Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

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…

Scientific Paradoxes are Omens of Advance

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” -Charles Darwin There are problems with science today, no doubt. With all the knowledge we’ve accumulated about the Universe, from…

Ask Ethan #2: Meet the Oort Cloud

“The great oak of Astronomy has been felled, and we are lost without its shadow.” -Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, on the passing of Jan Oort In our new semi-regular series, readers from all over the world (and in low-Earth orbit, too, because why not!) are invited to send in their questions and suggestions for a chance to…

Where do Rogue Planets come from?

“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” -Edward Burtynsky It’s really a romantic notion when you think about it: the heavens, the…

“Being told about the effects of climate change is an appeal to our reason and to our desire to bring about change. But to see that Africans are the hardest hit by climate change, even though they generate almost no greenhouse gas, is a glaring injustice, which also triggers anger and outrage over those who…