Educators and Kids: Animated Film About Exoplanets at BrainPOP

This is a great resource for educators and home schooled kids.

BrainPOP Exoplanet Site and Animated Film

Posted in Exoplanets, Space, Web Resources, Youth | Comments closed

Exoplanets Seen by Hubble in 1998 Finally Revealed

Phil Plait over at Discover’s Bad Astronomy writes about the hidden exoplanets in Hubble data.

Exoplanets Seen by Hubble in 1998 Finally Revealed

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Apple iPhone, iPad Exoplanet App

For the Apple users out there, a recently updated Exoplanet app. Get daily updates of exoplanet discoveries along with nice galaxy visuals.

Developer, Hanno Rein’s app site.

Posted in Astronomy, Exoplanets, Space, Technology | Comments closed

Astrophysicist Adam Reiss on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Adam Reiss engages in a funny discourse with NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, before taking the quiz.

Posted in Articles, Astrophysics | Comments closed

She Holds a Doctorate in Space Aliens

Well, almost. She’s Pascale Ehrenfreund, an astrobiologist. Astrobiolgists study life in all forms in outer space. This can range from organic molecules, the basis for life, to the biological effects of space on plants and animals. Maybe even aliens someday.

Posted in Articles, Astrobiology, Astronomy, Space | Comments closed

ATTN: Armchair Astronomers. You too can hunt for exoplanets.

Planet Hunters, a web site with the Kepler findings, is now open to the public.

Take a look. Hunt a planet. Learn more from Andrea Parrish here.

Posted in Articles, Astronomy, Exoplanets, Space | Comments closed

Fifty New Exoplanets

“Fifty new exoplanets discovered by HARPS” at Astronomy Magazine.

Read more at astronomy.com.

Also, a National Geographic article.

Posted in Articles, Astronomy, Exoplanets, Space | Comments closed

Welcome Back, Exoworld Blog

Ah. My poor, neglected blog. Well, we both had some other things to do and took a break from one another, but now we’re back on track. For me, a heavy load of college among other things sucked my time and energy into a vortex.

A lot has happened with exoplanet exploration since then, and I’ll try to catch up on some highlights. In the meantime, I’ve updated the site to reflect current info and links, and will soon expand the Exoplanets page with some latest finds.

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Mathematics in Film

I’ve ventured into two mathematical films recently – Proof (2005) and Dark Matter (2007).

Proof is the story of Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a daughter of a schizophrenic (?) mathematician Robert (Anthony Hopkins), who allegedly writes a brilliant paradigm-shifting proof then hides it away out of fear of… success? Becoming her father? It’s based on David Auburn’s play, and I did a side-by-side analysis of the movie vs. play for English class. It’s about 90% on target with the play, and the dialogue is almost word-for-word. The question of, did she really write the proof or was it her father, is presented in both. Auburn has stated the true outcome of the story, but if you want to decide for yourself, I suggest first reading the play then watching the movie before reading his commentary.

Dark Matter, based on a actual events, follows Liu Xing (Ye Liu), a Chinese student in America who is studying cosmology at Valley State University and has a passion for dark matter. He is Carl Sagan reminiscent in the way he describes the Universe and how the mystery substance fits in. But this movie isn’t about a dreamer who grabs the Nobel Prize or some other honor for a great discovery. It’s about a passion that is betrayed, and in the end, “dark matter” takes on an very different connotation. Subtle symbolism in the background of a few scenes along the way helps to reinforce dialogue and events. It’s important to understand the true story and how the movie shaped it differently. That side and other opinions can be read at Peter Woit’s Not Even Wrong blog. Woit is a mathematical physicist at Columbia University. Here is an interview with him at Big Think.

For math-themed stories in print, check out Mathematical Fiction.

Here are several links to mathematical movie lists:

Mathematics in the Movies
Math in the Movies
Math and the Movies Resource List
My Math Movie Picks
Mathematics Goes to the Movies

I’d be interested in mathematical movies that have flown under the radar, so if anyone has some suggestions, please post them.

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Carl Sagan – "Cosmos" Remixed

As an aspiring professional musician, one of my musical interests lie in the creation of science music. That is, music to inspire and educate about the sciences and their history, in much the same way science fiction does through print and film media. So when I came across Symphony of Science‘s, “A Glorious Dawn” featuring Stephen Hawking, I was elated. Carl Sagan fans will be delighted, science buffs should find this interesting in the least, and hopefully it will spark interest in other people. I must watch this at least ten times a week now, and judging from comments and those I’ve shared with, it seems to inspire and move to tears. With now over 2,000,000 views, I hope that at least one person out there may be motivated to carry on Sagan’s work, for I think our time is in need of a renewed bridge between the external Universe and the internal human mind. But yeah, I think, this. track. is. awesome.

Watch larger in higher quality on YouTube.

Posted in Astronomy, Film, Music | Comments closed
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