#Cosmos E4: There Is a Light That Shines

(I live tweet Cosmos every Sunday. For all of my Cosmos recaps, please click here)

Episode 4 of Fox's Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson focuses on the Herschel family of scientists, Einstein's theory of Relativity, and the speed of light as nature's fundamental constant.

Patrick Stewart voiced astronomer William Herschel, who was one of the main scientists in this episode. William, and his son John, contributed to our understanding of stars and the light that they give off. Light from distant objects takes a while to reach us on earth, so the light that we see is very old - we are effectively looking back in time. The light from stars that we see are probably already dead.

The only issue I had with this episode was that they didn't mention Caroline Herschel, who was an amazing astronomer in her own right. Otherwise, this was my favorite so far in the series.

To see the light in a different path, check out Common's hit single "The Light" from the Like Water for Chocolate album (2000).

For more, check out the Storify below!

#ScienceLooksGood: Shuttle in NYC, Venus Transit

One reason that I blog about science and technology is so that it can be accessible to everyone. Photos are a great way to communicate the complexity of science without dipping too far into the details. Check out these beautiful photos of the Space Shuttle in NYC and Venus overlayed over the Sun!


Shuttle in NYC!

Picture courtesy of

Check out this amazing pic of the Space Shuttle Enterprise near the World Trade Center site.  The Enterprise never actually flew in space, but it was the prototype model that NASA used to run tests and prove the aerodynamics of flight for reentry. It's currently heading on a barge to the Intrepid Museum in midtown NYC.


Venus Transit!

Picture and video courtesy of Universe Today

This photo is a compilation of several photos of the planet Venus as it crosses between Earth and the Sun.  Due to the orbits and rotations of both planets, it is extremely rare for Venus to be visible between Earth and the Sun.  As a matter of fact, this will not occur again until 2116. More photos are available from NASA.

Gizmodo has a great article on the importance of the transit of Venus throughout history.  From the article:

Transits of Venus were scientific gold for early astronomers, who used them to derive an accurate measurement of the size of the solar system. By noting the time each planet took to go around the sun, and then crunching that data via methods developed by 17th century mathematician Johannes Kepler, these telescope-equipped boffins could determine each planet's relative distance from the sun, as measured in terms of astronomical units (the distance from the Earth to the Sun). Collecting such data during a transit was the reason Captain Cook was able to travel halfway around the world from London to Tahiti in 1769.