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Anything and everything about science, especially astronomy and the cosmos.

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for astronomy info, stargazing thoughts, and reviews and recommendations for astronomy-related goodies!

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All postings Copyright 2003-2008
C.C. Petersen

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Dear Ol' CU

It's always nice to get good news from one's alma mater (instead of the usual begging letters from the development foundation). Where I went to school (University of Colorado), astronomy, planetary science, and space sciences research have always been Big Things. I did my graduate studies while serving on a team that worked with an HST instrument (the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph), and also did some work on comet images under a Halley Watch grant. One of the folks who I overlapped with at CU is Alan Stern, now Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and an old friend. At CU he worked with the Center for Space and Geoscience Policy, before leaving to work at Southwest Research Institute. A number of other missions had CU relationships, including some involving other members of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (where I worked), Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (I worked there as an undergraduate), and a variety of other research institutes at CU.

Artist concepts of a Naval Observatory Proposal involving CU-Boulder to place a carpet-like radio telescope on the moon to probe the earliest structures in the universe. Image courtesy CU-Boulder, NRL

Suffice to say, I was pleased to see a press release today outlining a pair of projects that NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory has selected for further funding and development that both involve people and institutions at CU. The first is for a space observatory to find Earth-like planets in distant solar systems. The other is for a unique type of low-frequency radio telescope on the far side of the Moon. Astronomers would use it to look for some of the earliest structures in the universe. Both are very worthy projects and I'm pleased to see my home university continue its winning streak in astronomy and space science. (Read more details here.)

Both projects should give undergraduate and graduate students first-hand experience in designing instruments AND doing science, something that attracted me back to graduate school in the first place (lo these many years ago). While CU isn't the only university that gets these grants and makes opportunities available, it has been a leader for many years in this area. I can't think of Duane Physics tower or the LASP building or the JILA towers without remembering all the really smart, really great scientists who came out of those labs and who are making solid scientific contributions today. There are whole new generations of instruments and projects waiting for new generations of student scientists. And that's good news for science and for old alums like me.

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posted by CCP on 2/21/2008 07:52:00 PM | * |

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Earth Hour!

Do it for the Planet!

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Blog Roll


Loch Ness Productions
Purveyors of fine planetarium shows, music, and services.

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My cool astronomy cause:
The Friends of the Griffith Observatory.
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The sites below belong to space and astronomy enthusiasts. I make every effort to check them and make sure they are still appropriate. However, I am not responsible for their content, nor do I endorse any of it by simply linking to them. As with all Web surfing, please exercise caution.

Adot's Notblog
A fellow traveler blogger and astronomy enthusiast!

Astronomy Blog
An astronomy blog pondering the big questions

Astronomy Cast
Astronomy Podcasting from Pamela Gay

Bad astronomy discussed and debunked along with fun stuff about really good astronomy!

Chris Lintott's Universe
Musings from an Oxford Astronomer.

Cosmic Variance
Random Samplings from a Universe of Ideas.

Dave P's Astronomy blog
Observational Astronomy and other TidBits

European Southern Observatory
Fine Ground-based astronomy images.

Gemini Observatory
Fine astronomy in infrared and visible wavelengths.

Griffith Observatory's page.
I wrote their exhibits!

Observing The Sky
Nightly Observation Reports from dedicated skygazers.

The Official String Theory Web Site. Time to feed your mind!

Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal. Cast off your blinders and come on in!

Science Made Cool
A compendium of discoveries, inventions and commentary.

Slacker Astronomy
Astronomy with a Slacker Twist.

Space Telescope Science Institute
The best from Hubble Space Telescope

The Eternal Golden Braid
Astronomy, Space Science, and Science Fiction Commentary.

The Inoculated Mind
Bills Itself as a weekly science mindcast. Thought-provoking, honest.



The Hairy Museum of Natural History
Defies description. Just go there (yes, it's safe for work).

Olduvai George
Absolutely fantastic natural history illustrations from a master.


The Agonist
News and Commentary

Breaking Science News

National Public Radio
The Original Fair and Balanced

Like it says: News for Nerds

Shopping, Internet Stuff, and Web Guides

The Blog Search Engine Searching out the Blogoverse.

A blogger's listing service

Best search engine

A blogger's listing service

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

The Truth Laid Bare Listings in the Blogosphere.

Links to My Site
Alternate Reality
An awful waste of space
Asa Dotzler - Firefox and more
A Song of November
Astroprof's Page
Astronomy Blog
Bad Astronomy blog
Bohemian Mama
Centauri Dreams
Colony Worlds
Cosmic Views
DaveP's astronomy
Dick's Rocket Dungeon
Electron Blue
Fly me to the Moon
From The Earth To The Moon
NYC Nova Hunter
Perspective and Soda
Robot guy
Salty Snack
Skymania's blogcast
Space Pragmatism
Solar Empire
Space Feeds
Space Law Probe
Sue Denham
Technology Integration
The Rabid Librarian's Ravings in the Wind
The Sublime Will
The Q80 Girl
The Astronomy Blog
True Anomaly