Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” -Neil Gaiman Between the near-Earth asteroids that orbit close by our planet, and the distant comets that plunge periodically into the inner Solar System, Earth has plenty to be concerned about over the long haul. A slight gravitational…

“There will be peace when the people of the world, want it so badly, that their governments will have no choice but to give it to them. I just wish you could all see the Earth the way that I see it. Because when you really look at it, it’s just one world.” -Superman So,…

“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…

That’s no comet, that’s Pluto! (Synopsis)

“Maybe some people don’t feel scared when they think about comets and supernovas. Maybe they think it is wonderful.” -Lydia Netzer What, in our Solar System, has a long tail from boiled-off frozen ices? What simultaneously leaves an X-ray signature when the solar wind collides with those boiled-off atoms, kicking electrons out and causing X-ray…

“I have lost tolerance for things without meaning. There is no time for them. Does that make sense?” -Sara Seager The discovery of a potentially habitable planet around the nearest star to our own — Proxima Centauri — has brought up the tantalizing possibility that this might be closest Earth-like world ever found. But it’s…

“What, I sometimes wonder, would it be like if I lived in a country where winter is a matter of a few chilly days and a few weeks’ rain; where the sun is never far away, and the flowers bloom all year long?” -Anna Neagle At some point in the future, the Sun, the giver…

Exoplanets: from fluke to fact

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only…

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” –Alexander Graham Bell In 1859, the Sun surprisingly increased in brightness so significantly for just a brief while that it was noticeable from Earth during the day. Less than 24 hours later, aurorae were visible…

“Our existence in this place, this microscopic corner of the cosmos, is fleeting. With utter disregard for our wants and needs, nature plays out its grand acts on scales of space and time that are truly hard to grasp. Perhaps all we can look to for real solace is our endless capacity to ask questions…

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of…