Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“He who would search for pearls must dive below.” -John Dryden Sometimes falling can be a painful thing, as Ween might sing you in their ominous composition, Falling Out, but sometimes it can be absolutely wonderful, like when the Hubble space telescope allows you to “fall in” to the closest large galaxy to us: Andromeda. Thanks to…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…

“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” -Arthur C. Clarke For the past three years, Kepler has been looking at 150,000 stars, searching for planetary transits. The science haul has been huge, but mostly larger planets close in to their parent stars. Nevertheless, a few…

“This Administration has never really faced up to where we are going in space… As a result, NASA is both drifting and lobbying for bigger things — without being able to focus realistically on what it should be doing.” -White House staff assistant Clay Thomas Whitehead, February 1971 What should we be doing with respect to our…

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” -Winston Churchill There was a piece that ran over this weekend in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life is actually evidence pointing towards the existence of God.…

The Christmas Tree Cluster (Synopsis)

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”  -National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation With Christmas upon us, what would you ask for from the Universe? It can’t bring you tangible presents, perhaps, but it can bring you the greatest cosmic sights you’ve ever feasted upon. So why not…

Fixing Occam’s Razor (Synopsis)

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” -Amelia Barr All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the best. At least, that’s how Occam’s razor is most commonly phrased these days. Yet, when it comes to the headlines — whether it’s a “discovery” of dark matter or “evidence” for life on Mars…

“When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.” -Kalpana Chawla Two weeks ago, we released the first video in our web series: Genesis, the story of where all this comes from. The video was on Organic…

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus This Sunday marks the Winter Solstice: the darkest, longest evening of the year for all the Earth’s northern hemisphere denizens. Sure, you probably know all about Earth’s axial tilt and how the southern hemisphere experiences the summer…

2014’s greatest meteor shower (Synopsis)

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Sure, sure, and they’re not even big, impressive stones. But like any real estate agent will tell you, location is everything. And when your tiny, pebble-sized stone originates from…