Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“We cannot be vengeful. We need to find pono [righteous] solutions. We need to find good things for astronomers. Cooperation is, I think, really the true part of our human nature, not competition. I think we have to go back to cooperation to survive the future.” -Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou If you…

“Mars is much closer to the characteristics of Earth. It has a fall, winter, summer and spring. North Pole, South Pole, mountains and lots of ice. No one is going to live on Venus; no one is going to live on Jupiter.” -Buzz Aldrin When we think about life in the Universe, we think about…

“It will be found that those contained in one article [class of nebulae], are so closely allied to those in the next, that there is perhaps not so much difference between them, if I may use the comparison, as there would be in an annual description of the human figure, were it given from the…

“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” –Walt Whitman Every once in a while, the Earth hurtles through the orbital path of a comet or asteroid, with the Sun having torn tiny bits of debris from the parent body. As a result, the Earth strikes these dusty fragments at speeds often exceeding a hundred…

“After 20 years of exploring planets as big as Jupiter around other suns, we still have a lot of questions left open. For instance, we don’t understand what is the physical mechanism that forms Jupiter-like planets with orbital periods as little as a few days.” -Alexandre Santerne By surveying an area of the sky containing…

“Lots of science fiction deals with distant times and places. Intrepid prospectors in the Asteroid Belt. Interstellar epics. Galactic empires. Trips to the remote past or future.” -Edward M. Lerner Of all the asteroids we’ve ever discovered, it’s arguably the very first one, Ceres, that’s got the most to teach us. Currently being mapped at…

“Truth is more valuable if it takes you a few years to find it.” -Jules Renard Of all the star-forming nebulae in our galaxy, the Trifid Nebula — Messier 20 — is thought to be the newest and youngest. Named “Trifid” for its threefold appearance, the blue reflection nebula, the red emission nebula, and the…

“I have worn myself thin trying to find out about this comet, and I know very little now in the matter.” -Maria Mitchell Originating from the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud, comets are generally thought of as periodic objects, with their initial trajectories having been perturbed by either Neptune, another distant object or a…

“Some kind of celestial event. No — no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful… I had no idea.” –Dr. Ellie Arroway, Contact Back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union defined the term “planet” for the first time by three criteria: its ability to orbit the…

“It is true that we are made of dust. And the world is also made of dust. But the dust has motes rising.” -Muhammad Iqbal If you want to view the Milky Way in all its true splendor, you need to go beyond visible light, as the cosmic dust that gives rise to new stars…