Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“An extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times suggests that life began before the Earth was formed. Life may have started from systems with single heritable elements that are functionally equivalent to a nucleotide.” -Alexei A. Sharov & Richard Gordon We talk about the origin of life on Earth with bated breath,…

“Yes, I am well aware that nature — or what we call nature: that totality of objects and processes that surrounds us and that alternately creates us and devours us — is neither our accomplice nor our confidant.” -Octavio Paz For most of us heading to the path of totality, we’re in for an incredible…

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” -Neil Gaiman Enjoying the Perseid meteor shower this year, as perhaps you do every August? As you look up, the great cosmic show might have a lot more to offer than mere streaks of light, due to cometary…

“Our first priority was making sure we weren’t fooling ourselves.” -Keith Riles, LIGO team member When LIGO announced their first discovery of a black hole-black hole merger, it came as a surprise to almost everyone. The shocking part wasn’t that LIGO had seen merging black holes, but that they were discovered to be so massive.…

“To be on my very first spacewalk, to be outside, and to have contamination in my suit to the point that I couldn’t see in either eye – that, I think, would cause some people to lose control.” -Chris Hadfield Sure, you probably laughed about it when you first heard that NASA had a Planetary…

“I’d rather fight 100 structure fires than a wildfire. With a structure fire you know where your flames are, but in the woods it can move anywhere; it can come right up behind you.” -Tom Watson The solar eclipse we’ve all been waiting for is just two weeks away. Yet even though you’ve got your…

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” ―Gene Roddenberry Well, it happened, everyone! I flew out to the official…

“My dad took me out to see a meteor shower when I was a little kid, and it was scary for me because he woke me up in the middle of the night. My heart was beating; I didn’t know what he wanted to do. He wouldn’t tell me, and he put me in the…

“Ultramassive black holes — that is, black holes with masses exceeding 10 billion solar masses — are probably not rare; several and even dozens of these colossal black holes may exist.” -Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo The largest black hole in the Universe was a shocker when it was first discovered. At 40 billion solar masses, it certainly is…

“…and the Sun has perished out of heaven, and an evil mist hovers over all.” -Homer’s Odyssey The great american eclipse is coming, and you’re in luck! This astronomical sight is unlike anything else that occurs on Earth (or any rocky planet in the Solar System), and there are three incredible stories that it teaches…