Cosmos

Category archives for Cosmos

Ethan Siegel on The Universe

Check out our detailed interview with the famous and amazing Ethan Siegel. We talk about the history of understanding the universe, why you should believe in Dark Matter even though it is obviously fake, why exploring uranus can lead to the discovery of amazing things, and more.

Space Robots On The Angry Red Planet

There is little that is cooler than robots on mars doing science. Human space agencies have been sending probes to the surface of various planets (and the Moon) for years now, with the full range of failure and success. But the last decade or so has seen space robots such as Mars Curiosity Rover sciencing…

First, what is a gravitational wave? I find it interesting that some people are expressing difficulty in understanding what a gravitational wave is, as though everybody (who is not a physicist) has a perfectly good understanding of what any kind of wave is. We don’t need to go too deeply beneath the surface, as it…

Happy Anniversary Exoplanets

This month is the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of exoplanets, which are really just planets that are not in our solar system. (Frankly, I dislike the term exoplanet. It is so solarcentric.) When you think about it, the discovery of planets outside our solar system (we need a word for that) is a special…

Why did Skylab die?

Skylab came up in conversation the other day. And then I ran into Amy Shira Teitel’s video. So, naturally, a quick blog post. Skylab was brought down, ultimately, by interaction with the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which was in turn made more likely by solar activity. But, both the nature and extent of solar…

Why is Pluto not a planet?

Short answer: Pluto has only two of the three necessary characteristics to be called a planet. Pluto has not cleared its neighborhood, or orbit. But, of course, there are additional details. The simplest reason that Pluto is not a planet is that planet experts say so, and this is their job. But you may be…

Remember the last Olympics, during the parade, where instead of seeing the athletes march along grouped by country, we saw unidentifiable people who were all either taking selfies or grabbing videos of everything going on around them, but we couldn’t tell who they were because their cell phones were totally covering their faces? These days…

The Challenge of Space Flight

Suddenly and for the first time I saw Amanda as a little child wide eyed with both awe and fear, among other children some sitting on the floor, some in chairs, some standing behind desks, eyes trained on a TV monitor and their teacher as the sudden realization dawned on all of them that the…

That Orion Thing Is Great!

Watch the Orion test flight: Splashdown: Why is it great? Well, speaking as a Gemini (not my horoscope sign, but the space program going when I first gained sentience) … First, it is big, fast, cool looking. It actually looks like a rocket that might have been designed a decade before they ever actually made…

The Comet. It Sings!

Have you heard the comet singing? From the Rosetta Blog this press release: Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. RPC principal investigator Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier, head of Space Physics and Space Sensorics at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, tells us more. Sound_comet2 Artist’s impression of the…