Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Microsoft provides free access to new WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft has given us a great gift, the WorldWide Telescope.

"The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a step toward the 'democratization' of the conduct of science. The Internet will become, as astronomers put it, 'the world´s best telescope'--a supercomputer at your desktop.

"The mission of the WWT is twofold:

  • To aggregate scientific data from major telescopes, observatories and institutions and make temporal and multi-spectral studies available through a single cohesive Internet–based portal.
  • To re-awaken the interest for science in the younger generations through astronomy and new technologies through the virtual observatory of the WWT. This also provides a wonderful base for teaching astronomy, scientific discovery, and computational science".

"By connecting to the same source materials that scientists at NASA and Caltech are using for their research, WWT is a powerful 'virtual observatory' for scientists, educators, and the public. Researching the sky as easy as viewing a Web site and is accessible to everyone with an Internet connection.

"WWT also contains features to help you explore the Earth, satellites, such as the Moon, and 360 degree panoramas of Yosemite’s Half Dome and other locations".

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How you say it can be as important as what you say, according to journal editors

Excerpt from a letter to an author:

"Both reviewers complained of technical and editorial errors throughout the manuscript. I believe very strongly that it is not the job of scientific reviewers to perform technical editing. Please take pains to make the manuscript as coherent and well written as possible. You may wish to obtain the services of a technical editor before submitting your revision.

"To protect my reviewers, I will read the revision and reject it without further review if it appears that insufficient effort has been applied to the technical editing, organization and presentation of the manuscript".

Jim Hansen, Ph.D.
Editor, Monthly Weather Review
Naval Research Laboratory
Monterey, CA