Exposing PseudoAstronomy

January 10, 2013

Another Completely Arbitrary Milestone Reached: 500,000 Blog Views

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Stuart Robbins @ 3:00 pm
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On September 3, 2008, roughly 4 years 4 months 7 days ago, I launched this blog. It took me 17.5 months to get to 100,000 views. It took another 18 months to get to 250,000 views. It took 16 months after that to double it and get to 500,000 views. One can almost fit a straight line there :).

As with the last two times, I think it’s apropos to take a brief look at some of the stats over the last very roughly 1589.8097 days.

  • My busiest day was still on June 16, 2010, thanks to Phil Plait when he blogged about my run-in with and subsequent threats by the astrologer Terry Nazon. Over 12,000 people visited my blog thanks to Phil, but in that day, it topped at 7,985.
  • Over the last year, the busiest day was December 20 (due to all my posts regarding December 21, 2012), with 2,798 page views. December 21 added another 2,303, for over 5,000 views due to 2012 stuff on those two days.
  • I have made 313 posts (this is 314), and there have been 3,507 comments. Obviously the comments are not evenly distributed among the posts. Meanwhile, over 75,700 spam comments have been caught.
  • The top link people have clicked on, with 9,011 clicks, is to my image of what the sky looks like on December 21, 2012 … again (this was the top last time). The next-top is to the NASA site with images of Apollo from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, with 707 clicks, though that’s only about 60 above what it was at 250,000 posts. If you narrow it to the last year, then the next-top click was to my context image of the claimed lunar ziggurat.
  • With the top-clicked file in mind, it is perhaps fitting that the top five posts people have read are about Planet X & 2012. The most popular with 27,428 views is on What the Sky Looks Like on December 21, 2012, which pushed down the previous top two to second and third place (magnetic pole shift and proof Earth is not currently undergoing a geographic pole shift). For the year of 2012, though, the third-most-popular post with 4,839 views was, “Richard Hoagland’s Ziggurat on the Moon: Hoax or Fraud, but Not Real.” The video I created for that has been downloaded nearly 9,000 times (how’s that, Expat?).
  • In how people are getting here, the top non-search-engine referrer is Facebook (in 2012) and Phil Plait’s blog for all time.
  • Also on the topic of referrers, the top two search terms that get people here are “Terry Nazon” with 1,789 clicks, “Planet X” with 1,195 clicks, “pseudoastronomy” for 1,183 clicks, and “Define:Theory in Science” with 1,146. The first and third are new for this time, and in 2012, the top was “exposing pseudoastronomy.” I think that’s both a good and bad thing. Good in that it means I’m generating a “brand” much in the same way that “Bad Astronomy” = Phil Plait and it has name recognition. It’s bad in the sense that I would like if more people got here by searching for the topics that I write about.
  • Something new that WordPress added in early 2012 was country stats. The vast majority of people who read this come from the USA with 106,500 views. Next comes the UK at nearly 17,000 views, and Canada is third at 12,775 (I’m assuming that Karl Mamer doesn’t account for all of those). The first non-English-speaking country is in 5th place overall, India, at 3,000 views.

With all that in mind, I’ll wrap up this short, self-congratulatory post and work towards the next arbitrary milestone of … one million views! Assuming I stay on WordPress, I predict I’ll be able to write that post before the end of 2015 … a reasonably safe bet after accounting for extra traffic due to 2012 stuff.


No, Asteroid 99942 Apophis Will NOT Hit Earth in 2036

Filed under: asteroids,astronomy — Stuart Robbins @ 12:40 pm
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New radar observations during Apophis’ close approach to Earth over the last few days have narrowed down the uncertainty in its orbit enough to know that it will NOT hit Earth in 2036, according to an article published in Sky and Telescope (I’m still trying to track down a more primary source).

This is despite still not knowing several things about it (like its shape), but the uncertainties on its orbit are now so small that the combination of all the other unknowns are too small to put it on a collision course with Earth in 2036.

That’s all the info I have on this for now. Doesn’t mean it may not hit in the future, and it doesn’t meant that something else won’t hit in the future. When looking for things in space to kill us, asteroids are by far the most likely because we know it WILL happen, it’s just a matter of when and how big.

Edited to Add: And here’s more of an official story, this one from NASA’s Asteroid & Comet Watch.

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