X (also known as Y) is the first memoir in a series of three, by NASA engineer Homer Hickam, Jr. It is a story of growing up in a mining town, and a boy's pursuit of amateur rocketry in a coal mining town.
X was made into a film in 1999, titled Y (an anagram of "X"). The book was then re-published as Y shortly afterwards
In ancient times, the Persian and Roman armies tested their soldiers' eyesight by seeing whether they could distinguish the two stars in what well-known 'pair', now understood to be gravitationally unrelated.
In calculating the dates for Lent and Easter, the Clergy identify the Lent Moon. It is thought that historically when the moon's timing was too early, they named an earlier moon as a "betrayer moon" (B), thus the Lent moon came at its expected time.
The Farmers' Almanac defined B as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a B.
Recent popular usage defined a B as the second full moon in a calendar month, stemming from an interpretation error made in 1946 that was discovered in 1999. For example, December 31, 2009 was a B according to this usage.
X studied physics and mathematics at Imperial College London, graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree and ARCS in physics with Upper Second-Class Honours. He then proceeded to study for a PhD degree, also at the Imperial College London departments of Physics and Mathematics, and was part way through this PhD programme, studying reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the Solar System. When Y became successful he abandoned his physics doctorate but did co-author two scientific research papers: MgI Emission in the Night-Sky Spectrum (1972) and An Investigation of the Motion of Zodiacal Dust Particles (Part I) (1973) which were based on X's observations at the Teide Observatory in Tenerife. He is the co-author of “Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe” with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, which was published in October 2006. More than 30 years after he started his research, in October 2007 he completed his PhD thesis in astrophysics, entitled “A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud”, passed his viva voce, and performed the required corrections. He officially graduated at the postgraduate awards ceremony held in the Royal Albert Hall, on the afternoon of Wednesday 14 May 2008.
Today X is better known for his achievements with Y
X is a brilliant astrophysicist in the Physics Department at Caltech, being known for a noted publication on Kuiper Belt object size distribution.
For his discovery of a planetary object beyond the Kuiper Belt, 2008 NQ17, which he named "PlanetBollywood", X was included in People magazine's "30 (Visionaries) Under 30 (Years of Age) to Watch", received a larger office, and became a celebrity of sorts, drawing the envy of his friends
After six months of failed research on the composition of trans-Neptunian objects, X feared the prospect of being deported back to India (at which point he describes spending his time at work as "mostly checking e-mail and messing up Wikipedia entries".) To stay in the country, he sought out a research position in stellar evolution with another professor; the job proposition failed as the research team included an attractive female, and X was forced to drink. X ended up working alongside Y "exploring the string theory implications of gamma rays from dark matter annihilations"
An unknown yellow spectral line signature in sunlight was first observed from a solar eclipse in 1868 by French astronomer Pierre Janssen. Janssen is jointly credited with the discovery of the element with Norman Lockyer, who observed the same eclipse and was the first to propose that the line was due to a new element which he named after sun.
Work with ____ is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of X