Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“One of the dreariest spots on life’s road is the point of conviction that nothing will ever again happen to you.” –Faith Baldwin Bet you thought you knew it all about the asteroid belt. These frozen, ice-and-rock worlds orbit farther out from Mars, closer in than Jupiter, and occasionally get hurled towards the inner Solar…

“Without any doubt, the regularity which astronomy shows us in the movements of the comets takes place in all phenomena. The trajectory of a simple molecule of air or vapour is regulated in a manner as certain as that of the planetary orbits; the only difference between them is that which is contributed by our…

“And no one showed us to the land And no one knows the where’s or why’s But something stirs and something tries And starts to climb towards the light” –Pink Floyd, Echoes It’s pretty difficult to imagine, but a little over 300 years ago, a supernova — a dying, ultramassive star — exploded, giving rise…

“Energy is liberated matter, matter is energy waiting to happen.” –Bill Bryson When it comes to the Universe, you might think that energy really is only limited by rarity: get enough particles accelerated by enough supermassive, super-energetic sources, and it’s only a matter of time (and flux) before you get one that reaches any arbitrary energy…

“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” –Robert Southey You might think that, when it comes to finding the most distant objects in the Universe, all we need is a good telescope, to leave the shutter open, and wait. As…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” –Joseph Campbell Imagine you just stared into darkness, collecting every photon of light that came by. What would you wind up seeing? The Hubble Space Telescope has done this many times, creating the…

“A single tiny light creates a space where darkness cannot exist. The light vanquishes the darkness. Try as it might, the darkness cannot conquer the light.” –Donald L. Hicks While it might seem like there are an endless supply of stars in the Universe, the process that powers each and every one requires fuel to…

Bring Deep Space Home (Synopsis)

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” –Carl Sagan For thousands of years, humanity has looked up at the night sky and wondered at what might be out there. For the first time in all of our history, we not only have the answers to what’s…

Over at Starts With A Bang, Jillian Scudder of Astroquizzical takes on a doozy of a question: If a photon of light escapes from a star, when it hits another star, does it get absorbed and have to complete another cycle before it can escape again? After all, it takes (on average) over 100,000 years…

“But I see it differently now. There has to be a middle. Without it, nothing can truly be whole. Because it is not just the space between, but also what holds everything together.” –Sarah Dessen Sure, the Hubble Space Telescope gives us unparalleled views of our Universe. We can even use it — with its…