Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“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…

Top 6 Facts about the year’s final Solstice

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus As the year draws to a close, we approach a very special time of year, at least from an astronomical perspective. This Saturday, December 21st, will mark the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (or the Summer…

“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…

The Story of Mars

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson Oh, it’s true alright, something bad did once happen on Mars. And although there isn’t any real danger…

Ask Ethan #9: Why everything rotates

“Galileo got it wrong. The Earth does not revolve around the Sun. It revolves around you and has been doing so for decades. At least, this is the model you are using.” -Srikumar Rao It’s the end of the week, so that means its time to take on another one of your questions from the…

Ask Ethan #8: The Comet of the Century?

“I have just gone over my comet computations again, and it is humiliating to perceive how very little more I know than I did seven years ago when I first did this kind of work.” -Maria Mitchell Well, it’s getting close to the end of October, the Moon is waning towards its new phase, and…

Ask Ethan #7: How to End the World

“If you are writing any book about the end of the world, what you are really writing about is what’s worth saving about it.” -Justin Cronin Well, it’s Friday again, and that means it’s time to dip into the question/suggestion box, and see what you’ve come up with for me. This week’s Ask Ethan comes…

The Unlikely King of the Kuiper Belt

“It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Although the innermost planets, from Mercury through Saturn, were known since ancient times, it’s only since the advent of the telescope that we’ve discovered what really lives in our Solar…

How to reach the outer solar system

“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 In the early days of space exploration, it was quite a feat just to get up and out of Earth’s…