Cosmos

Category archives for Cosmos

A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos This is a concept that has always fascinated me, ever since reading some stuff about the Periodic Table of Elements. Check it out: Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as…

Pluto Has Tail, X-Rays

Did you ever notice that Pluto doesn’t have much of a tail? No, not that Pluto! This Pluto: This has been known for a while. NASA noted this last year: New Horizons has discovered a region of cold, dense ionized gas tens of thousands of miles beyond Pluto — the planet’s atmosphere being stripped away…

In linguistic communication, a pattern generally emerges whereby the speaker or the listener (but not both) work extra hard to make the communication happens. This work (or lack thereof) consists of enunciation, use of contractions, various other things. You know about this because you make such adjustments all the time. When speaking to a child,…

Sometimes I think there are not abundant intelligent life forms wafting about the universe. We would see things in our careful, highly accurate, detailed looking at a sampling of the universe. But, I suppose we’ve only been scanning with super amazing instruments for a few years, and only scanning a small fraction of the universe.…

The star that is nearest our own has a planet that could be habitable by Earthlings. This is very important news. The news comes to us from this research paper in Nature: A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri by Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Pedro J. Amado, John Barnes, Zaira M. Berdiñas, R.…

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…