Archives for October, 2015

When we look at the vast expanse of stars in the night sky, we can’t help but wonder what else is out there. Not just at the gas giants, rocky worlds, comets, asteroids, moons, and homeless planets strewn throughout our galaxy and all the galaxies beyond our own, but about what life — what possibilities…

When you take a large amount of mass and put it all together in a small volume of space, you fully expect gravity to do its thing, and eventually collapse things down as far as they’ll go. You can imagine that for compact masses with large distances between them — like planets in the solar system…

“My Lord, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed. Com Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area of the sixth planet of the Hoth System. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.” –General Veers, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Out beyond Saturn’s main rings lie a number of prominent moons:…

Weekend Diversion: Aquarium Art (Synopsis)

“Life is life’s greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life’s scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest.” –Lloyd Biggle, Jr. And yet it’s certainly something to consider how little attention we…

“The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.” –Stephen Covey It’s been a really eventful week, with topics from the fundamental to the cosmic all under scrutiny here at Starts…

“In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night inhale their perfume, lighted like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of the universal radiance of creation, he could not himself perhaps have told what was passing in his…

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to…

“If I had to describe myself to an alien I’d say I was bigger than the average human, enjoy a drink or two with a good meal and have a bigger head than most. I’d also say I’m really handsome — especially if they were a female alien.” –Dwayne Johnson The fact that Earth has not only…

How did Geoff Marcy happen? (Synopsis)

“There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies.” –Denis Diderot Last week, news broke that UC Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy — perhaps the most famous single person in the field of exoplanet discoveries and study — was found guilty by a University panel…

Mostly Mute Monday: Water On Mars (Synopsis)

“If I want water, I’ll have to make it from scratch. Fortunately, I know the recipe: Take hydrogen. Add oxygen. Burn.” –Andy Weir It wasn’t merely one discovery that led to the announcement of liquid water on Mars, but a slew of pieces of evidence of a watery past, including dried-up riverbeds, sedimentary rock formations,…