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Philip Plait (The Bad Astronomer)
Works at Slate Magazine
Attended University of Virginia
Lives in Boulder, CO


What lies beneath... Iowa?

Turns out, a pretty big impact crater from long, long ago.
Phil Plait looks at impact craters on Earth and examines evidence of an impact crater caused by an asteroid which hit Iowa 470 million years ago
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How to survive a black hole

Advice you don't normally get: If you want to survive a close encounter with a supermassive black hole, bring a friend. A close friend!
We think every big galaxy has one at its heart, and the bruiser in the Milky Way’s dead center has a mass 4.3 million times that of the Sun. As you might imagine, the environment around it is a mess. There’s gas and dust everywhere, and quite a few stars...
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So beautiful !!!
Just waouhhhh !!!👌
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Mars and the Comet

On Sunday, the comet Siding Spring will pass Mars at the ridiculously close distance of 130,000 km. Tons of observations are planned, and I'll gave updates on my blog as they come in.
On Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at about 18:30 UTC (14:30 Eastern), Mars will experience a very close encounter with a comet.  The comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass just about 130,000 km (80,000 miles) from the surface of Mars. There is no danger of an impact, but the planet...
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Muito lindo 
 ·  Translate
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It looks like we now have photos of ice on Mercury.

Wait. What?

Yup. Water ice, on the closest planet to the Sun. Nature is really, really tricksy sometimes.
The last place in the solar system you’d expect to find ice (except maybe on the Sun, duh) is Mercury. Rocky, barren, airless, and very, very hot, Mercury doesn’t sound like the ideal location for storing vast quantities of frozen water. But in the 1990s evidence started coming in that...
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Theres a cool science fiction novel here somewhere. I suspect the habitable zone in those craters is very narrow.
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Science Stated Clearly

Creationist: There is no evidence for evolution!

Me: Yeah, about that...
Here at BA Central, we’re* big supporters of evidence-based reality and using science as a way to collect and weigh that evidence. The problem is that a lot of science isn’t well understood by the public for a large number of reasons; some folks blame the education system, which certainly...
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In the article you suggest that creationists disbelieve evolution because they only hear a straw man version of it.

Though that's no doubt a factor, I think the problem goes deeper. I think that they feel a need to validate their belief system, and that means discrediting anything that conflicts with it.
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Undulatus asperatus

Oh, I love weird and gorgeous clouds, and none is weirder or gorgeouser than undulatus asperatus, rolling wave clouds that look like you're underwater during rough seas. The photo is amazing but you HAVE to watch the video.

Also, check out Slate's Atlas Obscura, which covers lots of stuff like this.
I have been known, over the course of the past few years, to post pictures of the odd cloud or two. And I do mean odd. Sometimes they’re photos I’ve taken myself (and some of which have been very difficult to identify), sometimes they’re from machines in space, and sometimes...
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Philip Plait (The Bad...

Thank you for sharing that it was absolutely amazing I'm still dumbfounded........!
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Announcing Crash Course Astronomy!

I am very, very pleased to announce that I'm working with Hank Green on a new educational video series: Crash Course Astronomy! I'm writing and hosting it, and we'll cover everything from the Earth to the edge of the visible Universe.
I’ve been hinting for some time about a secret project I’ve been working on, and the time has finally come to announce it: I’m writing and hosting an online astronomy video series! The series will air on the PBS Digital Studios YouTube network starting in January, and — get this...
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So great project !!!
New dreams will come True! ✌
Good Luck Mr.Philip Plait and Mr.Hank Green!
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Watch the Moon eat the Sun on Thursday!

There's a very nice partial solar eclipse on Thursday afternoon for the US & Canada. Here's what you need to know to watch it:
On the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun. What we’ll see is a partial solar eclipse, where the Moon passes along a chord of the Sun’s face, never completely blocking it out. At maximum eclipse the Sun will look like a...
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Right on thanks :-) :-)
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BROWNCOATS! Must-see fan-made Firefly video!

Seriously, if you are a Firefly fan, you have to watch this extremely well-made short video, called "The 'verse",  that takes place in the same Universe but with a different ship and crew. It's great.
Firefly went off the air over a decade ago now*, but even with the movie Serenity there’s been a Mal-shaped hole in the hearts of fans, including me. Perhaps now that cavity can be filled in a little bit. The company Lootcrate, with producer and director Julian Higgins, has created...
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Nicely true to the flavour of the original.  (And yes, that is the correct spelling pf flavour). :-)
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To Pluto... AND BEYOND!

The New Horizons space probe now has a new flyby target after it visits Pluto: an iceball six billion kilometers from the Sun.
In July of 2015, the New Horizons space probe will whiz past Pluto, traveling at 40,000 kilometers per hour. For several weeks before and after the close flyby—it’ll pass within 10,000 km above the tiny world’s surface—it will examine Pluto, its moons, and the environment around it. But this is...
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So fantastic work !!!
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Two Hundred Billion Stars

When we say the Milky Way has 200 billion stars in it, what do we mean?

This. We mean this.
The sheer scale of space is overwhelming. Oh, sure, we have words to make it more palatable, like “light years” — as if a distance of 10 trillion kilometers is graspable by our puny simian brains. And when I think about our galaxy, the Milky Way, I know that it’s 100,000...
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Just nothing...💖

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It was a very beautiful site to experience. 
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Blogger, public speaker, author
  • Slate Magazine
    Blogger, 2012 - present
  • Astronomer, writer, blogger, speakerer, antiscience crusher
  • Discover Magazine
    Blogger, 2008 - 2012
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Boulder, CO
Greenbelt, MD - Springfield, VA - Rohnert Park, CA - Charlottesville, VA - Ann Arbor, MI - Houston, TX
I write about the Universe.
I'm an astronomer, blogger, father, dork, husband, author, biped, late adopter, public speaker, skeptic, punster, and science evangelizer. I'm a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Stargate. 

I suppose I could've just said "I'm a geek" and been done with it. 

I write the Bad Astronomy Blog for Discover Magazine, and have two books: "Bad Astronomy", and "Death from the Skies!". I also hosted the three part mini-series documentary "Bad Universe" on Discovery channel, and I've done a bunch of talking head stints on various science documentaries like "How the Universe Works", "Engineering the Universe", and others. 

In short: I love thinking about astronomy, I love talking about astronomy, I love writing about astronomy, and I love doing astronomy.
Bragging rights
I used to be taller.
  • University of Virginia
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Other names
The Bad Astronomer