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Mar 16, 2011
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Astronomy picture of the day.

Astronomy picture of the day.

During the time that I was a clinical pharmacology fellow with Lewis Sheiner and Stuart Beal in San Francisco, the Voyager mission [1] was sending back incredible images of the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.

I was joking with my friends one day that a working session with Lewis was like a trip to the outer reaches of the solar system, because the concepts in NONMEM were so alien to me. The metaphor stuck in my mind. When I finished the fellowship, I presented Lew with a framed picture of the rings of Saturn and a thank you note for taking me on such a challenging intellectual journey. That picture hung in his office for years.

When I saw the above image [2] on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website [3], I remembered my time with Lew Sheiner. It is a lucky scientist who has the experience of a mentor who can help him recognize the beauty in understanding the world around him. So, as a tribute to your mentor, take a look at the APOD website. Find a picture that resonates with your experiences and send it to your mentor. Both of you will be richer for the effort.

If that knocked your socks off, take a look at our next cool topic: Optimism in a Time of Pessimism. And if you want to peruse all of the previous sock-knocking blog entries, visit the Knocked My Socks Off archive. (links to another blog site)

Notes
1. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in 1977. They were designed to study Jupiter and Saturn, but the two spacecraft have been able to continue their mission into the outer solar system and both are still operating today, almost 35 years later.

2. Titan, Rings, and Saturn from Cassini. APOD posted this image on March 8, 2011. It was taken in mid January 2011 by the robot Cassini spacecraft that is now orbiting Saturn.

3. Astronomy Picture of the Day has been around since 1995 and is coordinated by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell. According to the website, Bob and Jerry are two professional astronomers who spend most of their time researching the universe. The website is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division and the Goddard Space Flight Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan.

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