Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus If you ask the average person where you can find new stars in our galaxy, they might (correctly) identify the Orion Nebula, a hotbed of…

“Thou shalt not embarrass thyself and thy colleagues by claiming false planets.” -Bill Cochran Last year, Penn State astronomer Jason Wright made headlines by claiming that one of the stars being observed by NASA’s Kepler mission might contain alien megastructures around it. The large dips in its light curve didn’t make sense in the context…

“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.” -Naomi Wolf Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they’ve done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has…

“When their eyes grew dim with looking at unrevealing dials and studying uneventful graphs, they could step outside their concrete cells and renew their dull spirits in communion with the giant mechanism they commanded, the silent, sensing instrument in which the smallest packets of energy, the smallest waves of matter, were detected in their headlong,…

“If you take a galaxy and try to make it bigger, it becomes a cluster of galaxies, not a galaxy. If you try to make it smaller than that, it seems to blow itself apart.” -Jeremiah P. Ostriker 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it was born with no stars, no clusters…

“Observing quasars is like observing the exhaust fumes of a car from a great distance and then trying to figure out what is going on under the hood.” -Carole Mundell Have you been tunes in to Starts With A Bang during this past week? The first full week of January brings with it the annual American Astronomical Society’s…

“I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich.” -Michael Faraday With the launch of the Fermi satellite in the late 2000s, we began observing the highest energy photons in the Universe — gamma rays —…

“The paradigm of physics — with its interplay of data, theory and prediction — is the most powerful in science.” –Geoffrey West Cosmic inflation, our earliest theory of the Universe and the phenomenon that sets up the Big Bang, didn’t just explain a number of puzzles, but made a slew of new predictions for the Universe. In the subsequent…

“Mars is much closer to the characteristics of Earth. It has a fall, winter, summer and spring. North Pole, South Pole, mountains and lots of ice. No one is going to live on Venus; no one is going to live on Jupiter.” -Buzz Aldrin When a planet passes in front of its star from our…

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.” -Samuel Beckett In 2012, astronomers announced that the nearest star system to us, the Alpha Centauri system, possessed at least one exoplanet around it. A periodic signal that recurred just every 3.24 days was consistent with an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting and gravitationally tugging on the second largest…