Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“…and the Sun has perished out of heaven, and an evil mist hovers over all.” -Homer’s Odyssey The great american eclipse is coming, and you’re in luck! This astronomical sight is unlike anything else that occurs on Earth (or any rocky planet in the Solar System), and there are three incredible stories that it teaches…

“If I had to describe myself to an alien I’d say I was bigger than the average human, enjoy a drink or two with a good meal and have a bigger head than most. I’d also say I’m really handsome — especially if they were a female alien.” -Dwayne Johnson The Earth, to the best of our…

“We really expect the mission to be transformational. This is the capstone of the original visits to the planets. It takes us 4 billion miles away and 4 billion years back in time.” -Alan Stern When the Hubble Space Telescope discovered additional moons of Pluto, beyond Charon, it was speculated that New Horizons might find…

“Having totality means being capable of following ‘what is,’ because ‘what is’ is constantly moving and constantly changing. If one is anchored to a particular view, one will not be able to follow the swift movement of ‘what is.’” -Bruce Lee If you’ve never seen a total solar eclipse before, you’ve likely heard about many…

“Jupiter instead cooled down below the threshold for fusion, but it maintained enough heat and mass and pressure to cram atoms very close together, to the point they stop behaving like the atoms we recognize on earth. Inside Jupiter, they enter a limbo of possibility between chemical and nuclear reactions, where planet-sized diamonds and oily…

“Juno will peer hundreds of miles downward into the atmosphere with its microwave radiometer, which passively senses heat coming from within the planet. This capability will enable Juno to reveal the deep structure of the Great Red Spot, along with other prominent Jovian features, such as the colorful cloud bands.” -Tricia Talbert Jupiter’s Great Red…

“Eddington had needed to make significant corrections to some of the measurements, for various technical reasons, and in the end decided to leave some of the Sobral data out of the calculation entirely. Many scientists were suspicious that he had cooked the books. Although the suspicion lingered for years in some quarters, in the end…

“I would argue that in any habitable zone that doesn’t boil or freeze, intelligent life is going to emerge because intelligence is convergent.” -Simon Conway Morris Someday, in the far distant future, the evolution of the Sun will cause it to heat up and emit so much energy that the Earth’s surface will reach a…

“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” -Victor Hugo On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Earth and…

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens 65 million years ago, a catastrophic impact from outer space caused the last great mass extinction on Earth, destroying 30% of the species that lived on our world at the time. These mass extinction events happened many times in Earth’s past,…