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Scott Lewis
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Scott Lewis

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Want to know more about today's big +Hubble Space Telescope discovery?

Join +Katie Mack and me as we have another episode of Conversations with an Astrophysicist, digging into the exciting world of gravitational lensing. 

We've already looked over the amount of material we want to cover and know that it'll be more than one episode, so bring your questions and comments so we can make sure to get to them in one way or another! 
As we've seen in the news a lot lately between the "Smiley Face Cluster" and the amazing image by the +Hubble Space Telescope showing four instances of a supernova in one image! There have been a multitude of questions about how these amazing phenomena are observed and what causes them to happen.

Well have no fear, Dr. +Katie Mack and +Scott Lewis are back with another episode of Conversations with an Astrophysicist to discuss what gravitational lensing is and how it works, not to mention the different types of it there are and what we can learn from it!

The show will go live at 0500 UTC on 7 March 2015 (Just in case the event page doesn't change the time/date for you automatically)

We'll have the Q&A app installed and ready for you to ask your questions, possibly having them answered on-air! As always, you can send us tweets beforehand:

Dr. Katie Mack:
Scott Lewis:

#Space   #Astronomy   #Cosmology   #GravitationalLensing   #DarkMatter   #HangoutsOnAir   #ScienceEveryday  
This Hangout On Air is hosted by KnowTheCosmos. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Conversations with an Astrophysicist - Gravitational Lensing
Tomorrow, March 7, 12:00 AM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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What they don't tell you about becoming a scientist

All those years of painfully and meticulously making sure your grades are up to snuff, getting undergrad and graduate research completed, attending conferences and giving talks and teaching classes all while truing to finish your PhD... All of that, and more, does not even come close to guaranteeing you a career in science.

It saddens me to say, but I know quite a few absolutely brilliant, passionate and hard-working people with advanced doctoral degrees that are painfully struggling against the many roadblocks set before them in getting a career.

Definitely worth a read and may open your eyes to what those with a PhD have to go through just to be employed. It might surprise you.

#Science #STEM #Careers 
A lifetime of study and preparation are no guarantee of success for PhDs when they hit the job market. Things can and should be improved.
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Get the latest news about Dawn visiting Ceres!

The press conference at +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is starting now! Come find out what's happening Dawn and it's pending arrival to the dwarf planet! 

This artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft heading toward the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn spent nearly 14 months orbiting Vesta, the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, from 2011 to 2012. Full Image and Caption | Standard Podcast: Play animation ...
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I has a sad

You will be missed, Mr. Nimoy. Thank you for all of your inspiring work.

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+brian scott sparks  you are wellcome scott nice talking with you if you have time come to indonesia  i will acompany you get visiting tourist places in indonesia
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Super Important: Check to see you're not infected

I'm utterly disgusted by the practices of +Lenovo, whom I've been a happy and enthusiastic customer of. My past two laptops have been through them and, by and large, I've been a fairly happy customer. 

That is until I've come to find out that they've been intentionally installing root level certificates into their latest batch of machines (starting around Sept 2014). 

You don't necessarily need to know the ins and outs of why this is bad, but yes... it's extremely bad. It spoofs your secured Internet connection to sites with its own certificate in order to gather information to bring you "an enhanced shopping experience." 

The problem is, it also leaves an enormous gaping hole in your security which is all too easy for anybody on the same network as you, say... at a cafe (where I like to do my work)... dig around your machine and get all sorts of information about you. 

Thankfully, there's been a free tool created by Filippo Valsorda which sniffs to make sure your secure connections are secure. It takes about 10 seconds to load in your browser and just lets you know if SuperFish is detected on your machine. 

Check it out here: 

I'm very thankful that I'm not one of the victims of Lenovo, and trust me when I say that I will not be purchasing another machine from them, ever. Not only were they negligent when putting this in, but their response has been deplorable and disgusting. 

Though I'm happy with the hardware on my current Lenovo, I'll gladly fork over a few hundred more dollars in the future to make sure that a company isn't selling its soul and my security to whomever it wants to go to bed with for measly ad revenue. 

#Lenovo   #SuperFish   #InternetSecurity   #MalWare   #SpyWare   #AdWare   #Security  
Also in Slate: How to Tell if You Have Superfish, and How to Kill It Techies Are in an Uproar Over Ultra-Sketchy Adware Pre-Installed on Lenovo Laptops When Lenovo preinstalled Superfish adware on its laptops, it betrayed its customers and sold out their security. It did it for no good...
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Worst bit was them saying there was no security problem doing this. Now we know they're either lying or supid. Not good traits in some one we want to buy things from.
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When one supernova shows up as four

Dark matter still manages to blow my mind! Images just released a few minutes ago by the +Hubble Space Telescope reveal a single supernova showing up in four separate areas of an image due the distortion of space-time caused by the dark matter of an enormous galaxy cluster.

Want to know more? Well check out the press release below, but we'll also be discussing this image in 30 minutes as part of today's #HubbleHangout !

RSVP here:
Supernova split into four images

Through the amazing power of gravitational lensing, the light from a single supernova over 9 billion light-years away was spit into four separate instances in a recent image taken by Hubble. 

The cause for the gravitational lens is believed to be the dark matter that permeates the cosmos and makes up roughly 85% of the all matter in the Universe. Though astronomers have seen this before and are studying it through programs like +Frontier Fields, this particular image is very interesting.

The explanation for seeing four instances of a single supernova is known as an "Einstein Cross," which means that not only is the light passing through the large amount of dark matter in the galaxy cluster, but also interacting with the gravity from the foreground elliptical galaxy!

To find out more about this amazing discovery, check out the press release below. 

This is also the topic of today's #HubbleHangout at noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern. +Tony Darnell, Dr. +Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis will be speaking with scientists involved in this discovery and you can RSVP to the event here:

#Hubble25 #ScienceEveryday #Hubble #Supernova #GravitationalLensing #FrontierFields  
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Dawn is arriving at Ceres!

The press conference just wrapped, but you can see the beautiful new images and data about the #Dawn  mission here:

Dawn is a remarkable mission for many reasons including its triple ion-propulsion engine and the fact that it's visited two planetary bodies within its mission: #Vesta  and now #Ceres

The beginning of Dawn's insertion into orbit will begin on 6 March 2015 at around 4am Pacific time, but since it'll be on the dark side of Ceres, scientists at +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory won't get word back until it gets back into line-of-sight with Earth and the Deep Space Network. 

Huge tip of the hat to the +Dawn Mission Education and Communications (E/C) team for keeping the public in the know about the brilliant things that the Dawn spacecraft is doing and will continue to learn about #Ceres  for many months to come!

#Space   #Astronomy   #PlanetaryScience   #NASA   #JPL   #DwarfPlanet  
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Good morning, racism

So last night, I was extremely fortunate to be invited to a lovely, low-key Oscar party in Hollywood by +Liz Landau​. This is not something I typically pay attention to, but it was a fun experience and I was super happy about the amount of social activism that was brought up by various actors, actresses, musicians, screenwriters and directors through the event.

However, just as the Internet always seems to be, there are always asinine trolls that come along to spout their ignorant two cents on the matter.

Now, don't get me wrong, there was plenty of things that could have been said better, in particular with Ms. Arquette's oblivious statements on wage inequality, phrased in a way that people of color and gays should, somehow, pay white women back for the amount of support they've given in the past. I'm still researching that, but was still bad form and forgets to mention that even though white women make ~$0.73 to every white man's $1.00, the disparity is even larger between black women (~$0.64) and Hispanic/Latina (~$0.53). (Source:

And then I received this lovely tweet this morning (before my coffee! The nerve!) Brilliantly displaying willful ignorance and blatant racism regarding the incarceration rate of black men in America. Just....why? Free speech doesn't count here, really. Please feel free to spout your bigotry on your own property, just don't drag me into it.

So even though I left the Oscar party pretty excited about the many mentions of social issues, including suicide prevention, equal pay, ALS and Alzheimer's awareness, racial inequality and its continued battle, just to name s few... I should always remember that the internet will strike back in their own close-minded ways.

Steps forward and steps back. Ebbs and flows of progress. I'm thrilled that these important topics are being openly discussed in the mainstream, and yes... That does mean having to interact with those that disagree. However, let's at least attempt to hold a civil discourse on the matter. Using a broad brush of "Thuggin" vs "learnin" is rude, offensive and full of so many flaws. We can do this better.
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Closing comments on this thread as it's gone pretty far off topic.

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Exciting new news from +Hubble Space Telescope, which is the topic of today's #HubbleHangout !

Join us, we're going live in 10 minutes! 
Debris Disk around Beta Pictoris Disturbed by exoplanet's gravity

The large exoplanet around Beta Pictoris was first discovered in 2009 and has an orbital period short enough that astronomers have been able to use the Hubble Space Telescope to directly observe disturbances in the debris disk surrounding the star that's 63.4 light-years away from our solar system.

The image captured by Hubble is in visible light with added data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. 

For more information, check out the press release here:

This will also be the topic of this week's #HubbleHangout , which will go live at noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern Time. 

RSVP to the event:
YouTube Direct Link:

#ScienceEveryday   #Hubble   #Exoplanet   #Hubble25   #ALMA  
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Science Communicator, Astronomy Supplemental Instructor, Hangout On Air Producer & Host, Researcher, Writer
Live and recorded video host. Science Education & Public Outreach. Writing. Video & Audio Editing. Online & In-Person Marketing/Networking.
  • Space Fan News
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    CoHost of the Weekly Show: "The Virtual Star Party". Producing roles include reaching out to new citizen astronomers from across the globe, work with them on the technical side of ensure hardware and software work efficiently to share their view from their telescope into the Hangout On Air. Marketing the Google Events and Shows across multiple social media platforms.
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Lover and perpetual student of astrophysics. Just a piece of the cosmos trying to understand itself. 

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