Stars

Category archives for Stars

“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…

“The wonder is, not that the field of the stars is so vast, but that man has measured it.” –Anatole France Wherever large, dense collections of cool gas gather together under the force of their own gravity, new stars are bound to form. Every galaxy goes through peaks and lulls in star formation, yet at…

“[I]f there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” –C.S. Lewis The Universe had two periods where light was abundant, separated by the cosmic dark ages. The first came at the moment of the hot Big Bang, as…

“A single tiny light creates a space where darkness cannot exist. The light vanquishes the darkness. Try as it might, the darkness cannot conquer the light.” –Donald L. Hicks While it might seem like there are an endless supply of stars in the Universe, the process that powers each and every one requires fuel to…

Over at Starts With A Bang, Jillian Scudder of Astroquizzical takes on a doozy of a question: If a photon of light escapes from a star, when it hits another star, does it get absorbed and have to complete another cycle before it can escape again? After all, it takes (on average) over 100,000 years…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” –Joseph Campbell When we look at the centers of galaxies, it’s no surprise that there are large black holes there, millions or even billions of times the mass of the Sun. As we…

“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” –Lao Tzu With hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way, you’d think the largest star we’ve ever discovered would be in the most intense star-forming regions here, perhaps towards the galactic center. It’s a good thought, as we’ve discovered stars up to 175…

“The sun is a miasma Of incandescent plasma The sun’s not simply made out of gas No, no, no The sun is a quagmire It’s not made of fire Forget what you’ve been told in the past” –They Might Be Giants It’s such a simple fact — that the Sun is made out of hydrogen…

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” –Marcus Aurelius Let there be light! You’d think that would be enough: that you form stars in the Universe, you see those stars in the Universe, and that tells you about what’s out there. If only it were that simple.…