Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“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…

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson No, what happened on Mars isn’t in any danger of happening here on Earth, despite what your sci-fi…

Why Pluto Still Matters (Synopsis)

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet.” -Giuseppe Piazzi Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would…

“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”  -Judith Thurman You’d think that landing on a comet for the first time, with all ten instruments functioning, and collecting more than two full Earth-days worth of data would be…

“I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” -Henri Nouwen So, maybe you’ve been living under a rock, but whether you have or haven’t, the news is still amazing: we’ve just landed on our first not-a-rock in space,…

“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 Out beyond Neptune, the last of our Solar System’s gas giants, the icy graveyard of failed planetesimals lurks: the Kuiper Belt. Among these mixes of ice, snow, dust and…

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” -Wayne Dyer We like to think of our Solar System as typical: a central star with a number of planets — some gas giants and some rocky worlds — in orbit around it. Yes, there’s some variety, with binary or trinary star systems…

“I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?” -Tom Hanks Imagine,…

“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.” -Stephen Hawking The story of where everything came from in the Universe — of how we came from empty, expanding space to…