Bad Astronomy

Q & BA

Announcing a new feature on the Bad Astronomy Blog!

I’m starting a new feature on this blog: video answers to reader questions! Do you have a burning question about astronomy you want answered by a real live™ professional astronomer? Or by me instead?

Now’s your chance. Send them to me (instructions are below), and I’ll pick one question per week and answer it via the webcam. I’ll then post the video here on the BA Blog.

I call it…

Q & BA.

Get it? Yeah, I know. But it’s the best I could do for now.

Here’s a video intro to what this is all about:

All the info you need is below. I will post the first video answer on Monday, February 5. So read the instructions below and start sending in those head-scratchers today!

How does this work?

All you have to do, my BABloggees, is to send me questions about astronomy – whatever you want to know. What’s the largest telescope in the world? How do we know how hot stars are? Why are so many astronomers so gosh-darn smart, funny, and wonderfully good-looking?

Maybe you have a bad astronomy question. Is the Moon hollow? I saw a movie where there was a lunar eclipse the day after the Moon was new; is that possible? Why won’t Hoagland simply admit that he’s totally 100% incontrovertibly wrong?

Any and all astronomy questions are fair game. A caveat, though: please search the main BA site and see if I’ve answered the question before. Original questions will get more weight. Also, remember that I will answer these via webcam, so try to ask something that I can answer in 2 minutes or so. Things like “Explain the history of the Universe” may very well get skipped, unless I can come up with something funny (like, “Google search ‘Great Green Arkleseizure’”).

My limited capabilities include editing video and using still images, crappy models, hand-drawn pictures I can hold up to the webcam, and so on. Don’t expect some slick NASA production. It’s just me and my webcam. And your questions!

I’ll post a new answer every Monday morning (actually, probably more like Sunday night). Remember, the first one goes up on Monday February 5, from questions I receive this week.

How to submit a question:

There are two methods to submit a question. You can email me at thebadastronomer “at” gmail “dot” com (replace the “at” and the “dot” with their symbols), or, if you’re more of an exhibitionist, you can post the question to the Bad Astronomy/Universe Today Bulletin Board. I have created a thread in the Questions and Answers section, and it’s a sticky, meaning it will always be near the top of the page.

I will read your question on the webcam and answer it as best I can. If you don’t want your name to be used, I suggest you email me and state that specifically. Otherwise I’ll use your name together with your city and state (or whatever the local equivalent is). Like, “Neil Tyson from New York New York asks…”. You get the picture.

Why am I doing this?

Lots of reasons, actually. One is that I really just like answering questions. I get zillions of emails, and I can’t answer them all, so why not increase that load?

Wait. Nuts. Oh well, too late now.

Also, I enjoy working in front of a camera. Answering email is fun, but being able to set up a repository of answered questions seems like even more fun.

Also, I plan on ruling the world, or at the least the online astronomy aspect of it, and this seems like a good way to start.

That’s it!

I’ve added an image on the right hand sidebar that says “Q & BA”. Clicking on it will take you back to this post.

So send me those questions, and I’ll see you on the webcam! Well, I guess you’ll see me on the webcam and not the other way around. But you get the point. Just send me those questions!