Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Out beyond Neptune, the last of our Solar System’s gas giants, the icy graveyard of failed planetesimals lurks: the Kuiper Belt. Among these mixes of ice, snow, dust and…

“Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.” -Neil Gaiman When you consider the short life of a star cluster — from a collapsing molecular cloud to a nebula rich in gas and dust to a…

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” -Wayne Dyer We like to think of our Solar System as typical: a central star with a number of planets — some gas giants and some rocky worlds — in orbit around it. Yes, there’s some variety, with binary or trinary star systems…

“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” -Ovid With all that we know of astronomy, with the hundreds of billions of galaxies and hundreds of billions of stars in each that we know are there, it might surprise you to learn that the stars — for the most part…

Into the Woods (Synopsis)

Wandering into the woods unprepared and without a plan sounds like a terrible idea. But if you’re interested in scientific exploration at the frontiers, confronting the unknown with whatever you happen to have at your disposal, you have to take that risk. You have to be willing to take those steps. And you have to…

“The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.” -William Wordsworth Galaxies may be the most common type of object identified in the Messier catalogue, and considering that there are at least…

“The most amazing lesson in aerodynamics I ever had was the day I climbed a thermal in a glider at the same time as an eagle. I witnessed, close up, effortlessness and lightness combined with strength, precision and determination.” -Norman Foster It’s called the “Eagle Nebula” because the shape of the nebula itself faintly resembles…

“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.” -John F. Kennedy If you went back in time to the birth of the Sun and the Solar System, what…

“But certainly the laser proved to be what I realized it was going to be. At that moment in my life I was too ignorant in business law to be able to do it right, and if I did it over again probably the same damn thing would happen.” -Gordon Gould, inventor of the LASER…

“I love the sea’s sounds and the way it reflects the sky. The colours that shimmer across its surface are unbelievable.” -John Dyer When you look up into the night sky, most of the fixed, non-stellar objects you see are faint, extended and diffuse. One of the things that surprises most skywatchers is what a galaxy…