Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“For the first time we can learn about individual stars from near the beginning of time. There are surely many more out there.” -Neil Gehrels We know what NASA’s James Webb and WFIRST are designed for, and we know what we expect to find. James Webb will be the largest space telescope ever, focused mostly…

“If we get rid of the moon, women, those menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get PMS. They will stop bitching and whining.” -Joe Scarborough, misattributing a quote to Arnold Schwarzenegger that was actually spoken by an impersonator Our Moon is pretty unusual as far as the Solar System goes: of all…

“The [James Webb] telescope is basically designed to answer the big questions in astronomy, the questions Hubble can’t answer.” -Amber Straughn Have you ever asked the biggest questions in the Universe? Questions like how the Universe came to be the way it is today? How the first stars and galaxies — the first light —…

“I didn’t even know there were stars to look at to not see. If you don’t know that they’re there, you don’t know that you’re missing them.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson, on light pollution As with pretty much every week that goes by, we’ve had a slew of fantastic stories here at Starts With A Bang! There have…

“It isn’t only the beauty of the night sky that thrills me. It’s the sense I have that some of those points of light are the home stars of beings not so different from us, daily cares and all. who look across space with wonder, just as we do.” -Frank Drake What is it that…

Did Mars Once Have Three Moons? (Synopsis)

“The larger inner moons fall back to Mars after about 5 million years due to the tidal pull of the planet, after which the two outer satellites evolve into Phobos- and Deimos-like orbits.” -Pascal Rosenblatt, et al. Compared to the other moons we know of in the Solar System, Mars’s two, Phobos and Deimos, are incredibly difficult to…

“Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling…

“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.” -Dmitri Mendeleev When the Universe…

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them.” -Christiaan Huygens It was quite a surprise when we started discovering all the exoplanets that were out there. While there’s a big…

How flat can a planet be? (Synopsis)

“‘I’ll follow him to the ends of the earth,’ she sobbed. Yes, darling. But the earth doesn’t have any ends.” -Tom Robbins We have some pretty good definitions of what it takes to be a planet, and one part of that definition is that a world needs to be massive enough to pull itself into…