Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

The X Prize:

For pure space age weirdness, it’s hard to beat Burt Rutan’s White Knight and SpaceShipOne.

The new spaceship looks like a pair of giant insects mating. Strange insects at that.

This is not your grandfather’s rocket ship.

Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

I’ve always loved what seems to me to be the fundamental coolness of science – the idea of seeing things no one’s ever seen before. That’s what hooked me on this:

Training their telescopes on it repeatedly over the years, they saw an expanding shell of matter thrown off by the blast. Astronomers have seen such a shell before, but when they pointed a cluster of radio telescopes at NGC891 in November 2002 and again last June, they saw something new.

At the center of the expanding shell of gas was another tiny new dot. Something small but bright had formed at the very center of the void left by the expanding blast.

Dr. Rupen was good enough to play along. “That’s why we do astronomy,” he said.