Stars

Category archives for Stars

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.” –Victor Hugo When stars are born of a certain mass — between about 10 and 40 times the mass of the Sun — they can evolve into yellow supergiants when they burn through the hydrogen in…

“Aristotle taught that stars are made of a different matter than the four earthly elements — a quintessence — that also happens to be what the human psyche is made of. Which is why man’s spirit corresponds to the stars. Perhaps that’s not a very scientific view, but I do like the idea that there’s a little starlight in…

“That, then, is loveliness, we said, Children in wonder watching the stars, Is the aim and the end. Being but men, we walked into the trees.” –Dylan Thomas Yet when you look at the night sky, it isn’t watching the stars that reveals all of the Universe’s secrets, nor by looking with what you can…

“To be is to be the value of a variable.” –Willard Van Orman Quine Those constant, fixed points of light in the night sky — the stars — turn out not to be so constant if you looked with great precision at them. A star like our Sun varies in brightness, periodically, by about 0.1% over the…

“As the blackness of the night recedes so does the nadir of yesterday. The child I am forgets so quickly.” –Sylvia Ashton-Warner While the night sky is littered with thousands of points of light — the stars visible to the naked eye — we know that beyond what human perception can see, there are hundreds of…

“You can spend too much time wondering which of identical twins is the more alike.” –Robert Brault Earlier today, NASA announced the “most Earth-like exoplanet yet,” a planet just 60% larger in radius than our own, orbiting a star of the same spectral class as our Sun and with an almost identical orbital period: 385…

“Man loves company — even if it is only that of a small burning candle.” –Georg C. Lichtenberg The Sun, like all stars initially, burns hydrogen fuel into helium through the process of nuclear fusion. But as the Sun ages, as do all stars over a certain mass, it starts burning those heavier elements in its core,…

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” -Ernest Holmes When you’ve got a gas cloud in space that emits light, it’s only for one of two reasons: Either it’s at high enough temperatures that its atoms are excited and it’s emitting its own light as the electrons…

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” –Vincent Van Gogh When we look out into the Universe, farther back to greater distances, we’re also looking back in time, farther and farther into the past. If we could look back far enough, close enough to…

“When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.” –Niels Bohr Shortly after the Big Bang, the first nuclear fusion reactions occurred in the Universe, filling it with hydrogen, helium, and little else. Billions of years…