A few things for Saturday

By Phil Plait | September 20, 2008 12:00 pm

It’s pretty outside. I’m sometimes lazy. Together this means I am slapping this post together with no real thought.

1) Carnival of Space time! It’s being hosted at dotastronomy, and in fact they are hosting an astronomy conference this week, in which I am participating. Via Skype. This should end well.

2) Spacecraft use rockets to get from points a to b, and that can be inefficient. To get to Pluto, for example, you need a lot of energy, which rockets just can’t provide. So rocket scientists get the energy by stealing it from planets, swinging by a planet and literally taking a small amount of its energy of motion (which to the spacecraft can mean a boost of many km/sec). But after studying lots of flybys, engineers were baffled that the numbers weren’t adding up, and some were claiming that this is do to a Mysterious Unknown Force. However, as Universe Today points out, it may just be relativity. Which is definitely mysterious, but hardly unknown.

3) As I write this, my book is at 725 overall at Amazon. R0xx0r.


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