A look at a year of blogging

With the end of the first year that I have begun blogging on Stochastic Scribbles, this seems to be a good time to take a retrospective look at what I wrote about and list the more major posts. Given my interest in science, it's no surprise that a lot of the articles are about astronomy and physics. A lot of them were about spacecraft or astronomical discoveries in the news, but there were also a few introductory science articles on things that I found interesting or had wondered about.

Continue reading A look at a year of blogging

Ganymede going behind Jupiter

The Hubble Space Telescope had taken a beautiful image of the Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede going behind Jupiter on April, 2007. It's the sort of picture I would have expected to have been taken by Galileo or the upcoming Juno as they approach the planet, not from a telescope so far away from Jupiter, which just shows how incredible the eighteen year-old space telescope is. Of course, while I would be happy with Hubble taking pretty pictures for the sake of pretty pictures, those in charge of Hubble want more bang for their buck, and scientists hope to learn more about Jupiter's atmosphere as light reflected off of Ganymede passes through the planet's atmosphere.

Ganymede going behind Jupiter

Water from a long, long time ago

Earliest radio fingerprint of water in a distant galaxy
Earliest radio fingerprint of water in a distant galaxy

Using a giant radio telescope in Germany, water molecules have been detected in a galaxy about 11 billion light-years away. This means that there was already detectable amounts of water in our universe when it was only less than four billion years old, which also means that there must have already been enough supernovas by then to create plenty of oxygen.

Like many other cosmological objects from the far past, the detection was aided thanks to the gravitational lensing provided by a foreground galaxy. Detection was also aided by the fact that the water effectively acted as a gigantic laser powered by the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy, except that radio waves are emitted instead of visible light.

A shoe thrown at Bush

To those few who still think that the average Iraqi believes that the invasion by the United States has been a positive, the recent shoe throwing at President Bush by an Iraqi journalist and the large public support for him should be a vivid indicator that they may be wrong. In fact, I think President Bush actually deserves it with how terrible he has been in everything, not just because of the invasion of Iraq. That's just how bad I think he has been for the past eight years.

American journalists should have been more like the Iraqi journalist in question, throwing "shoes" at the president in the form of tough questions, especially in the early years. On the other hand, it's rather ironic how it's easier for a dissenting foreigner to get close enough to President Bush to throw an actual shoe, compared to how hard it is for dissenting Americans to get close enough to even just show him dissenting words.