Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

The Planets that Never Were (Synopsis)

In 1992, scientists discovered the first planets orbiting a star other than our Sun. The pulsar PSR B1257+12 was discovered to have its own planetary system, and since then, exoplanet discoveries have exploded! But did you know that long before that, back in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, a scientist studying Barnard’s Star — the second-closest…

The Inconstant Moon (Synopsis)

“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” -Romeo & Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2 Tonight holds a full Moon in store for skywatchers everywhere. Not just any old full Moon, mind you, but a Supermoon, the last one of the…

“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut When you think about the most amazing sights available to humanity here on Earth, you probably don’t think about leaving Earth in order to capture them. But sometimes, doing exactly that…

“I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m not going to die out. I guess I’m more like a comet then. I’m just going to keep on coming back.” -C. JoyBell C. Every year, meteor showers sizzle and fizzle, yet no matter what happens in the skies, there’s always one meteor shower that’s reliable…

“In any field, find the strangest thing and then explore it.”  -John Archibald Wheeler It’s been over a decade, nearly a hundred thousand turns of its wheels and an unprecedented journey that still continues. But finally, after all this time, the Mars Opportunity rover has arrived. Not anyplace that isn’t just like something it’s seen…

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” -Alexander Graham Bell The Sun, contrary to what you might normally think about it, isn’t a constant, uniform source of radiation. It has an active surface, replete with temperature variations, sunspots, and occasionally a large…

“Geologists have a saying: rocks remember.” -Neil Armstrong 45 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission was on its way away from planet Earth and headed towards the Moon, where the first human beings would set foot on the surface just a few days later. Back in 2012, the very first man on the Moon, Neil…

The Two Faces of the Moon (Synopsis)

“When you’re finally up at the moon looking back on earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” -Frank Borman, Apollo 8 You’ve…

“Some prophecies are self-fulfilling But I’ve had to work for all of mine Better times will come to me, God willing Cause I can’t leave this world behind” -Josh Ritter Sure, many of us have dreams of leaving this world at one time or another. How wonderful it would be to leap from one giant…

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” -Jack London Here on Earth, we think of shooting stars and meteor showers as things that happen periodically; sometimes they’re spectacular, sometimes they’re rare. But in all cases,…