Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.” -Carl von Clausewitz You’ve been hanging around here long enough that you know all about dark matter’s successes,…

“[T]his all fades to black, and it’s gone. It’s dust. Choose carefully what you obsess about.” -Meshell Ndegeocello It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new open cluster to look at, since the plane of the Milky Way (and the region towards the galactic center) has been obscured by the Earth and the…

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” -Winston Churchill There’s plenty to learn about, to see and to discover when we look out at the Universe today. From the leftover glow from the Big Bang in the microwave to the hundreds of billions of galaxies and…

“When someone demands blind obedience, you’d be a fool not to peek.” -Jim Fiebig But sometimes, it’s the wonders of the Universe that peek out at us from behind the intervening gas and dust that would block the light from them otherwise. This week’s deep-sky object for Messier Monday — Messier 9 — has the distinction of…

“Since stars appear to be suns, and suns, according to the common opinion, are bodies that serve to enlighten, warm, and sustain a system of planets, we may have an idea of the numberless globes that serve for the habitation of living creatures.” -William Herschel When you look up at the stars in the night…

“In a word, in the eyes of a giant, to whom our Suns were what our atoms are to us, the Milky Way would only look like a bubble of gas.” -Henri Poincaré When it comes to the wonders of the night sky, it seems like no matter what direction you look in, if you…

“Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.” -John Wesley There’s nothing quite like a fire on a temperate summer’s night, as John Fahey will play for you in his rendition of a Mississippi Fred McDowell classic, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning. But I bet you never thought of…

“When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.” -William Shakespeare When I started Messier Monday nearly two years ago, I wanted to…

“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time.” -James A. Baldwin But each day is a chance for hope, learning something new and experiencing something wonderful. In fact, in just a…

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” -Neil Armstrong When you think about the faintest object in the Messier catalogue…