Category Archives: Extra Credit

Want to know more about Giordano Bruno?

[Updated 8:30am (PST), March 14] Last night the new COSMOS series aired on FOX and National Geographic channels, hosted by the one and only Neil DeGrasse Tyson and rolled out in style by producer Seth MacFarlane.  Roughly a quarter of the 43-minute program was devoted to the story of Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk and […]

Posted in Extra Credit

What I learned about the brain from animating it

About a month ago, I met Joe Palca, NPR science correspondent extraordinaire.  He has a series of very short science segments that fill little gaps between other stories, and since these segments fill holes, he decided to make them about holes as well.  There was one on what would happen if you could throw a […]

Posted in Extra Credit, Reflections

Rebound: Outreach and AGU

As a planetary scientist, I go to scientific conferences on a regular basis, and one of those conferences is the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).  When I’m there, I’m usually stressing out about lots of things:  my presentation, navigating the ridiculous number of sessions running in parallel, meeting up with everyone I […]

Posted in Extra Credit, Reflections

Teaming up with TrowelBlazers

I recently came across this new effort to showcase female researchers in throughout history in archaeology, palaeontology, and geology: TrowelBlazers! Today, they were good enough to post an entry I wrote about Marie Tharp, a geologist and drafter who, with Bruce Hazeen, compiled ocean sounding data into the first maps of the ocean floor.  Writing […]

Posted in Extra Credit, News

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Observations of a partial lunar eclipse on January 20, 1647: From Hevelius, Selenographia, 1647

Posted in Extra Credit, Images

Jupiter and the Moon

“Transitus Jovis” – the passage of Jupiter close to the Moon on April 12, 1647: Based on these observations: From Hevelius, Selenographia, 1647

Posted in Extra Credit, Images

How do you measure a mountain on the Moon?

Today, we have lots of tools1 at our disposal to examine the topography of our nearest neighbor, but measurements of lunar mountains were being recorded long before the development of satellites, space travel, and photography.  How was it done? With a keen understanding of light and shadow and a whole lot2 of geometry. The earliest […]

Posted in Extra Credit, Images

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon – Hevelius, Selenographia, p. 182:

Posted in Extra Credit, Images

More from Hevelius – “tres Valles, altissimis Montibus circundatæ”

Last week, while looking for the largest/clearest/awesomest version of the Moon map that I posted, I got totally sucked into the book in which it appears, the 1647 Selenographia of Johannes Hevelius.  While the image quality of the scanned book isn’t great, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite figures anyway.  Since I study craters […]

Posted in Extra Credit, Images

It’s Friday! Here’s a Moon map.

This map of the near side of the Moon was published in Johannes Hevelius’ 1647 book Selenographia. You might notice that it covers slightly more than one hemisphere.  Hevelius recognized that the Moon librates (in both longitude and latitude) as it orbits the Earth, letting us peek at an extra 9% of its surface. I love the […]

Posted in Extra Credit, Images