Even an hour isn’t long enough to cover the universe, as evidenced by this Google+ Hangout organized by Universe Today’s Fraser Cain. The gang included Cain as well as his UT colleagues Nancy Atkinson and Jon Voisey, Bad Astronomy’s Philip Plait, Discovery News’ Ian O’Neill and Nicole Gugliucci,Astronomy Cast’s Pamela Gay, BAUT Forum’s Jay Cross and yours truly.
We talked about NASA’s Grail mission to the moon, the impending fall of Russia’s Phobos-Grunt probe and the Quadrantid meteor shower — but the biggest theme was the weirdness over 2012, the Mayan calendar and tales of psychic travel to Mars. This year may be a peak time for pseudoscientific craziness, but it’s also a “teachable moment” for astronomy. Does it do more harm than good to talk about doomsday pronouncements and UFO claims?