You can take a free online course in Asteroid Defense 101 courtesy of the Planetary Society. It is one of the first in a series of courses they will be offering, with this one taught by Bruce Betts, author and Planetary Scientist. The course is free, and presented on line.
You can go to the NASA site to pick up some NASA Software, and a surprising amount of it is actually free. You can download the NASA Software catalog in PDF format, or browse the collection by category from the home page. A lot of it models real-world systems and physics in ways that allow you to simulate all kinds of dynamic systems, but they also have a lot of process management and scheduling tools available.
Back in 1991 there was an Autodesk DOS program called James Gleick’s CHAOS: The Software., written by Josh Gordon, Rudy Rucker and John Walker. It allowed you to generate visual representations of a lot of Chaos Theory’s best math, and Rudy wrote most of the algorithms, except for John Walkers Fractal Landscapes algorithms. Rudy has now posted it online over at GitHub as a free open source download under the GNU license. It will run on pretty much anything that has DOSBox installed on it, which is itself free open source software that runs on Windows, Linux, MACs, Raspbian and more.
Today is Pi Day, the day that starts off 3.14 and celebrates the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This day gives mathematicians from around the world an opportunity to educate everyone and celebrate the beauty of the universe. So it seems appropriate to me that Albert Einstein, who once said Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas was born on this day in 1879. Happy Pi Day, Albert Einstein, and thanks for all your wonderful insights and explanations about how reality works!
Acapella Science has put together a great little song giving you the history of Exoplanets, from its beginnings back in 1990 to the present, culminating with the TRAPPIST-1 discovery. You have to appreciate him when he says I’m a harmony addict working on a master’s in theoretical physics; what ELSE was I going to make a YouTube channel about? This is his latest, but far from his only such production; he tries to crank one of these out each week. So I thought I would include a few more, with Entropic Time for the second tune, and the final one is CRISPR-Cas9 (Bring Me A Gene). I don’t usually include videos with a stinger at the end hyping the person’s channel, but this isn’t just music, it is science at the same time, and that is a combination worth supporting. The man creating these is Tim Blais, and I hope he keeps making these for a long time to come.
With the excitement generated by the recent announcement of TRAPPIST-1 with the largest group of potentially inhabitable planets, a lot of people would like to learn more about exoplanets. NASA has a great way to do that, with the Eyes on Exoplanets app. Download and install it, and it will generate a scientifically accurate 3D universe populated by more than a thousand planets NASA has discovered orbiting other stars. Just watching the way the stars change as you go from one planet to another is hypnotic. The app has three modules, besides the Exoplanets database/media center it also includes Eyes on the Earth and Eyes on the Solar System, also very fun and educational programs. Since they are all available for free, you might as well get the entire set.