BAN #71: Following Kim, Exterminating me

December 17, 2018 Issue #71

Subscribers allow me to afford more coal for stockings.


Follow o’ the Letter

Someone you should follow on social media

I know a lot of science communicators, oddly enough. Some are new to me, and some I’ve known a long time. I’ve been doing this since the mid-1990s, so some of these folks have been friends for 20 years or more.

I met Kimberly Kowal Arcand when I was at Sonoma State University doing outreach for some high-energy NASA satellites like Swift and Fermi. She did (and still does) outreach for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA’s Great Observatories, a workhorse that looks at active galaxies, black holes, pulsars, young stars, and anything that blasts out X-rays into the Universe. A lot of the outreach from these different satellites were tied together, and I quickly learned that Kim knew her stuff.

She’s Chandra’s Visualization Lead, which means she takes the data from the ‘scope and turns it into the lovely images you can see on the CXO website. She also gives lots of talks and presentations about Chandra as well as visualization in astronomy — you can read about her outreach and achievements on her Wikipedia page.

She’s written several books with another friend, Megan Watzke — the press officer for Chandra —  which are terrific. You can find the list here. I’ve read all of them (including the gorgeous Coloring the Universe, which they both wrote with a third friend of mine, astronomer Travis Rector). All or any of these would make good (last minute!) holiday gifts, hint hint.

She is a wonderful voice for science and astronomy. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook (which I won’t link to since I quit it recently, but you can find her easily enough!). Give her a follow!


Apropos of nothing

Not everything needs to be themed

That moment when you’re in the Mojave Desert recording a science show and you realize you’re about to be exterminated.

[Credit: Phil Plait]


Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

Monday Dec. 10, 2018: A cluster of clusters: The globulars of Coma

Tuesday Dec. 11, 2018: The Geminids are coming! Here's how to watch one of the best meteor showers of the year. (did you see any?)

Wednesday Dec. 12, 2018: What flattened this Martian crater?

Thursday Dec. 13, 2018: How far away can you see a meteor? (incidentally, paid subscribers saw me answer this question first in Issue 48).

Friday Dec. 14, 2018: Warp into a galaxy


Et alia

You can email me at thebadastronomer@gmail.com (though replies can take a while), and all my social media outlets are gathered together at about.me. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to this newsletter! And feel free to tell a friend or nine, too. Thanks!