Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“Being a scientist and staring immensity and eternity in the face every day is as grand and inspiring as it gets.” -Carolyn Porco Launched back in October of 1997, Cassini will take its final plunge into the ringed world it’s been orbiting for over a decade on Friday, September 15th. Before it does, however, it’s…

“The older you get, the more you realize that the way you look is a reflection of how you treat yourself.” -Hope Davis Age may be just a number, but in cosmic terms, there are some rules it’s pretty important to obey. It should be impossible to have a complex creature that’s older than the…

“The sun is a miasma Of incandescent plasma The sun’s not simply made out of gas No, no, no The sun is a quagmire It’s not made of fire Forget what you’ve been told in the past” -They Might Be Giants Ask anyone where the Sun (or any star) gets its energy from, and most…

“Just the fact that you so desperately attempt to dismantle our theory proves that we are on the right track. Otherwise you would not feel so threatened by our theories!” -Giogrio Tsoukalos (in a letter to Jason Colavito) Whenever we detect a signal that we can’t immediately explain, it’s a very human trait to ascribe…

“Comrades, this man has a nice smile, but he’s got iron teeth.” -Andrei A. Gromyko When you have a star, perhaps its most defining characteristic is that it fuses lighter elements into heavier ones, releasing energy. While all stars fuse hydrogen into helium, the more massive ones will undergo helium fusion, with the most massive…

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying…

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson Last week, millions of people across the United States got to experience the awe and wonder of a total solar eclipse, many for the very first time. But in a puzzling event, astrophysicist and one…

“The origin and evolution of life are connected in the most intimate way with the origin and evolution of the stars.” -Carl Sagan When it comes to dying stars, supernovae get all the press. They may be the largest and most massive stars to die, but hundreds of times more common are the planetary nebulae…

“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.” -Stanisław Lem One of the questions that’s fascinated humanity since we first began looking up at the night sky is…

“Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions in nature… their sources have only recently been localized by observations of associated afterglows in X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, delayed in that order.” -Richard Matzner, on the dictionary entry for Gamma Ray Burst It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s been under two years…