Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“He who would search for pearls must dive below.” -John Dryden If you want to know what types of stars are found all throughout a galaxy, looking at our own simply won’t do: too much of it is obscured by the plane and our position within it. But there’s an even more impressive galaxy —…

“We detect motion along this axis, but right now our data cannot state as strongly as we’d like whether the clusters are coming or going.” -Alexander Kashlinsky When dark energy was discovered, and the expansion of the Universe was shown to be accelerating, there was concurrently another puzzle that received much less attention: the problem…

“…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 their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.”…

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” –Marcus Aurelius Let there be light! You’d think that would be enough: that you form stars in the Universe, you see those stars in the Universe, and that tells you about what’s out there. If only it were that simple.…

“There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.” -Mike Brown, on the possibility of Planet Nine When most people think of the Kuiper belt, they think…

“My eureka moment was in the dead of night, the early hours of the morning, on a cold, cold night, and my feet were so cold, they were aching. But when the result poured out of the charts, you just forget all that. You realize instantly how significant this is—what it is you’ve really landed…

“It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.” -Ursula Le Guin If you were to rewind the Solar System to the very beginning, with only imperceptibly different initial conditions, how often would Earth…

“Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?” -Job 38:16 When NASA’s Dawn spacecraft discovered the existence of bright, white spots inside one of Ceres’ largest craters, the speculations ran wild, from water to aliens. Instead, it was determined that these highly reflective features are salts,…

“It used to be that Pluto was a misfit. Now it turns out that Earth is the misfit. Most planets in the solar system look like Pluto, and not like the terrestrial planets.” -Alan Stern The combination of New Horizons and Hubble to work together allow us to create the longest-baseline parallax images of all…

“You can be the Moon and still be jealous of the stars.” -Gary Allen Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of Asteroid 2016 HO3, calling it Earth’s second moon. And it turns out that this is an object in a stable orbit, the same distance from the Sun as the Earth, that can be…