Well, "celebrity" is in the eye of the beholder, I guess, but Phil Plait is an astronomical celebrity. Besides several books, including his breakout "Bad Astronomy" where he debunks many astronomical myths and misconceptions, he also writes a daily blog called "Bad Astronomy" for Slate.
he wrote a post about taking a short video clip of the sun, and from the appearance of the contrail, surmised he had just missed the jet crossing the sun's disk. I sent him an e-mail telling him if he wanted to see a real catch, to check out Melinda's image of an F-18 crossing the sun taken moments before the annual solar eclipse in May of 2012 at the Grand Canyon. That image, shown here, blew his mind - his response: "That. Is. Amazing. ", and wanted to use it in his blog. So today, Melinda got her shout-out on the Bad Astronomy blog. Of course, we had blogged about that shot when it was first taken - Melinda was doing some test shots with a 210mm focal length zoom, and by luck just happened to catch it. The shot is a full-resolution crop, because that focal length doesn't provide much image size, but the 1/2000 second exposure froze the jet's motion for a great shot...
Phil's blog on Slate is one of my daily reads. Not only does he argue against the noise against global warming and for intelligent design, but as a former teacher and scientist, explains the observations of the world he and other readers make. A recent example was refuting some YouTube yahoos saying that the recent snowfall in the Atlanta area wasn't snow because a snowball wouldn't melt, and, in fact smoked when held against a lighter! He made his own video showing that the melted snow was reabsorbed by the snowball and the smoke was from unburned hydrocarbons from the lighter. So add him to your list of daily readings and join in. Yaay Phil - get after 'em!
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