Saturday, December 31, 2005

Good-bye 2005

Like all years, 2005 had its highs and its lows, but instead of dwelling on the bad, I'll concentrate on the good:

  • Starting the year off with Greg and gently falling snow in Flagstaff.
  • Roadtrip to Minnesota and all the friendship.
  • Three Nine Inch Nails concerts. Three!
  • Central California Coast with Greg.
  • Avalon Ball with Greg, Kirsten, and Aaron.
  • The huge amounts of appreciation I was shown by my students.
  • Cozy birthday and Christmas.
  • Another 31 lbs lost, bringing my weight-loss total to 56 lbs since August 2004.
  • Ending the year here in Flagstaff with Greg and warm beverages and coziness and love, closing the loop..

Here's to hoping we all have a peaceful, fulfilling, and happy 2006.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Aurora Galleries has compiled all of their aurora images into a gallery, finally. There are some magnificent images here, contributed by people all over the world. Here's a current favorite of mine:


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

King Kong Hurt Me

My neck hurts. It's hurt ever since I craned it up at a movie screen watching "King Kong" yesterday. Ow. I didn't like the LOTR movies much in their theatrical release forms, but I adore the extended versions. Therefore, I wasn't too cowed by the thought of seeing a three hour-long Peter Jackson movie. Was I ever wrong. The movie was incredibly boring - I think my neck hurts so much because I was trying not to nod off. It had some good moments, but I think I come firmly down on the side of this being a bad movie. The most interesting characters disappeared too soon (being a flaw that the major characters were not the most interesting), there were racist overtones up the wazoo, the special effects were wretched in many parts, and this movie provides more evidence that digital animation enables filler when storytelling is needed. The most interesting aspect for me was looking for all the product placements in the New York sequences. I'm glad that I saw it on the big screen, but it's definitely a movie I'll never need to see again.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Yesterday was a lovely relaxing day. I was spoiled rotten by friends and family - thanks so much for all of the gifts and gift cards. I will now go buy all the clothing I need! I received socks and clothes and books and chocolates and a tackle box and sea salt and cocoa and much more. I'm a spoiled brat!

I'm also a stuffed brat - I cooked all day. For our holiday breakfast, I made sausage, roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, and banana walnut pancakes. For holiday dinner I made chicken cordon bleu and pasta, because it's really all about the decadent cream sauce. Mmm...for snacking, well, there was a chocolate incident. Maybe several. That's all I'll say. It was a good day.

I hope that everyone is having happy and peaceful holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2005


Got up early and went to the gym. Headed over to Starbucks with Greg and had hot chocolate and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. Treated myself to an hour-long massage. Greg and I had a late lunch at our favorite brewpub. We also went to the Phoenix Suns/Washington Wizards game. (Good game, even though the Suns lost.) Raked in lots of loot from friends and family. (Thanks, guys!) All in all, not a bad way to spend my 35th birthday. Except for finding that gray hair - I could have done without that. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dover Decision

The latest ruling in the Dover, PA Intelligent Design case should make me happy, but it doesn't. My fear is that this will now get played out on a much larger stage. The judge's ruling that ID is a religious movement, rather than a scientific model, is correct, but now some proponents of ID are citing this as religious persecution. A couple of quotes for you, from a Washington Post article:

"This decision is a poster child for a half-century secularist reign of terror that's coming to a rapid end with Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Alito," said Richard Land, who is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and is a political ally of White House adviser Karl Rove.

The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank, wrote that the judge has a "pernicious understanding of what intellectual and religious freedom in America means."

So, my friends, the battle is far from over, and in many ways may have moved even further away from being a scientific battle than it was before. If you want more information on how the Discovery Institute is waging this war, go to It's good to understand the strategy of your opponent.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Standing Still

Today is the winter solstice, when the Sun stands still before beginning its trek back towards the north. The Sun appears to hover, thinking about its next move before continuing on.

Kinda how I feel right now. I'm at a bit of a loss. I keep feeling like there is something I should be doing. Comes from always having tons to do during the semester, I suppose. I feel pretty useless when school isn't in session. Teaching is satisfying and meaningful and it enables me to (hopefully) contribute to society in a positive way. Without it, I am a loser. Blah.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Finals Week Tally

Received: one homemade pumpkin pie, 10 frosted sugar cookies, chocolate hazelnut candies, and 0.4 lb Valrhona extra-bitter chocolate

Graded: 56 astronomy term projects, 69 astronomy lab finals, 68 astronomy lecture finals, and 122 physics finals

Total hours of work: 60

Goal for the weekend: no work (except to answer student emails - just can't help myself)

And now I shall sleep.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ah, yes, I remember it well.

Finals week brings out all of our hopes, fears, and quirks. I see the students struggle and remember being them. I remember doing so many of the same things and asking the same questions.

Will flash cards help? Um, if they're good flash cards. Not if you attempted to write an entire semester's worth of notes on five cards. (I still have the flash cards for my undergraduate astronomy courses.)

Will there be a curve?
Dude, the class average is an 81%! (I think that makes me the easiest physics teacher ever.)

What is my grade currently so that I can calculate what I need to get on the final to earn (insert grade here)?
I'll tell you, but don't you think it would be better so spend your time studying? I mean, it's a great time suck - feels productive and involves math - but studying would actually serve you better on the exam.

You professors just don't know how stressful finals are.
Sadly, I am more busy during finals as an instructor than I ever was as a student. (Let's see...I've written and have to grade four astronomy lab finals, two astronomy lecture finals, and one physics final.) Maybe I work too much now, or maybe I didn't work hard enough then. Either way, I'm glad I'm not taking the tests anymore.

(PS. A student brought me a homemade pumpkin pie this morning, still warm from the oven!)

Friday, December 09, 2005

On a related note

A few of my astronomy students have voiced their surprise that not only do I correct their grammar and spelling, but I will also dock their grade. I've heard "This isn't an English class, you know." I like the implication that proper English usage is only necessary for their English courses, which have no bearing on the rest of their academic and personal lives, of course.

Don't worry. Next week is finals week, and then my petty griping will slow down somewhat. Until I hit the malls, that is.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Can anybody tell me why so many students think the plural of "scientist" is "scientist"? No "s" at the end, or if on the rare occasion they do put the "s", it's as in "scientist's". Is this a typo or a misunderstanding? Just something spell-check doesn't catch? As I sit here grading papers, I find it to be annoying.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


After almost the entire semester has passed, one of the students in my physics lecture told me that, not only does she live in the apartment across the hall from me, but another of my students lives in the apartment upstairs! Aaiiee! It also says something about the way I go through life ( head down, not making eye contact) that I didn't recognize these chicks. Sigh.

During an in-class discussion, one of my astronomy students raised his hand and asked very seriously, "Why are there so many songs about rainbows? And what's on the other side?" I told him that I've obviously lost control of the class when the kids start quoting "The Rainbow Connection."

A former student came to visit me this week. He's heading home to the deep South where he means to go to law school, which was always his goal. His plan has been slightly modified, however, by the fact that his family struck oil on their property. Now instead of pursuing law in part for the financial gains, he hopes to open a family law practice benefiting underprivileged folk. Wish him luck!

A student I hadn't seen since September emailed me to ask me if I could withdraw him from the class, because he forgot to withdraw before the deadline. I told him I didn't have that option on my final grade roster. He then emailed back saying that he learned that I could instigate an administrative withdrawal removing him from my class for "disruptive behavior" and would I please do so? If by disruptive, he meant making me laugh til tears streamed down my face, I have been so affected. Otherwise, I'm not going to lie to make up for someone's laziness. Egads.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Couldn't choose just one

A couple of images for your enjoyment - too beautiful to choose one over the other

New composite image of the Crab Nebula, from Hubble - Jeff is famous for his many Hubble images (for example, the Eagle nebula), and congrats to Allison for her great work.

Many moons, from Cassini - I want this spacecraft to send back such images forever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Fountains of material soar above the surface of one of Saturn's medium-sized moons - Enceladus, from Cassini

Friday, November 25, 2005

In the sunlight

Herschel crater catches rays - Saturn's moon Mimas, from Cassini

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here's a view to be grateful for - Saturn and Dione, from Cassini

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Last Friday, I was a speaker at Math Club. My talk was "Predicting the Fate of the Universe - Using Trajectories to Understand the Universe." It was a basic derivation of Newtonian cosmology, which is cool because it gives the general relativistic answers without all the tensors and pain. I quite enjoyed myself - several of the students were past/current students of mine, all were very smart, and many of them were "gothy" - dressed in all black, dyed purple hair, heavy eyeliner. I think it's interesting that Math Club has become an intersection of different outsider groups, and I think that's a good mix...geeky goths.

Monday, November 21, 2005

But Mercury Moves Quickly!

Favorite headline from CNN today:

Bad horoscope prompts PM to ban reporters' questions

Favorite quote - "He added that Mercury moves slowly and will not steer clear of his star until next year." Mercury actually moves pretty quickly on the sky, so I think he's trying to get away with something. Hmm...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Many Things

Whew. Busy. Very busy.

My mother and sister visited this weekend! I had not seen either of them in over a year. My own mother had difficulty recognizing me because of the weight-loss - nifty, I think. I converted them to the cult of IKEA and drove them around Northern Arizona. We had a lot of fun, and I was sorry to see them go.

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and I have so much to do! Grading, writing exams, applying for travel funding, preparing a talk... there are 84 things on my to-do list, and I'm positive that I'm forgetting something important.


Thursday, November 10, 2005


Dione, Pandora, and Tethys seen against a backdrop of darkness and rings, from Cassini

Sunday, November 06, 2005

All about me

With Greg off at the World Fantasy Convention, I spent the weekend in Flagstaff. Completely hedonistic. I left work on Friday and went immediately to my massage therapist for an hour-long massage. Then I drove to Flagstaff in the late afternoon. The sun was setting as I drove into the Verde Valley, highlighting the red rocks of Sedona in the distance. So lovely. But my goal was at the base of the San Francisco Peaks.

My time in Flagstaff involved soaks in the jacuzzi, hiking in the beautiful sunny crisp weather, and eating at some of my favorite places. I watched Revenge of the Sith and What The #$*! Do We Know?! I drank cocoa and window-shopped for hippy clothing. I managed to spend only $2.70 at the bead shop. I have arrived home completely relaxed, and the mountain air has helped my lingering cold tremendously.

As much as I love my students, teaching means I'm forced to be more social on a daily basis than I would typically prefer. It was nice to spend some time focused on indulging myself and enjoying some solitude. Mmm...purr...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Feeling Better

Mmm...mexican food...the perfect comfort food. Warm, soft, spicy...mmm....

I had warned a few students over email to be wary about attending office hours today, because I'm sick. One of the students showed up to my office with a thermos of hot tea and honey and a mug. That and a dose of DayQuil got me through the day.

I must say I receive much more support and affection from students than I ever would have anticipated. There's been hot tea and thank you cards and flowers and chocolates. There's been Star Wars discussions and magic tricks to cheer me when I'm blue. Visits from former students. Nice emails and hugs. Friendship. If you'd told me before I started teaching how much warmth I'd feel from students, I would have laughed at you. Now I know better, and every day I'm grateful.

Pesky Pluto

Pluto might have two more moons, bringing it to a grand total of three. The whole "is Pluto a planet?" debate just gets more and more interesting - from Hubble

Friday, October 28, 2005

New Things

Wow, time flies. I can't believe it's Friday already, although I'm grateful.

This week flew by in part because last weekend was full of fun. Greg and I joined Kirsten, Aaron and two other couples for a trip to Catalina Island to celebrate Kirsten's birthday. This was my first trip to Catalina, and it was wonderful. The trip involved eating seafood, seeing dolphins, and dancing all night! It was so much fun. And many congrats to Kirsten's sister and her new fiance!

Heard a new one this week. I received a message from a parent saying that her son, one of my students, had suffered memory loss in a pole vault accident and that he wouldn't be in class the rest of the week. Here's to hoping he recovers quickly!

Another new thing - word verification for comments. Hopefully it isn't too annoying for my gentle readers and commenters.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Noisy Daze

Last night, I could hear U2 being blasted from one of the chemistry lab rooms. Not quite sure why, but it's true. And earlier in the day, someone was making Chewbacca noises in the halls.

I ran into my favorite student from last semester yesterday. He's excited to be moving on to a major university next semester. Of course, he greeted me by asking me if I used my Jedi sense to note his presence and told me he'd seen Revenge of the Sith at the dollar theater the night before. My geekiness is known far and wide.

So is my reputation as being the prof who got a substitute so that she could see Nine Inch Nails. Students who weren't even in those particular classes give me grief about this. Such is my teaching legacy - I cut out for NIN. I wonder when that will show up on

My random student stories for the week - I had a young woman stop working in lab for about 20 minutes while she had the hiccups. Just completely debilitated her. These seemed like ordinary enough hiccups to me, but I guess she seldom has them and she freaked out on me. So odd. And then there's the young woman in my lab on Wednesday nights who always leaves really early. I figured that it was due to work obligations or being tired from a long day. No. She goes home early to watch "Lost". Sigh.

This semester is wearing me down, between working long hours and getting up early to go to the gym. Yesterday I was almost crying in my office, I was so tired. But I got a lot of grading done - I'm caught up or ahead in all my labs! I'm on schedule in all my classes. My students are doing well. Another of my favorite students from last spring will be taking a class with me next semester. And last night, Mars and the Moon were a pretty sight in the sky on the way home, and I had a mug of hot chocolate before going to bed, so I guess it's all worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It's just hard to believe that views like this could exist - Dione and Saturn, from Cassini

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I'm in a lab room near some chemistry labs, and one of the chem labs is performing a stinky experiment. Blah!

One of the geology classes brought back a bunch of halite samples from a field trip, lending a rather sulfurous aroma to the stockroom. The samples sure are pretty, though.

One of my students asked me the name of my perfume. He says he can always tell when I'm around due to my scent. I'm hoping it's at least a good scent.

During the physics exam I gave yesterday, one of my students was sniffing her wristband. She said it had a nice associative scent - reminded her of Christmas - to keep her positive during the exam.

Bread and chocolate chip cookies. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmm...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cozying Up

Spent a big chunk of my weekend cozying up to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. It is beautiful. All of the strips are produced larger than they were originally and on high quality paper. The color is gorgeous. The books themselves are huge, but you get the sense of reading an important tome while flipping through the pages.

I remember reading the first strip in the newspaper, after my brother pointed it out to me. I was immediately hooked. Calvin and Hobbes has helped me through many rough days, and I typically reread the entire collection once each year. I was ready for this new edition, and I'm enjoying it very much.

Friday, October 07, 2005


The Solar System continues to laugh at us - Saturn's moon Hyperion, from Cassini

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Anger Management Therapy

I drove out to Los Angeles last Friday afternoon. It was mostly an uneventful drive, but the fires in L.A. made the Sun an amazing blood red as it set. It was one of those times that I had to chant "don't look at the Sun" over and over, because I really wanted to look for sunspots. Then I arrived at my beloved Kirsten and Aaron's abode, where they took good care of me all weekend.

One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting the new twins! Brian and Amy welcomed twins into the world a few weeks ago. I spent a pleasant hour holding Tristan and Kirsten held Gwendolyn and we had a pleasant conversation with Amy. Tristan was so strong! Babies are so much fun to watch, especially at that early stage. They make little cooing noises and I like to cuddle and coo back - so soothing. I was so happy to meet the new kids and look forward to seeing them again.

But the most glorious part of the weekend was the Nine Inch Nails concert at the Hollywood Bowl with Kirsten and Aaron. Yes, I know, it was the third time this year I've seen them in concert (and it should have been the fourth!). It just gets better and better. Mars rose over the trees during "Only" and from our seats I could see thousands of people responding to the music. I could dance and scream and sing at the top of my lungs - so therapeutic. I don't have any more NIN concerts planned - what will I do now to channel all my rage?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Class Notes

Dear Students,

This is college. That means you should know better than to write notes to each other during class on the exercise you're going to hand in. I don't care that Roger is sweet or that you want to buy flowers for Becky. I am curious, however, if you noticed that the spectra of air and nitrogen are almost identical. Please check your high school behavior at the door, or at the bare minimum, write these little notes on pieces of paper that aren't to be graded. Or do what the rest of your classmates are doing, and text each other.


Bemused Teacher.

Monday, September 26, 2005

No longer

Hopped on the scale this morning and saw good news. As of this morning's weigh-in, I have lost a total of 50 lbs since August 2004. Even better, this puts me in the healthy weight range for my height. I am no longer overweight. Woo!

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Today was a very pleasant and relaxing day. I slept in and then lounged around in my huge robe all morning. We went to see "Corpse Bride", which was quite a lot of fun. Me being me, however, I got the most giddy over seeing the "Harry Potter" trailer. Woo! Much good food was eaten, and with the exception of answering two student emails, I didn't do any work! Yay!!! I hope that all of you had as pleasant a Saturday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I seldom take any personal time off from work. Let's see...I think one time a few years ago I took a Friday off so we could to go Los Angeles for the weekend, and I took off the Friday before the Nebula Awards last year. Two days off in over five years of work - I think that's pretty good, so why do I feel so guilty about getting a substitute to cover two of my classes last night so I could go see Nine Inch Nails?

My guilt did not impede my fun, however. We had floor tickets and we got to the arena early enough to be really close to the stage. Close enough for a short person like me to see Trent up close! Two hours of glorious aggressive music. They played the three songs I've been binging on recently - "The Line Begins to Blur", "Beside You in Time", and "RIght Where It Belongs" from "With Teeth." Somehow we ended up on the edge of the mosh pit, and I have to admit I enjoyed pushing people back into the pit and supporting the other people around me. We started off closer to the stage, but Greg chivalrously extracted me when the pushing got too furious. Not before I elbowed some pushy chick in the jugular, allowing her momentum to drive me into a back strike to her face, where my diamond ring left a lovely gouge in her cheek.

I hadn't felt that good in months.

I have bruises.

Kirsten, Aaron - I'll try to behave when we see NIN in the genteel confines of the Hollywood Bowl, I promise.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Slight Change in Plans

I woke up to news that NIN's drummer had to stop the show last night in San Diego and be hospitalized with heart problems. That meant that the show tonight in Tucson, which I merrily had tickets for, was cancelled. However, the hotel was booked and good mexican food restaurants had been scouted out, so Greg and I drove to Tucson, where I now type this at a pleasant little coffeehouse with WiFi.

We hadn't been to Tucson in years - it's so much bigger now! Every chain store the average American demands populates the 'burbs. Still an ugly city, but we had sublime mexican food (Cafe Poca Cosa), and later we'll head to Bookman's and the Frog and Firkin. A very nice way to spend the day, all in all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Just had a student in my office, crying because she has to fly home where her brother is in the hospital. Hospitalized because he was beaten up pretty badly, probably because he is gay. All I could do was give her a hug and some tissue and reassure her that I'll make certain her astronomy class won't be an additional area of stress.

Doesn't feel like enough.


Polarization isn't just good for sunglasses - the Boomerang Nebula through polarizing filters, from Hubble

Monday, September 12, 2005

Happy Thoughts

One of my students, a young single mother who wants to be an astronomer some day, is in the hospital with a blood clot in her lung. Please direct happy thoughts her way - aim toward central Arizona. Thanks in advance.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I love astronomy. It seems every day there is a discovery which says we must unlearn what we have learned.

Case in point, the first discovered asteroid has some planetary characteristics - just how many "planets" do we have? - Ceres, from Hubble

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fun with Students

I'm in lab currently, watching my students do a kinesthetic exercise. They are the Earth, a light in the center of the room is the Sun, and they each have a Styrofoam ball representing the Moon. They are rotating and moving the ball to mimic the phases of the Moon.

They are also paranoid that, because I have my computer in the room with me, I'm webcasting their antics. Now that they've mentioned it, I think it's a great idea. Hmm...

For those of you keeping track, one student has a Tad Williams novel with him and another has a David Drake book with her.

Update: Another student is reading I, Robot by Asimov. Out of the nineteen students in lab today, at least three are reading SF in their time between classes.

Monday, September 05, 2005


There's really nothing more to say. The images leave words lacking in power, in any case. I just wanted to mention that you should check the websites of your local colleges and universities. Along with the many displaced students of the New Orleans colleges, students in your own towns have been unable to reach loved ones back home. These students will also be lacking in the emotional and financial support they need to continue in school. Local schools in your town will be working to support these students as well as accomodate ones who've lost their schools on the Gulf Coast. Do what you can where you can.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Yet another semester. Yet another discussion of the Earth's precession and long-term variations on the sky. Yet another young woman with her astrological sign tattooed on her ankle asking me if her sign is still "correct".

In front of the whole class, no less. And I'm a horrible liar, so I spoke the truth.

She didn't cry, though. I must admit I'm grateful.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

All in the Family

Borg, Oliphant, Doom, Laser - great last names.

I survived the first week of classes. Hectic, even more so than usual, but I survived. It helps to be surrounded by such supportive students - many ready to learn, many returning from other courses with me, many referrals. My long first day ended with a hug and kiss on the cheek from a former student, whose girlfriend is taking my class. He's referred cousins (including my padawan Carlos) and friends before. My classes have become quite the family affair, actually. There's a sister of a former student, a mother of a former student. One woman asked me if I remembered her husband and, recalling her last name, I shuddered. Remembering her husband, I knew she had to have a good sense of humor. :)

And then some classes just seem like family. For example, my physics course at the university. There are almost 150 people enrolled. Not a problem - I like big rowdy classes. It's just that the course was scheduled in a room with 120 seats. I had students sitting in the aisles! But they were all good-natured about it, and the close quarters facilitated the group exercises I had planned. I'm almost disappointed that they're looking for a larger lecture hall to put us in. This class has the strange feel of an overcrowded family gathering, not something normally associated with physics classes.

Anyways, that's what the first week brought me. All in all, not too shabby.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Just one more!

I know, I already posted one image today, but this is so pretty and I have so much work to avoid! - first quarter Mimas and ringshadows against Saturn, from Cassini


I'm pretty certain I've posted this image before, but so many of my students exclaimed "whoa!" when they saw it this week, I had to share - aurora and volcano in Iceland

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Last night, teaching anxiety dominated my dreams. Showing up late to class. Not having enough copies of my syllabus. Students out of control. General lack of preparedness. Missing a class altogether.


Every semester, I have nightmares before school starts. During the day, I look forward to getting back into the classroom again. I'll be teaching my community college students about the solar system and I get to torment university students with physics! Sounds like fun to me. And last semester, I had a great crop of students, but each semester involves new people and new challenges. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will I do a good job?

I wonder what this semester will bring?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Have I posted this image before? Will I post it again? Both are likely, as I love to lose myself in crowds - the core of globular cluster Omega Centauri, from Hubble

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Mars is too beautiful and strange to believe - sand dunes on large crater floor, from Mars Global Surveyor

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Before and After

On August 10, 2004, I decided to take control of my weight. One year and 47 lbs later, you can see the results for yourself:

All Hail Weight Watchers! And, many thanks to Greg for all of his support.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Losing It

Earlier this week I found myself exposing parts of my underwear in public. It was all very innocent, really. I was being fitted by a tailor who is taking in several of my skirts. It's just that she works out of a dry cleaners and as she was pinning my skirts sometimes the top of my underwear was visible as people were dropping off their cleaning. It was surreal. Almost as surreal as the fact that one of my skirts is being taken in almost 2 inches...on each side! And yesterday I purchased a skirt and blouse, each three dress sizes smaller than I was wearing this time last year. Woo!

Galactic Zoo

Many of these galaxies had not been seen previously - the latest release, from Hubble

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My California

Just got back from a blissful few days with Greg along the Central California coast. The Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur area is a special place for me. It's where my father would take us if he really wanted to splurge to make my mother happy (she loves the ocean), and Greg and I have had some amazing trips there. It's also the region that most represents California for me. I'm a California native, and whereas some people think of Hollywood and traffic as best describing my home state, the following images are of regions that evoke it best for me. Hope you enjoy.

Pt. Lobos

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Pfieffer Beach

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A New Place

I've decided to make this site my blog for now. Oh, trust me, there'll still be plenty of space images. It is me, after all.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

X-ray vision

Before the boom - Comet Tempel 1, from Chandra

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Not very well-rounded - Saturn's moon, Mimas, from Cassini

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Quite a bang - heat generated by contact, from Deep Impact

Monday, July 04, 2005


Hitting a comet causes quite the show - aftermath of Deep Impact, from Hubble

Sunday, July 03, 2005

So close

...yet so far - Europe meets Africa, from Terra

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Defrosting carbon dioxide leaves dark spots behind - south polar sand dunes, from Mars Global Surveyor

Friday, July 01, 2005


Part of the real "Grand Canyon"- Coprates Chasma and Coprates Catena, from Mars Express

Thursday, June 30, 2005


I still don't see the shape - the Crab Nebula, from Spitzer

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


What does the dark blot look like to you? - possible lake on Titan, from Cassini

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Eye of Sauron

Greg thinks this image looks like the Eye of Sauron - dusty ring (and spiky image artifacts) around Fomalhaut, from Hubble

Monday, June 27, 2005

Early Fireworks

Exhibiting a jet, one week before Deep Impact is scheduled to smach into the comet - Comet Tempel 1, from Hubble

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Sometimes, everything just lines up - Saturn, Dione, Epimetheus, from Cassini

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


It's hot here, too - Mercury, from Mariner

Monday, May 23, 2005

X-ray Moon

Fluorescence due to sunlight- the Moon, from Chandra

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Seen in more detail than ever before, from a spacecraft that was just passing by - Jupiter, from Cassini

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Varied terrain due to liquid water underneath? - ice rafts on Europa, from Galileo

Friday, May 20, 2005


Sunset on Mars - Gusev crater vista, from Spirit

Thursday, May 19, 2005


For all of us who have dreamed under double suns - Albireo, from Pomona College astronomy students

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Making Waves

Ripples caused by gravity - a new moon in Saturn's rings, from Cassini

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Back On Duty

After work made me feel like I was spiraling - a new view of the Sombrero galaxy, from Spitzer

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Illuminated peaks and swirls - the inner region of the Trifid nebula, from Hubble

Friday, April 15, 2005


Some prefer to munch on geometric objects - Centaurus A, from Spitzer

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Shuttle, satellites, and us - the view from STS113

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Dimly lit by its parent planet - Saturn's moon Dione, from Cassini

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Eye!!!

I find this image very disturbing - Saturn's moon Tethys, from Cassini

Monday, April 11, 2005


Toiling away - Viking crater on Mars, from Opportunity