Astronomy Picture of the Week – Puzzled Iapetus

Yet another one from Cassini’s Grand Finale. Yup, it’s still going

Iapetus is a world of contrast, with light and dark regions fitting together like cosmic puzzle pieces.

Cassini Regio on Iapetus (914 miles or 1,471 kilometers across) is covered in a layer of dark, dusty material creating a stark contrast to the much brighter region that surrounds it. This leads to the moon’s distinctive, two-toned appearance. To learn more about the cause of the contrast between regions, see Encountering Iapetus.

This view looks toward Saturn-facing hemisphere of Iapetus. North on Iapetus is up and rotated 20 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 11, 2017.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Iapetus. Image scale is 9 miles (15 kilometers) per pixel.

[Read more…]

That’s It. We’re Out. And the Earth is Dying.

(Warning… strong language)

h/t Caine

First, from the Washington Post

President Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, an extraordinary move that dismayed America’s allies and set back the global effort to address the warming planet.

God fucking damnit. We’re really screwed.

Trump’s decision set off alarms worldwide, drawing swift and sharp condemnation from foreign leaders as well as top environmentalists and corporate titans, who decried the U.S. exit from the Paris accord as an irresponsible abdication of American leadership in the face of irrefutable scientific evidence.

[Read more…]

No, You Liar. You Don’t Care About Science or Clean Air and Water…

In response to the Science March yesterday, Agent Orange issued an entirely unbelievable statement as a response…

President Donald Trump declared his support for the environment and scientific research on his first Earth Day in the White House amid harsh criticisms over his actions to roll back environmental regulations and proposed cuts to non-military spending, including at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection,” Trump said in a statement Saturday as thousands of marchers filled the streets of downtown Washington to support science and evidence-based research — a protest partly fueled by opposition to Trump’s threats of budget cuts to agencies funding scientists’ work.

“My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks,” Trump said. “As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.

“This April 22nd, as we observe Earth Day, I hope that our nation can come together to give thanks for the land we all love and call home,” Trump added.

[Read more…]

How is This Still a Thing? What is Happening?

Didn’t we agree, like, thousands of years ago, that the earth is not flat? So what the hell is happening?

I mean… don’t get me wrong… I know that there are still people who genuinely believe the earth is flat. But they’ve always been… like… fringe of the fringe. Even most know Young-Earth Creationists agree that the earth isn’t flat! Like… if Ken Hamm agrees that the earth is not flat, then maybe… you know… that’s a piece of science we can all agree on, right?

So what the hell is going on? Why is famous person after famous person coming forward to say that they think is the earth is flat?

Even People magazine noticed this

[Read more…]

Stephen Hawking Has Words for Agent Orange

From LiveScience

Stephen Hawking does not feel welcome in Donald Trump’s America. The renowned physicist made this unhappy claim in a recent interview, and he expressed particular concern about how the Trump administration is treating the issue of climate change.

Hawking discussed U.S. politics during an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Monday (March 20). Hawking, who once called Trump a “demagogue,” said the new U.S. president was elected by “people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization.” The Trump administration’s policies pertaining to climate change, and science in general, are an attempt to satisfy that electorate, Hawking told interviewer Piers Morgan.

Well… okay then, Professor Hawking…

[Read more…]

And Here’s 19 Agencies Agent Orange Wants to Completely Cut

From the Washington Post

President Trump released his much-anticipated budget on Thursday, and the funding cuts are being dissected left and right.

There are 19 federal agencies that have the distinction of facing a 100 percent cut — i.e. extinction. The cuts to these agencies total about $3 billion. They offset about 6 percent of the $54 billion Trump wants to add in military spending.

Below the fold I’ll just list the 19 agencies and link to their homepages. Go to WaPo for more info…

[Read more…]