Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“Ali always said I would be nothing without him. But what would he have been without me?” -Joe Frazier We don’t normally think of deep-sky objects — seemingly fixed structures in the sky — as fighting for their lives, but when you’re a spiral galaxy caught in a gravitational storm, that’s exactly what you’re up against!…

“It’s not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it’s what you have on the inside that shines in the dark.” -Anthony Liccione You might look out at a picture of a star cluster, globular cluster, or galaxy in space and think of this as mundane by this point in time. After all,…

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” -John Lubbock Each Messier Monday, we take a look at one of the 110 deep…

“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” -Walt Whitman To those of you who regularly enjoy clear, dark skies and the wondrous sights they bring, you have not only my envy, but the envy of a great many of us who long to have the wonders of the Universe directly accessible to our…

“Most estimates of the mortality risk posed by asteroid impacts put it at about the same risk as flying in a commercial airliner. However, you have to remember that this is like the entire human race riding the plane — it is one of the few risks that really could wipe us all out.” -Nathan Myhrvold Yes,…

“What you do is, you have your drawing board and a pencil in hand at the telescope. You look in and you make some markings on the paper and you look in again.” -Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto We often make a big distinction between professional and amateur today, and very rarely expect to find amateurs whose…

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” -Dr. Seuss With 110 objects in the Messier catalogue, and 40 galaxies (more than any other class of object), you…

Striking Cosmic Gold (Synopsis)

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.” -Bob Marley Going back to ancient times, it’s hard to think of a more commonly coveted element than gold. In fact, trying to transmute other elements into it was perhaps the holy grail of the pseudoscience of alchemy, the forerunner…

“The line that describes the beautiful is elliptical. It has simplicity and constant change. It cannot be described by a compass, and it changes direction at every one of its points.” -Rudolf Arnheim It’s not every day that a nearby, well-studied galaxy turns your understanding of an entire class of common objects — in this…

The Astro Alphabet (Synopsis)

“When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off.” -Vanna White A couple of years ago, I had the idea to make a special entry showcasing 26 different astronomical phenomena, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, that idea’s been built upon and improved, and I’m happy to…