Jim Elliot, discoverer of rings of Uranus, 1943-2011

One of the themes in my writing for young readers has been that a scientist’s achievements flow from the richness of his or her life, that s/he is more than his/her discoveries. So I share this obituary of Jim Elliot, who was planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel’s mentor. I never met him, but his kindness was apparent through e-mails exchanged during and after my writing of Heidi’s biography in the Women’s Adventures in Science series.

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Europa serves as guide star for Keck adaptive optics view of Jupiter

One of my greatest writing pleasures has been getting to know Heidi Hammel when I wrote her biography, Beyond Jupiter for the Joseph Henry Press “Women’s Adventures in Science” series. Among the many things we have discussed is the advance in imaging made possible by adaptive optics, which enables the Keck telescope (and others) to correct for atmospheric distortions.

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Anti-matter beaming out into space from Earth

Sometimes the news releases that cross my desk astonish me. This was one of them. It comes from NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope.

Fermi was launched in 2008, replacing the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) that was deorbited in 2000. I write about CGRO in the chapter on The Great Observatories in my new book 7WSpaceTech Book CoverSeven Wonders of Space Technology

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Follow science blogger/children’s author on Facebook

If you are a regular reader of my blog postings, you know that I am a passionate, opinionated middle-of-the-roader. I bring the same passion to my writing for young readers, but I want them to learn to form their own opinions.

Read moreFollow science blogger/children’s author on Facebook

For people who love good children’s science books

I’ve bitten the bullet and created a Facebook page for myself as an author of children’s science books. If you know teachers or librarians who care about good science books for children, or middle graders and teens who might enjoy interacting with an author on Facebook, please send them my way! Scientifically yours, “Dr. Fred” … Read more

Beyond NASA’s Astrobiology Buzz: Is Arsenic Just One Possibility for Exotic Life?

The blogosphere and mainstream media have been buzzing for the past day or so about a new finding that changes our view of alien life. If you were looking for Little Green Men, you’ll be disappointed; but if you like Astrobiology cover my 2008 book on Astrobiology, then you’ll realize the scientific importance of this discovery.

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Warning for Geo-engineers: SO2 may surprise you

I’ve blogged before about trying to avoid geo-engineering as a solution to climate change. We just don’t know enough about the complexities of climate to try relatively simple fixes, like adding sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere. The following news release from the European Space Agency’s Venus Express program ought to give us pause.

Fred Bortz

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