Monday, December 19, 2011

The scientific process at work, example 1:

Seriously, when I get sick of biology, I am going to go and be a physicist for a while. Anyway.
So the Kepler telescope is up in the sky discovering planets orbiting other suns by the dozen. and by the look of it, it's playing merry havoc with theories of the astrophysicists. This is the part of science I think, sadly, most of the general public doesn't see. Most only get to see wide and inaccurate generalizations from individual studies, generally poorly presented in the mainstream press. Which is sad, because this is the interesting bit of science, where what we thought we knew about how things work, doesn't explain what is currently in front of us. So all the astrophysicists, confronted with large planets orbiting closely around stars when they thought that large planets should mainly form further out from stars have to scurry away and try and figure out what the hell is actually going on. End result: a better model and a greater understanding of how things work.

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