Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“The dance between darkness and light will always remain — the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.” –C. JoyBell C. Yet what do you do when you discover a moon that itself straddles the border between light-and-dark? It…

“Even in hindsight, I would not change one whit of the Voyager experience. Dreams and sweat carried it off. But most of all, its legacy makes us all Earth travelers among the stars.” –Charley Kohlhase It’s a taxing enough task to launch something off the surface of the Earth, escaping our planet’s gravity and finding…

Impending Doom (Synopsis)

“From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.” –Nikola Tesla Stability: it’s the hallmark of the Solar System. The motions of all the planetary bodies are regular and periodic. The paths of…

“But even when the moon looks like it’s waning…it’s actually never changing shape. Don’t ever forget that.” –Ai Yazawa You’ve seen the iconic crescent, quarter, gibbous and full phases for yourself, and probably even an eclipse or two. For millennia, the Moon has fascinated, delighted and mystified observers of the skies. Less than 50 years…

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” –Rainer Maria Rilke Yes, it’s true, with 2015 upon us, the new year holds a number of wonderful new things. Not only for us, but for the Universe as well! Consider all the time that’s passed, leading up to today. Consider how far…

Fixing Occam’s Razor (Synopsis)

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” –Amelia Barr All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the best. At least, that’s how Occam’s razor is most commonly phrased these days. Yet, when it comes to the headlines — whether it’s a “discovery” of dark matter or “evidence” for life on Mars…

“When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.” -Kalpana Chawla Two weeks ago, we released the first video in our web series: Genesis, the story of where all this comes from. The video was on Organic…

“Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see an eclipse, clouds prevent a sight of it; and yet a sense of relief accompanies the disappointment.” –Simon Newcomb For most of us, news of a total solar eclipse — even though they happen (on average) once every three years — seems…

“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…