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  • A little moment in the sun!

    2011 - 05.04

    Part I: blowin like supernovae

    I’m still buzzing from what went on this weekend!  I spent maybe two or three solid nights last week putting together that SETI infographic and wow, was it ever worthwhile!  (Understatement.)  On a lark, I sent an email to Phil Plait, formerly of the Hubble Telescope project and famous astro-blogger extraordinaire who has a devout following on his site Bad Astronomy, where he writes about all things cosmical and skeptical.  I’m surmising most of you are probably intimately familiar already, but just in case, this whole incident made me notice that I never called out his site on here–I check it nearly every single day and there is always something wonderful there.  If you aren’t familiar, get at it, post-haste!

    Yeah, so Phil liked it, put up the infographic on his site which also linked here, and then posted it to reddit.  Ho-leee bandwidth batman.  Site=crashed.  Blown up.  I was floored.

    This is my first time experiencing something of this magnitude.  Quickly the image was captured and rehosted elsewhere since the site was barely accessible.  I awoke Sunday morning to a whole bunch of email and a rapidly exploding string of comments, especially on reddit.  Reading the wealth of opinions has been fascinating!  Phil sent a message saying I should swap the infographic over to flickr, which I hastily did.  As of this writing it’s at 21,031 views and still climbing almost every time I hit refresh.  The one the redditors used for a mirror is at 3,983 views.  Considering it had almost 12,000 of those in the first 12 hours…  That kinda blows my mind.

    And delights me.  I’m happy that after reading science blogs and surfing sites like digg and reddit for so long I finally made something of interest to give back, something worth looking at.  Reading all the thoughts people have chimed in with has been simply excellent, and, AND!!  There have been some even cooler things that happened!  Let’s go down the list:

    1. People started talking.  Other bloggers chimed in, and Florian Freistetter, a PhD astronomer in Germany even wrote a blog post about it. (tip: use google translate) This thing went around the whole world!  CRA-ZEE

    2. I got to talk with the Bad Astronomer a little.  Phil is a really cool guy!  He was super nice to me, and generally a peach about everything.  I hope that maybe in the future I will come up with something else worth emailing him about (hint: it’s not this post!)

    3. Crossing over into the realm of ridicu-cool: one of the comments on Bad Astromony was from Jill Tarter.  Yeah.  That’s the woman who Jodie Foster’s character is based upon in the movie Contact.  Wow.

    So hey, there you go!  I really should try infographics more often.  I guess having a good idea for one is really the hard part.

    Part Deux: So You’re Here!  Now what?

    Well, I suspect that there is now a new crowd around here, or at the very least, a handful of elite surfers still hanging out.  And you’re probably interested in space.  Okay, space, we can do that! I’ll separate it into two nice categories for you:

    Category Alpha: “I’m one of those brainy types who needs in-depth, thoughtful prose to hold my attention”

    “oh, by the way” (a reminder of just how large the universe really is)

    Putting Things In Perspective: NEAT!

    When I’m Feeling Down, These Are Some Things That Bring Me Back Up (a roundup of inspiring projects)

    Surfing the Nebulae

    Category Beta: “Who are you kidding, this is the internet!  I need short, quick space porn to gawk at between twitterati meltdowns and clicking refresh on gadget blogs”

    Sweet Shuttle Shot

    The Cassini Flyby of Saturn (real life, not CG) – video

    Take a Ride on a Solid Rocket Booster! – video

    Kepler Space Telescope Exoplanets visualized (great video comparing sizes and orbits) – video

    Just Some Awesome View of the Sky

     

    And lastly:

    If you liked imaginary numbers, get a load of these: Imaginary Colors.

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