spacemika
Mika McKinnon
spacemika
Field geophysicist, disaster researcher, scifi science consultant, science writer, public speaker, irrepressible educator
Aug 27 2018
1

You are the best, and one of the reasons it’s a joy to help out with Giz’s science section. Thank you for jumping in!

May 8 2018
2

You know I can’t stay away! It’s just periodic visits, but it’s fun to be back poking around the comments section. 💚

May 8 2018
Save

Weather officer briefing during the pre-launch conference

May 8 2018
1

Yup, the fog layer went to about 600ft, so even the low-ish coastal mountains are enough to poke over the top.

May 4 2018
Save

A ribbon cable connects the seismometer (& another the heat flow probe) to the lander providing power & data transfer. The “brains” are all in the lander, as is communications antenna.

Sep 22 2017
9

What’s with that core?! Is it still a core when it’s 83% of the entire freaking planet? Is it seriously a TRIPLE-CORE STRUCTURE of solid-liquid-solid iron silicates? AND HOW CAN IT STILL BE AN ACTIVE DYNAMO?

Mercury: What the fuck is even happening?

Sep 22 2017
2

Popping by to freelance only, not staff, but hi! It’s fun to be back! <3

Sep 17 2017
1

That was another reoccurring theme — people were sad they wouldn’t get more data on a weekly basis, but were also anticipating having breathing time to actually indulge in studying all the data they’d collected. I’d never really thought about how disruptive it would be to constantly plan the mission and what to survey Read more

Sep 17 2017
2

You know how to make a geo feel loved! <3

On the badass-geo/scifi-projects list, I got to help Nora Jemisin launch the final book in the Broken Earth trilogy last month. As a bonus, that means I got access to read the book early. Such a happy gig!

Sep 17 2017
10

You got it! Carl was explaining that while it had the size of an enormous moon like Titan, the density (& subsequent impact on the rings) was much, much smaller. That Peggy also has an unusual orbit means that ring-disturbance is highly variable.

Sep 16 2017
3

I actually love that Cassini was so dedicated to helping us discover new science that it managed to keep streaming data longer than we expected. Whether it was Cassini managing a correction or the DSN overperforming beyond expectations I don’t know, but either way I’m so damn proud of that robot.

Sep 16 2017
7

It was surreal watching the grief reactions kick in. Emily Lakdawalla got angry, wanting to go on a destructive rampage. For me, my strongest grief reaction is always to collect stories. I’m a physicist to the core — energy is neither created nor destroyed, it merely changes form. People live on in the stories we Read more

Sep 16 2017
4

I talked to him for 11 minutes and could write articles for days. He’s amazing — engaged, curious, and so positive and grounded. 10/10, would interview again.

Sep 16 2017
5

Everything heavier than helium and aluminum will sink. By now, Cassini’s core of plutonium will be making a vigorous exploration of if there’s a surface anywhere under all those clouds. Read more

Sep 16 2017
5

The collective gasp when we lost signal, then the disbelieving chant of “It’s back it’s back it’s back it’s still breathing!!!!” before losing signal again is going to stay with me for a long time. I get goosebumps every time I replay my video of those final moments.

Sep 16 2017
5

It was Cassini. You knew I couldn’t stay away!

Aug 9 2016
Save

Heartbroken. I’m heartbroken! I was even in the great Snarbfest of 2014.

Aug 9 2016
Save

You know you miss me and my superfluous u’s providing solidarity.

Jun 3 2016
1

D’aww, you know I won’t bite!