NASA astronaut Ron Garan is continuing his social media trend-setting ways by joining the online community Reddit. And what's the first thing he did? He posted on the Reddit IAmA forum. The result is nothing short of fascinating.
By posting to the IAmA, you're inviting questions from any Reddit member - it's an open forum, a free-for-all. In Garan's case, he posted the simple one-liner: "IAmA NASA Astronaut that recently returned to Earth after a 1/2 year in space. I'm brand new to reddit (like hours ago) AMA." - AMA means "Ask Me Anything," so Reddit complied.
Garan was a part of Expedition 27/28 to the International Space Station from April 4 to Sept. 16, 2011. He carried out many experiments on the space station and participated in the final spacewalk (EVA) of the shuttle program during Atlantis' STS-135 mission.
Needless to say, when any astronaut - let alone an astronaut of Garan's caliber - says "Ask Me Anything," everything is asked.
One Redditor asked whether Garan experienced the flashes of light (famously reported by astronauts in the 1960s) when his retina was struck by high-energy particles from the sun while he was living in orbit, to which he replied: "Yes I did experience that. Sometimes it was a flash and at other times it was a streak of light. I'm sure it happens all the time but I only noticed it as I was getting ready to fall asleep."