Solar System

Freshman facepalms: Japanese college students struggle to answer basic astronomy questions

While the Japanese education system is often highly praised by people in the West, many Japanese folks aren’t so keen on it these days. Yutori kyouiku, or “pressure-free education system,” a phrase used to describe what many see as an education system whose standards are too lax, has skyrocketed in use. Every time a young person does something stupid, it’s followed by sighs of “yutori kyouiku” by observers, who went through much harder schooling in their youth.

Although we often think people are really exaggerating when they say that the “kids of today” don’t know a thing, a recent study carried out by a professor at Tokai University has us wondering if today’s youth are lacking a little common sense…

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Miyazaki in the sky with Gundam: Japan’s astronomical otaku have been naming our asteroids

When a new asteroid is discovered and its orbit is established, the right to name that floating chunk of matter is given to the astronomer who found it. And, somewhat unsurprisingly, a lot of the people who dedicate their lives to astroscience exhibit other nerdy hobbies as well! At least, we have to assume so given the number of space rocks with apparent ties to anime, manga, and other mainstream media. Who would have thought that the heavens are so full of otaku references!?

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