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Exomoons, ice, and an avian dance party

December 16, 2008

Score one for the weather forecasters. This morning on my way out the door I inspected my surroundings to find a thin glaze of ice on almost everything except the road (THANKFULLY!). We were under a freezing rain advisory and freezing rain is indeed what we had. It’s rare, but it’s kinda cool to see when it happens. When it hits you on the hand, it’s wet, yet when it hits anything else, it freezes! But I really don’t think any roads had problems as they were just a little too warm for anything to freeze on them. I also found this cool slideshow on the Tennessean’s website showing snow photos over the past several years.

Ok, enough nerdy weather science. Back to the usual links of interest:

Since I’ll be flying to NYC this Wed. with Megan, I thought it appropriate to post this video showing the astounding number of flights world wide over a 24 hour period.

Apparently astronomers are already tired of discovering exoplanets. Now they’re onto discovering exomoons around exoplanets! David Kipping at the University College London is working on a method of measuring the wobble of planets around other stars. So, we look at a distant star and observe its wobble caused by the tug of a large planet orbiting it. Then we directly image that planet with Hubble or even some ground-based telescope, and observe its own wobble, caused by it’s moon(s). Obviously this can only be done (at least for now) with very large planets (think Jupiter-sized or even bigger) that are close enough to be directly imaged, but still… AMAZING. Read the rest of the the story at Universe Today.

Finally, I give you Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo:

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