The Nightly News
An Astronomy blog by Joe Bauman, Salt Lake City
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  1. Blog 64: Nature's laws
    07 Oct, 2018
    Blog 64: Nature's laws
    During my years as a newspaper science reporter, I sometimes asked astronomers and physicists a question that still puzzles me: natural laws govern everything from radiation released by atomic bombs to the combinations of molecules, from galaxy shapes to ripples in a pond -- were these rules present at the time of the Big Bang, before a single atom had formed? That is, do the rules predate the objects they govern? A saying by the rebel priest John Ball (who lived from about 1338 until his
  2. Blog 58: Nature's geometry
    07 Aug, 2018
    Blog 58: Nature's geometry
    The first time I read Walden all the way through, I thought Henry David Thoreau was stretching a comparison beyond its breaking point. In the chapter "Spring," he writes, with quotations chosen from two separated paragraphs, "Few phenomena gave me more delight than to observe the forms which thawing sand and clay assume in flowing down the sides of a deep cut on the railroad through which I passed on my way to the village. ... Innumerable little streams overlap and interlace with one another,
  3. Blog 24: Weather or not
    07 Aug, 2017
    Blog 24: Weather or not
    I was excited about an astronomy expedition. It was a valuable opportunity. Bad weather with rainstorms that flooded a basement closet, and events that required my presence such as the dedication of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society’s new observatory and Mike Clements’ telescope, had claimed all my evenings during July’s new moon period -- until then, Friday-Saturday night, July 28-29. Beyond that chance, the remaining dark nights in July and early August were out of the equation for the

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