 4.6 percent signature over the north polar region and a 3.0 percent signature over the south, a strong indication that water is present in both these areas. The instrument can detect water to a depth of about half a meter . . . The Moon has no atmosphere, any substance on the lunar surface is exposed directly to vacuum. For water ice, this means it will rapidly sublime directly into water vapor and escape into space, as the Moon’s low gravity cannot hold gas for any appreciable time. Over the course of a lunar day (~29 Earth days), all regions of the Moon are exposed to sunlight, and the temperature on the Moon in direct sunlight reaches about 395 K (395 Kelvin, which is equal to about 250 degrees above zero F). So any ice exposed to sunlight for even a short time would be lost. The only possible way for ice to exist on the Moon would be in a permanently shadowed area . . . The Clementine imaging experiment showed that such permanently shadowed areas do exist in the bottom of deep craters near the Moon’s south pole. In fact, it appears that approximately 6000 to 15,000 square kilometers (2300 to 5800 square miles) of area around the south pole is permanently shadowed. The permanently shadowed area near the north pole appears on Clementine images to be considerably less, but the Lunar Prospector results show a much larger water-bearing area at the north pole. Much of the area around the south pole is within the South Pole-Aitken Basin (shown at left in blue on a lunar topography image), a giant impact crater 2500 km (1550 miles) in diameter and 12 km deep at its lowest point. Many smaller craters exist on the floor of this basin. Since they are down in this basin, the floors of many of these craters are never exposed to sunlight. Within these craters the temperatures would never rise above about 100 K (280 degrees below zero F). Any water ice at the bottom of the crater could probably exist for billions of years at these temperatures . . . The Moon’s surface is continuously bombarded by meteorites and micrometeorites. Many, if not most, of these impactors contain water ice, and the lunar craters show that many of these were very large objects. Any ice which survived impact would be scattered over the lunar surface. Most would be quickly vaporized by sunlight and lost to space, but some would end up inside the permanently shadowed craters, either by directly entering the crater or migrating over the surface as randomly moving individual molecules which would reach the craters and freeze there. Once inside the crater, the ice would be relatively stable, so over time the ice would collect in these “cold traps”, and be buried to some extent by meteoritic gardening. Such a possibility was suggested as early as 1961. However, loss of ice due to photodissociation, solar wind sputtering, and micrometeoroid gardening is not well quantified”.[1]

On the interwebz, NASA informs us that at ‘5:32 p.m. EDT, June 18, 2009, an United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket roared off the launch pad at Launch Complex 41 to begin the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions to the moon. The LRO instruments return global data, such as day-night temperature maps, a global geodetic grid, high resolution color imaging and the moon’s UV albedo. However there is particular emphasis on the polar regions of the moon where continuous access to solar illumination may be possible and the prospect of water in the permanently shadowed regions at the poles may exist. Although the objectives of LRO are explorative in nature, the payload includes instruments with considerable heritage from previous planetary science missions, enabling transition, after one year, to a science phase under NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. With a comprehensive data set focused on supporting the extension of human presence in the solar system, LRO helps identify sites close to potential resources with high scientific value, favorable terrain and the environment necessary for safe future robotic and human lunar missions. All LRO initial data sets are deposited in the Planetary Data System (PDS), a publicly accessible repository of planetary science information, within six months of primary mission completion. Thereafter, the data sets will be deposited in the PDS every three months. The processed data sets will help the world develop a deeper understanding of the lunar environment, paving the way for a safe human return to the Moon and for future human exploration of our solar system. LRO is collecting detailed information about the Lunar environment. The LRO payload, comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration, provide key data sets’.[2]

(6 March 2013)

(3 June 2013)

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield states that the “moon is a rich place. It’s a museum of the early solar system and it should be thoroughly explored”, and significantly adding that “[i]f it turns out there are large water deposits in some of these craters in the moon, we could turn that into rocket fuel and transform the economics of space travel”, obviously unaware of the results of the Lunar Prospector mission of yesteryear.[3]  The science journalists Jennifer Welsh and Jessica Orwig explain that a “study in 2012 suggested possible evidence for the existence of ice in the lunar crater Shackleton Crater, but more investigations are necessary to ultimately determine if this crater, as well as others on the moon, hold enough ice to fuel future rockets. A manned mission could readily collect samples to determine this. If that isn’t incentive enough, [former NASA astronaut Jeffrey A.] Hoffman advises, consider just how long it has been since humankind has set foot on any natural body besides Earth. In fact, it has been more than 45 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon”.[4]

[1] . David R. Williams, “Ice on the Moon. A Summary of Clementine and Lunar Prospector Results” NASA. (10 December 2012). http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/ice/ice_moon.html.

[2] “The LRO Mission” NASA. http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission.html.

[3] Jennifer Welsh and Jessica Orwig , “NASA Astronaut: Why We Need To Visit The Moon, Not Mars” Business Insider (05 Jan 2015). http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-we-should-visit-the-moon-2015-1#ixzz3OLWsEKr8

[4] Jennifer Welsh and Jessica Orwig , “NASA Astronaut: Why We Need To Visit The Moon, Not Mars”.

Asteroid Impacts: All but a Common Occurrence

‘Findings released for the first time by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization — which operates a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock, listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations — confirmed that between 2000 and 2013, 26 explosions on Earth’s atmosphere were detected, ranging in energy from 1,600 kilotons — all caused by asteroid impacts. To put it in perspective, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945, exploded with an energy impact of 15 kilotons. While most of these asteroids exploded too high in the atmosphere to do any serious damage on the ground, the evidence is important in estimating the frequency of a potential “city-killer-size” asteroid. The Earth is continuously colliding with fragments of asteroids, the largest in recent times exploding over Tunguska, Siberia in 1908 with an energy impact of 5-15 megatons (24 April 2014)’.

The B612 Foundation is an organisation founded by astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart, their mission is to “to find a way to stop dangerous asteroids from impacting Earth after seeing our fragile blue planet from space”.[1] And, explaining the issue at hand, the dedicated FAQ webpage explains that the “B612 Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to opening a new frontier of space exploration and protecting Earth from potentially devastating impacts by asteroids. B612 is the name of the asteroid home of the Little Prince, the hero of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novela, Le Petit Prince“.[2]

 

[1] “Starting the mission” B612 Foundation. https://b612foundation.org/our-story/.

[2] “FAQ”. B612 Foundation. https://b612foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FAQ-FINAL-5.30.13-1.pdf.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

‘Astrophysist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells Christiane Amanpour that science and math are the engines of tomorrow’s economy. (28 Feb 2014)’.

Continuing with the plug for deGrasse Tyson’s new show Cosmos: Here he talks to the well-known journalist Bill Moyers on his show Moyers & Company, a weekly series of smart talk and new ideas aimed at helping viewers make sense of our tumultuous times through the insight of America’s strongest thinkers.

Lynn Sherr, writing in the ‘most widely read magazine in America’ Parade, calls deGrasse Tyson “a science rock star whose passion for the laws of nature is matched by his engaging explanations of topics ranging from the mystery of dark matter to the absurdity of zombies. Starting in March [2014], he will become an even bigger cultural phenomenon as he hosts Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, a 13-part, prime-time series airing on both Fox and the National Geographic Channel that will, in Tyson’s words, help you ‘understand your relationship to other humans, to the rest of the tree of life on Earth, to the rest of the planets in the universe, and to the rest of the universe itself. I want it to get inside your skin. I want you to be so affected that the world looks completely different’ . . . It has been 34 years since PBS aired the original Cosmos series, subtitled A Personal Journey and hosted by Carl Sagan, another popularizer of science (and frequent Parade contributor) and one of Tyson’s mentors. The 1980 Cosmos riveted some 750 million viewers in more than 175 countries and became an Emmy and Peabody award–winning megahit; its accompanying book occupied the New York Times best-seller list for more than a year “.[1]


[1] Lynn Sherr, “Neil deGrasse Tyson: Cosmos’s Master of the Universe” Parade (11 January 2014).  http://parade.condenast.com/249139/lynnsherr/neil-degrasse-tyson-cosmos-master-of-the-universe/.

Curiouser and curiouser: The Mars Mision Continues

The rover Curiosity will test its ChemCam tool, which analyzes the composition of rocks by vaporizing them (19 August 2012).