Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“We are not like the social insects. They have only the one way of doing things and they will do it forever, coded for that way. We are coded differently, not just for binary choices, go or no-go. We can go four ways at once, depending on how the air feels: go, no-go, but also…

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein While it’s easy to look on Einstein’s general theory of relativity — which turns 100 today — as a revolutionary new way to interpret space and time, as well as their interplay with matter and energy,…

“Cheap little rhymes A cheap little tune Are sometimes as dangerous As a sliver of the moon.” -Langston Hughes 4.5 billion years ago, a giant object collided with our proto-Earth, kicking up debris that eventually coalesced into the Moon. While the near side contains dark maria and lunar lowlands, the far side is almost exclusive…

“There are still so many questions to answer. When you look at any part of the universe, you have to feel humbled.” -Saul Perlmutter Discovered in 1998 from the observation of distant supernovae, dark energy determines the eventual fate of the Universe, leading to a “Big Freeze” scenario, where all the galaxies, groups and clusters that…

“Some kind of celestial event. No — no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful… I had no idea.” –Dr. Ellie Arroway, Contact Back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union defined the term “planet” for the first time by three criteria: its ability to orbit the…

“Studying whether there’s life on Mars or studying how the universe began, there’s something magical about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. That’s something that is almost part of being human, and I’m certain that will continue.” -Sally Ride If you came to the Solar System some 500 million years after its formation, you would’ve…

“This scenario implies that the giant planet instability is not the source of the Late Heavy Bombardment and that terrestrial planet formation finished with the giant planets in their modern configuration.” -Nathan A. Caib & John E. Chambers It’s a common but nonetheless spectacular occurrence when our leading scientific theories — the ones with the…

Was Earth Born With Life On It? (Synopsis)

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” –Marcus Aurelius How old is life on Earth? If all you had to go on was the fossil record, you’d run into severe trouble once you went back more than one…

“My Lord, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed. Com Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area of the sixth planet of the Hoth System. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.” –General Veers, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Out beyond Saturn’s main rings lie a number of prominent moons:…

“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…