Archives for July, 2013

The Dark Depths of the Universe

“By denying scientific principles, one can maintain any paradox.” –Galileo Galilei Day and night. It seems like the simplest, most natural thing about our world, that the Sun illuminates one half of the Earth at a time. While the Earth spins on its axis, orbiting the Sun, roughly half of our lives are spent bathed…

“It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind.” –Albert Einstein You’ve heard and seen it plenty of times: Einstein’s most famous equation, E = mc2. I’ve taken you inside this equation before, which…

“Cross that rules the Southern Sky! Stars that sweep, and turn, and fly Hear the Lovers’ Litany: ‘Love like ours can never die!’” –Rudyard Kipling Welcome back for yet another Messier Monday, where we choose one of the 110 deep-sky objects making up Charles Messier‘s 18th Century catalogue to highlight in detail. Originally designed as a…

“If I see a spider in my house, I put it in a cup, and then I take it outside. I save it. What is wrong with me?” –Jacqueline Emerson There’s something not only incredibly useful but also beautiful about the intricate structure of a spider web. It’s such a universally admired phenomenon that it’s…

“I see a lot of new faces. But, you know the old saying, ‘out with the old, in with the nucleus.’” –The Simpsons Looking around the Universe today, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of hydrogen and helium around; after all, it’s the nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium that powers the vast majority of stars…

“To disagree leads to study, to study leads to understanding, to understand is to appreciate, to appreciate is to love. So maybe I’ll end up loving your theory.” –John Wheeler Out there in the Universe, there’s a lot to marvel at. Over billions of years, gravity has attracted different portions of the expanding Universe together…

Messier Monday: The Ring Nebula, M57

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them” -J.R.R. Tolkien Every Monday has been devoted to our ongoing series on Messier’s objects for nearly a year now, and we’ve covered some spectacular objects, from open star clusters to spiral galaxies, from…