Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus This Sunday marks the Winter Solstice: the darkest, longest evening of the year for all the Earth’s northern hemisphere denizens. Sure, you probably know all about Earth’s axial tilt and how the southern hemisphere experiences the summer…

2014’s greatest meteor shower (Synopsis)

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Sure, sure, and they’re not even big, impressive stones. But like any real estate agent will tell you, location is everything. And when your tiny, pebble-sized stone originates from…

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson No, what happened on Mars isn’t in any danger of happening here on Earth, despite what your sci-fi…

“We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.” -George Bernard Shaw And despite all of that, when we pause…

“We… are what happens when a primordial mixture of hydrogen and helium evolves for so long that it begins to ask where it came from.” -Jill Tarter But that doesn’t mean we can’t also look to the hydrogen itself, and use its information to learn about where other things may have come from! An extraordinary example…

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” -William Shakespeare But in the case of Orion, it’s great because of not only how it was born, but where and when: recently, and so close to us! And that makes our views of not only the…

“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” -Johann Lambert There’s a problem with our view of the night sky: beautiful though it is, we’re incapable…

“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.” -Henri Matisse But the surrounding fog might not come from our minds nor from our world, but rather from the plane of the galaxy itself. Nevertheless, the brightest clusters — the ones placed serendipitously — are clearly visible (and…

“I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” -Henri Nouwen So, maybe you’ve been living under a rock, but whether you have or haven’t, the news is still amazing: we’ve just landed on our first not-a-rock in space,…

“If there is nothing new under the sun, at least the sun itself is always new, always re-creating itself out of its own inexhaustible fire.” -Michael Sims It takes the death of old stars to create the newer generations of stars in the Universe, and it’s through the very act of that stellar death that…