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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Dating Craters

By Phil Plait
How are craters like tree rings? Credit: Meg Rosenburg, from the video

One of my favorite things about science communication is how many people are now doing it, and how many of them are really good at it.

Take Meg Rosenburg, for example. She has a freshly minted Ph.D. in planetary science, and also threw some history of science in there as well. She writes the True Anomalies blog (the phrase comes from orbital mechanics; it tells you in part the direction to an object), and she tweets under the same handle.

Although she hasn’t been doing this very long, she has some real chops. Just take a look at this short but very well-done video she created herself as an intro to her Ph.D. thesis work:

Did you know we can figure out ages of objects in the solar system by how severe a pounding they’ve taken over the eons? Well, you do now. That was part of her thesis, and she added the historical angle when she started reading about just how scientists figured out that craters were from impacts, and not volcanism (which came in handy during her recent science road trip to Meteor Crater). How can you not like someone who does that?

I was also impressed with Rosenburg when she appeared on my friend Christina Ochoa’s Know Brainer podcast talking about her work (and yeah, you really should be subscribed to Christina’s podcast and follow her on Twitter; she’s another smart, articulate, and cool science communicator).

Shy of an asteroid impact, I have no plans of shutting up about science any time soon. But it’s nice to know that should they wind up having to name a crater after me, there are so many folks so able to keep telling you how amazing our Universe is.

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