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At the Supernova Remnants II conference – another session

During a session – from a galaxy far far away – at the Supernova Remnants II conference in Chania, Greece 2019 (photo/editing by A. Manousakis).

Mixing a transient object with … Mars!

In the Astronomer’s Telegram #11448 [1] it is announced that a very bright (almost 1st magnitude) transient object is found between the Lagoon and the Trifid nebulae. No other object has been found in the region and the source itself was not visible some days earlier.

Within less than an hour later a second follow up telegram (#11449) informs the community that the transient object is … Mars !

It goes without saying that errors are for humans. But this one shows that every astronomer has to have a basic grasp of the night sky at least.

[1] http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=11448
[2] http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=11449

Jobs in Astronomy by Peblo

How easy is it really to find a job in Astronomy?

To find out check the following illustration by by Peblo, describing job applications:

Extrapolating for the new post-doc position

The idea of this post came to me on my second or third day in Chile when I noticed its flag on some boats. As today is my last day at work, perhaps it is the best (and last) opportunity to make a post about it. (So, practically it is either now or never.)

My previous post-doc position was at Ondrejov village, very close to Prague, Czech Republic. My current position is at Valparaiso of Chile. Now let us place their flags next to each other :

Czech Republic Chile

Taking into account the places also we (at least I) notice some similarities:
I. Both countries start with “C”: Czech Republic and Chile.
II. Each flag is split in three regions with the same colors, i.e. blue on the left, white on top and red at the bottom. [The small white star in Chile’s flag is not statistically important compared to the whole flag pattern.]
III. Both places are close to an UNESCO monument city, i.e. Prague and Valparaiso.
IV. There should be an appropriate workplace in Astronomy (e.g. the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Universidad de Valparaiso).

So, given that I have been to post-doc positions in places with those characteristics, then it is reasonable (what??!!??!) to extrapolate my future track. Let’s see where can I be next.

First, countries starting with “C”:
1. There is Cuba with a slightly different like flag, with alternate blue and white stripes. Havana is an UNESCO heritage city. But there are no job offers in Astronomy. So it is 2.712/4.000 criteria satisfied.

2. Next, there is Croatia, with a different style of flag, with stripes (from top to bottom: red, white, blue) and a big coat of arms. As far as UNESCO cities there is the famous city of Dubrovnik and Trogir, but again no Astronomical institute nearby (by the way I found this historic overview by Garaj 1999, ARSE Conf, 44). In this case we are at 2.187/4.000 criteria satisfied.

With these two countries we actually run out of “C” countries. Then we are left to explore similar flags among other countries.
3. Philippines has almost the same flag to Czech Republic but with only a slight color rearrangement between the triangle (white) and the top stripe (blue). [There is a small symbol within the white triangle but we consider that its significance is rather low compared to the importance of style and colors – similar to what we assumed for Chile’s flag.] There is the historic town of Vigan, but again no astronomical opportunities around this area. So approximately at 2.123/4.000 criteria satisfied.

And then we have practically run out of options, since all other flags have either similar styles but different colors (e.g. Jordan,Sudan), or they have the same colors but with total different styles, such as vertical (e.g. France, Thailand), horizontal stripes (e.g. Russia, Paraguay), and totally different patterns (e.g. USA, UK). So, even though we can find UNESCO cities and astronomical facilities in those countries, these score at most 2.111/4.000.

Thus, we (i.e. I) conclude that there is not an appropriate place (with a score more than 3.455/4.000) that I could continue as a post-doc based on my track so far. In lack of such an option I will have to move to Heraklion (Crete, Greece) up to further changes in the countries that will allow me to reconsider my options!

LambdaCDM vs. MOND

Even though the fight between Lambda(Λ)CDM and MOND theories is a confirmed fact, automatic processes (like listing of new arxiv papers) make it more … provocative and/or funny.


The equivalent of 1 erg

A very common unit of energy in Astronomy is erg. There are stellar sources that emit up to 1040 erg/s (or even more for galaxies). But, how could we understand “how much” erg is? An interesting and funny example is given in the Wikipedia [1]:

“An erg is approximately the amount of work done (or energy consumed) by one common house fly performing one “push up”, the leg-bending dip that brings its mouth to the surface on which it stands and back up”

Will you ever forget that ?

[1] Erg, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Erg&oldid=668792761 (last visited July 28, 2015) – after ref. 2: Filippenko, Alex, Understanding the Universe (of The Great Courses, on DVD), Lecture 44, time 24:30, The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, USA, 2007

NASA’s close look on Pluto (by Peblo)

Even though New Horizons has just passed from Pluto and sent us some magnificent images, it didn’t manage to uncover all the details of Pluto.

Luckily, PEBLO give us another great view of Pluto:

Pluto by Peblo