Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

When you think about our world and our place in the Solar System, you very likely think about Earth, spinning on its axis, with the Moon orbiting around it, and with the entire Earth-Moon system orbiting the Sun. But did you know that all of it — the Earth spinning on its axis, the Moon revolving around…

“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur What you see is what you get, except when it isn’t. We’re all familiar with Hubble’s law, or the notion that the Universe is expanding, and…

“Studying whether there’s life on Mars or studying how the universe began, there’s something magical about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. That’s something that is almost part of being human, and I’m certain that will continue.” –Sally Ride When Curiosity landed on the martian surface in 2012, surviving “seven minutes of terror,” it went…

“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 It’s such a simple fact — that the Sun is made out of hydrogen…

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” –Marcus Aurelius Let there be light! You’d think that would be enough: that you form stars in the Universe, you see those stars in the Universe, and that tells you about what’s out there. If only it were that simple.…

“‘You are a different kind of Irishman, Goll,’ was all she said. ‘Every Irishman is a different kind of Irishman,’ said Goll.” –Charles Brady Sure, we’re all a little bit Irish today. We celebrate in a plethora of different ways, the most common of which is to prominently display the color most associated with Ireland: green. But…

“Curiosity is the essence of human existence. ‘Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?’… I don’t know. I don’t have any answers to those questions. I don’t know what’s over there around the corner. But I want to find out.” –Eugene Cernan, last human on the Moon…

“As a boy I believed I could make myself invisible. I’m not sure that I ever could, but I certainly had the ability to pass unnoticed.” –Terence Stamp When you take a look at the stars visible in the night sky, you’re only seeing a tiny fraction of what’s actually present in our galaxy. Your…

Photonic Booms (Synopsis)

Imagine the surface of the Moon, so distant, and an infinitely precise and powerful laser pointer. With a flick of your wrist, you can send the dot that you see flying across the Moon’s surface as quickly as you can manage. Without too much difficulty, in fact, you’ll find yourself breaking the speed of light!…

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” –Yousuf Karsh When you find an incredibly huge, dense collection of mass, all together in one place, it generally indicates a galaxy cluster of tremendous size. Under circumstances like this, the phenomenon of gravitational lensing is often…