Astrosplash – My Blog

The Human Computer: Katherine Johnson’s Story

The story of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson is one of a kind that must be told. She was born in the United States in 1918, a time marked by racial segregation and inequality. An exceptional mathematician, graduating from college when she was just 18, she began working for NASA in the early 1950s, in... Continue Reading →

Astronomy with Social Impact: Discover the Solar System

A few months ago I decided to begin a new adventure together with some friends that share with me the belief that knowledge is humanity's most important resource. We created a small publishing start-up, called Quaternion, whose mission is to "increase the global scientific literacy as a means to support and promote education among the... Continue Reading →

Life on Venus: Media Hype or Serious Possibility?

Venus atmosphere observed in ultraviolet. Some strange dark bands of unknown origin become visible, suggesting a ultraviolet absorbing material circulating at few tens of kilometres altitude. Ultraviolet absorbing pigments in microbial life has been speculated to be a possible origin for these bands. On September 14, 2020, a new paper appeared in the prestigious peer-reviewed... Continue Reading →

Are gravitational waves spinning down PSR J1023+0038?

The pulsar J1203+0038 rotates with a frequency ν ≈ 592 Hz and has been observed to transition between a radio state, during which it is visible as a millisecond radio pulsar, and and a Low Mass X-ray Binary state, during which accretion powered X-ray pulsations are visible. Timing during the two phases reveals that during... Continue Reading →

A Deep Pulse Search in Eleven Low Mass X-Ray Binaries

We present a systematic coherent X-ray pulsation search in eleven low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). We select a relatively broad variety of LMXBs, including persistent and transient sources and spanning orbital periods between 0.3 and 17 hours. We use about 3.6 Ms of data collected by the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and XMM-Newton and... Continue Reading →

Fermi Paradox and Superintelligence 2: The Small Colonies Hypothesis

Let's resume our discussion on the implications of the Fermi paradox on superintelligence. As I said in my previous article, any civilization that masters space travel and achieves the possibility of build megastructures, must have developed superintelligence as a prerequisite. This consideration is based on an extrapolation of our current technological level and on reasonable... Continue Reading →

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