You're at a big group dinner and it's time to pay up, to divide the total and multiply a certain percentage for the tip. How many people tense up and say something like, "Oh, I'm so bad at math"?
Fear of math is everywhere - in the adult world where there aren't official pop quizzes, and in schools where the next generation of scientific problem-solvers are struggling with homework.
Editor's note: Brian Williams is a space enthusiast and writer living in Salinas, California.
Back in 2008, something went bump in the night around Fomalhaut, a star in the constellation Piscis Austrinusa, 25 light-years away from Earth. Originally found by the Hubble Space Telescope, Fomalhaut b was announced as the first exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system) found through direct imaging in visible light, instead of by the usual planet-finding methods.
Moving through a dusty oblong ring surrounding its star, Fomalhaut b was thought to be a planet as much as three times Jupiter’s mass, carving a path through the ring.