Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“A mouse does not rely on just one hole.” -Plautus When you look at the largest, most powerful optical telescopes in the world, they all have something in common: they all have holes in their central, primary mirrors. This is for a few reasons, including that they’re all reflectors, they all need to focus light…

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.” -Edwin Hubble If you want to see farther, deeper and at…

The Two Big Bangs (Synopsis)

“These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.” -Fred Hoyle It’s making headlines every time someone brings it up: a quantum calculation, a new theory or some mathematical evidence proves it once and for all: there…

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying…

How to catch a speeding star (Synopsis)

“Most people don’t know what’s happening around them because they’re just speeding through life. And before they know it, they’re just old. So I just try to slow it down.” -Tracy Morgan Travel fast enough through the air, and you’ll exceed the speed of sound. The compressed air in front of you builds up, denser…

“Think about it this way – a boomerang goes out and comes back to you if you throw it. If you throw it out at the universe, it will come back down to you on Earth.” -J. B. Smoove Give a planet a kick, and it goes into a more distant orbit around our star.…

“Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won’t engulf my head, I can see by infrared, How I hate the night.” -Douglas Adams In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched and deployed, becoming the first space-based observatory. In the years since, many others have followed, covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, but with nothing…

“So numerous are the objects which meet our view in the heavens, that we cannot imagine a point of space where some light would not strike the eye;—innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of…

“Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.”…

“Finding out that something you have just discovered is considered all but impossible is one of the joys of science.” -Mike Brown Earlier today, the team of Pluto-killer Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin announced that they had found evidence of a ninth planet in our Solar System beyond the orbit of Pluto, larger and more…