Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA
Pasadena, CA – Back in the 1970s, biologists were amazed to discover a form of life they never expected. Tiny microorganisms with ancient DNA were living in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. Instead of dissolving in the boiling waters, the microbes were thriving, ringing the springs with vibrant color.
Scientists coined the term extremophile, which means “extreme-loving”, to describe the creatures–and the hunt was on for more. Soon, extremophiles were found living in deep Antarctic ice, the cores of nuclear reactors, and other unexpected places. Biology hasn’t been the same since.
Could astronomy be on the verge of a similar transformation?
This composite (radio+UV) image shows long octopus-like arms of star formation stretching far away from the main disk of spiral galaxy M83. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/VLA/MPIA)
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You guys? This is hard.
I haven’t spent any significant amounts of time here since high school, my old friends have scattered to various parts of the country for one reason or another, and so I really feel as if I’m starting over in a new city. In the short time that I’ve been back I’ve managed to find two jobs and procure myself this column, but I’m still trying to figure out how 20-somethings new to the area meet people and get involved in the community.
And oh, it pains me to admit it, but meeting people in Clarksville has so far proved surprisingly harder than I thought it would. And I just don’t understand it.
When I got here about three weeks ago, fresh from 2 weeks in my most recent home of New York City and nine months of gallivanting around Latin America, I had high hopes for a summer—the first in about 5 years—spent in my surrogate home town, the place where I went to middle and high school, the place I swore I’d never live in again.
It’s just that I like cities. Big cities. I like art and music and literature and feminist activism and multiculturalism. For these reasons, I like New York. I like Barcelona. I like Oaxaca and Mexico City—all cities where I have lived or spent much time in since graduating from Northeast in 2003 and heading north of the Mason-Dixon/south of the border. «Read the rest of this article»