No bludging for this unemployed fella. Apart from applying for jobs, including one with an astronomy organisation in the Netherlands (I wrote a 2000 word report for that one!) I’ve also been busy with my Swinburne astronomy course. One of the elements of the course is asking and answering questions in newsgroups. It’s so much fun diving back into my textbooks and papers for answers. One person, prompted by my explanation of shockwaves and the speed of sound asked about the speed of sound in a molecular cloud. I found plenty of references to shockwaves from hot stars or supernovae hitting a cloud at speeds faster than that of sound, but no actual figures. So it was back to the chemistry books for the formula for the speed of sound in an ideal gas, which I used to estimate a figure.
I found a fantastic online resource call HyperPhysics, which was also of great assistance. Next I have to write 2 2000 word essays and begin work on my projects. I realise just how much I missed doing science. It would still be nice to be actually working in a scientific environment, able to communicate directly with others, but at least my brain’s not going stale!