James Webb Space Telescope practices studying alien atmospheres for signs of life

Dec 21, 2019
Great article, but the planet' distance from its star is one-eighth the distance of Mercury from the sun, not "eight times closer." Constructions like "eight times closer," "three times less" and so forth is a relatively new form which has emerged only in the last few years, and which if you think about it actually makes no sense (eight times: eight multiplied by what?)

I've given up on advertisers and mainstream journalists understanding the difference (most of them can't do math anyway) but a technical writer can do better.
Feb 16, 2020
Though the poster could have been a little more diplomatic, the comment does raise a valid point. As a former business writer and copy editor, and someone who is terrible at math, I know firsthand that care must be given to fractions, percentages and exponential figures. I offer one more tip: "Ever" is not necessary after "first." Something is either first or it's not. In any case, I urge the write to keep up the great work. It's not easy doing what you do.


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