Science & Astronomy
9. November 2016

It’s November 9 again and that means it’s time to almost forget about Carl Sagan Day like almost every year and get reminded by someone on the internet about it. Carl Sagan’s birthday should be celebrated especially on a day like this that will probably go down in history for something entirely else, which unfortunately also has before with quite a few negative historic connections here in Germany. Today it feels like we need to be reminded of something more positive and encouraging, so Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot seems to be entirely appropriate to read and listen to right now.

Sagan, who sadly passed away in 1996, has become more popular than ever since two years ago, when his seminal 1980 science blockbuster documentary Cosmos was re-imagined as Cosmos – A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, but with himself still very much part of it in spirit. Demystifiying science and invoking a sense of wonder that seems to be all but lost nowadays are still the most important goals every scientist, educator, teacher and everyone interested in science should have. This may be be even more important in the coming years in an increasingly science-unfriendly environment – sharing your own enthusiasm in all things science even if you’re not a scientist yourself is the best thing you can do. And that’s what I’m going to continue doing, too – we don’t need to turn everyone into a scientist, but spreading general scientific knowledge in the face of ignorance is more important than ever now.

This is the most political I’m ever going to get here, because one of my rules is not to write about politics on the web. I’m here for other things, but if science and politics intersect, exceptions are sometimes necessary.

Category: Science & Astronomy
Google+
15. October 2016

Google had already rolled out the first test version of the new Google+ design last November, but at the end of August they finally made the makeover the default view. While the old “classic” interface has not been completely switched off yet, its days are now definitively numbered and it’s now time to get acquainted with the new Google+. I’ve actually been using it since last winter and after a couple of weeks, I never switched back to the old version because missing or faulty features had been quickly re-instated or fixed and Google has made a lot of improvements to the new Google+ ever since. There have been a lot of unwarranted complaints recently because of the change, but most can be boiled down to a simple fear of change, which is understandable – but the new Google+ is much easier to use and the restructuring has overall been very beneficial to the social network.

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Category: Google+
Science & Astronomy
11. August 2016

It’s that time of year again – the Perseid Meteor Shower lottery is upon us! Will we see some meteors, or a LOT of meteors? Or will the curse strike us again? Everybody is talking about how great the meteor shower will be this year, but I’m very much in doubt that we will actually get to see them. The Perseids will peak on August 12 as usual, so the night from the 12th to the 13th will probably be the best chance to look for meteors, but generally the few days around the peak date are usually good too.

Unfortunately this year it looks like we won’t be able to see any meteors due to the absolutely abysmal weather we are having here in Germany at the moment – it’s not only raining buckets, but also very cold, so I’m afraid I’ll have to give the Perseids a miss this year.  The only time I ever caught a Perseid meteor was in 2008 – I’ve been using that particular photo for all my Perseid posts.

If your weather looks good and you want to try watching, here are the usual links: If you want to know more about the Perseids, Universe Today has a really good Observer’s Guide written by David Dickinson and Fraser Cain’s  short explainer video about meteors in general is also very recommended. In short, if you have a reasonably clear view of the sky to the east and northeast, you are all set to go! You don’t even need any fancy equipment, just your eyes and some patience are enough.

Science & Astronomy
2. July 2016

I’m sorry that I haven’t had much time for this blog lately – the reasons are in the previous post and while I’m slowly recovering, I have been very busy. Nevertheless, I have actually been somewhat active on the web elsewhere – I’m still posting daily on my Photography Blog and the WSH Crew Community Web Portal is also being updated regularly.

What I had to give up, though, is the weekly Space & Science News Roundup – it’s a lot of effort and I was thinking about retiring it anyway for some time. It was mainly a way to collect links for those who are not following my Google+ Space & Astronomy Collection or the WSH Crew Community because I unfortunately don’t have the time to crosspost to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. The Weekly Space Hangout, Astronomy Cast and Learning Space are also on summer break until early September, but if you want to stay up to date, you can also gather the news yourself from the same websites we like to visit.

Instead of a weekly posting, here is a list of space news sites, blogs and some of my Twitter lists for easy do-it-yourself news reading. I recommend using Feedly as a RSS reader for the websites – it is as easy to use as the old Google Reader and is supported by many apps on different platforms. 

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Bibra-Online
19. May 2016

Yesterday, my mother Angela unexpectedly passed away and we are all very, very sad and miss her terribly. I’ve made another short post over on the photography blog and I’ll say a bit more about my wonderful mother when I’ve recovered from this sudden event. I’d like to thank everyone who already sent me condolences and great words of hope. I’m going to be okay and will continue with everything soon, I may just be a little bit more quiet than usual because I have lots to do in the next days. Angela will stay alive through me and my memories of her and our whole family will never forget her.

Category: Bibra-Online
Science & Astronomy
15. May 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. Does SpaceX take the headlines for a fourth week in a row? There were some news from the Dragon splashdown and the booster arrival, but I think Kepler wins this week with the announcement of over one thousand newly confirmed exoplanets and even nine in the habitable zone of their stars. A lot of other things have, of course, happened, but overall it has been somewhat quiet this week – except for a triple-feature hangout Friday! Check the playlists on our WSH Crew Website, there are two new episodes of Astronomy Cast and a great Weekly Space Hangout to watch!

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Science & Astronomy
8. May 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. For the third week in a row, SpaceX takes the headlines, this time with another successful satellite launch and an even more difficult booster landing on sea. But that was not all SpaceX was up to this week, because there was also a surprising new price chart, superhero spacesuits and some speculation about the Falcon Heavy, so the first four headlines belong to them. Of course there were some other interesting news this week too, so here’s my very personal and subjective selection.

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Science & Astronomy
1. May 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week, SpaceX again takes the top spot with the surprisde announcement of an uncrewed Mars mission in just two years! Having shaken up the rocket launch business with their successful landing of the Falcon 9 booster wasn’t enough – now Elon Musk has chosen Mars as a new target, which is, of course, not really a big surprise given his occasional previous remarks about the red planet. Also in the news were the first launch from Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport, lots of politics mainly about the RD-180 rocket engine, a new moon for a dwarf planet and much more. As usual, this is just a highly subjective selection of the space news of this week, but I’ve tried to include everything noteworthy.

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Science & Astronomy
24. April 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week, I’m beginning to question the title of this post – do I have too much space and astronomy and not enough science in here? I don’t know and I actually chose the title just because it sounds good, but I actually like to keep the focus on space and astronomy with only a bit of unrelated science thrown in. This week there was nothing major that overshadowed the rest, but a lot of very interesting things have happened, including some very fascinating astronomy, space exploration and even space business news that just kept coming and coming! And as usual you can watch Friday’s Weekly Space Hangout which has some of the news in this article talked about in more detail.

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Science & Astronomy
17. April 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week was the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight, the first time humanty had left the Earth – on this occasion, there were two amazing announcements: Bigelow Aerospace and ULA joining forces to bring inflatable habitats into space and Stephen Hawking’s and Yuri Milner’s Project Starshot – the latter one is much more conceptual than the first at the moment, but this could be a turning point in space exploration. Together with the successful sea recovery of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, we surely live in interesting times regarding space and science. Otherwise, it’s been almost all good news across the board this week including the recovery of Kepler – here are the headlines that grabbed my attention.

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