Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“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,…

“Most estimates of the mortality risk posed by asteroid impacts put it at about the same risk as flying in a commercial airliner. However, you have to remember that this is like the entire human race riding the plane — it is one of the few risks that really could wipe us all out.” -Nathan Myhrvold Yes,…

“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!” -George Gamow Whenever Earth Day comes around, I see a lot of different reactions from people. Some express their passion for the environment, others express disdain for…

“And everything under the sun is in tune But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” -Pink Floyd We normally think of eclipses as rare phenomena, something that happens only occasionally. While it’s true than any particular location only experiences eclipses — particularly solar eclipses — infrequently, we actually experience these things around four times a…

“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. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to…

Ask Ethan #20: Is the Mars One crew doomed?

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” -Antoine de Saint Exupéry It’s the end of the week here, so it’s time for another Ask Ethan column! Today’s question…