I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the National Space Society has donated telescopes to students in over 20 countries as part of the Permission to Dream project. The project page posted photos of a recent star party in Nepal, featuring one of the donated telescopes:
One of the strangest objects in the outer Solar System was classified as a dwarf planet last week and given the name Haumea. This designation makes Haumea the fifth designated dwarf planet after Pluto, Ceres, Eris, and Makemake. Haumea’s smooth but oblong shape make it extremely unusual. Along one direction, Haumea is significantly longer than Pluto, while in another direction Haumea has an extent very similar to Pluto, while in the third direction is much smaller. Haumea’s orbit sometimes brings it closer to the Sun than Pluto, but usually Haumea is further away.
It may be just a dwarf planet, but I think it’s interesting enough to visit on the Grand Tour. Who knows what we might find on that (probably) icy planet and its two little moons?
Robert Woodhead, self-described Mad Overlord and all-around geek, has posted an amazing amount of detail from his recent experiment in seeing how the Diet Coke & Mentos reaction works in microgravity. It’s a modification of the now-standard geyser-producing demonstration, but with a twist: performing the trick on a Zero G flight and recording it on a high-speed camera. The Youtube video is great, but the expanded description is even better.
[I'm going to start posting some of my GeekDad articles over here, so you'll know when new ones are available. Let me know if this is unnecessary duplication.]
I had the pleasure of meeting Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides at a SEDS UCSD talk the other day. It quickly became obvious that she’s one of Our People, and a successful one at that. From the GeekDad interview article (my first ever):
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides sees the future of space in the eyes of students. Not as the “coveted 18-24 demographic”, but as leaders of the new space industry. To her, space-interested science and engineering students in high school and college right now are “one in a million,” and she wants them to train to be the next Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride, Burt Rutan, or Elon Musk.
She should know. As an astrobiologist, Virgin Galactic advisor, Wired blogger, and Zero G flight director, she’s seen her share of the Right Stuff. She’s followed James Cameron to the bottom of the ocean and led 70,000 people to a party at NASA. Space is personal for her, too: she and her husband, National Space Society director George T. Whitesides, will honeymoon on one of the first Virgin Galactic suborbital flights.