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# Moutmout's blog

Astronomy, computers, random thoughts

## Top seven space foods

Best anecdotes about the stuff astronauts are fed

Food in space is complicated. It has to be good enough for astronauts to actually eat it, it has to be healthy so that astronauts don’t end up sick, it has to keep for months at a time, it has to be compact,… To make things worse, in micro-gravity, your taste buds don’t work quite the same. For instance, Peggy Whitson discovered that in micro-gravity, she likes some foods that she didn’t like on Earth, but doesn’t like other foods that she usually loves. So feeding…

## Discovering Ceres

How the 8th planet was discovered

Between Mars and Jupiter, somewhere in the asteroid belt, you can find the dwarf planet Ceres. But this celestial object wasn’t always considered to be a dwarf planet.

## The peculiar adventure of the first woman in space

Of the importance of diverse teams

In 1963, the USSR sent Valentina Tereshkova – the first female cosmonaut – into orbit around the Earth. It was another 20 years before the United States overcame the systemic sexism that was keeping them from sending women into space.

## Christopher Colombus

A visionnary genius? Really?

In elementary school, I learned that Christopher Columbus was the only man in his time to believe that the Earth was round. This is why he wanted to sail westwards to India, to prove everyone wrong. People would tell him “You’re crazy! You’re going to reach the edge of the flat Earth!", and he would answer “Of course not, the Earth is round!". So in a way, he is painted to be this visionary genius who made it possible for Europeans to arrive on a new continent.

## Illustrating celestial mechanics with TikZ-planets

A few examples of how to use TikZ-planets

As I was writing a booklet for an astronomy class I was teaching, I looked for illustrations to explain various elements of celestial mechanics. But I wanted the style of all the illustrations to be coherent. So just fetching images from Wikipedia wasn’t enough.

## Green peas

Discovering a new type of galaxy is possible for amateurs?!?

There is a kind of small, compact galaxy in which many stars are forming. They are one tenth of the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy, and one hundred times more compact. They are called green pea galaxies.

## Top 5 unexpected objects in space

What do you think is the most unexpected object in space?

In 1957, Sputnik was launched, marking the begining of the era of space exploration. It was the first time humans put an object in orbit around the Earth. Since that date, we have sent many satellites, probes, capsules, and space stations into space. And we also sent a few objects that are more… unexpected.

## Space Condoms

Astronauts too can have issues with toxic masculinity

Astronauts are hand-picked among tens of thousands of other candidates to travel into space. So you might think that once they went through all of this, they don’t have anything left to prove to anyone… And yet…

## Pluto isn’t a planet

But that's OK

Since the early 20th century, the International Astronomical Union or IAU – an organization that brings together astronomers from around the world – defines the names used by astronomers to talk about objects in the Solar System. In August 2006, the IAU decided a planet is an object that