Gravity

Category archives for Gravity

Ask Ethan #9: Why everything rotates

“Galileo got it wrong. The Earth does not revolve around the Sun. It revolves around you and has been doing so for decades. At least, this is the model you are using.” -Srikumar Rao It’s the end of the week, so that means its time to take on another one of your questions from the…

“I followed him at the time and thought he was hysterical.  He was the first serial killer, a new kettle of fish, because we didn’t have the detection techniques in those days.” -Matthew Bright You can’t get mad at a team for trying the improbable, hoping that nature cooperates. Some of the most famous discoveries…

The Unlikely King of the Kuiper Belt

“It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Although the innermost planets, from Mercury through Saturn, were known since ancient times, it’s only since the advent of the telescope that we’ve discovered what really lives in our Solar…

Ask Ethan #6: The Center of the Universe

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” -C. S. Lewis And yet, when you search for the truth, you often find answers that butt…

How to reach the outer solar system

“Even in hindsight, I would not change one whit of the Voyager experience. Dreams and sweat carried it off. But most of all, its legacy makes us all Earth travelers among the stars.” -Charley Kohlhase In the early days of space exploration, it was quite a feat just to get up and out of Earth’s…

Ask Ethan #3: A Wild New Idea I Read About

“Observations indicate that the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. It will expand forever, getting emptier and darker.” -Stephen Hawking Today’s Ask Ethan comes to us via our question/suggestion box from reader MIUFish, who asks: I read something recently about some people who were doing work looking at the possibility that the mass of things…

The Little Bit of Dark Matter We Know

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad It was in the 1930s, looking at dense clusters of…

Ask Ethan #2: Meet the Oort Cloud

“The great oak of Astronomy has been felled, and we are lost without its shadow.” -Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, on the passing of Jan Oort In our new semi-regular series, readers from all over the world (and in low-Earth orbit, too, because why not!) are invited to send in their questions and suggestions for a chance to…

Where do Rogue Planets come from?

“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” -Edward Burtynsky It’s really a romantic notion when you think about it: the heavens, the…

“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” -Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order…