Stars

Category archives for Stars

“[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.…

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.” –Alan Watts Neutron star matter is the stuff of legends: it’s the densest three-dimensional material to exist in our Universe. With a density…

“As a boy I believed I could make myself invisible. I’m not sure that I ever could, but I certainly had the ability to pass unnoticed.” –Terence Stamp When you take a look at the stars visible in the night sky, you’re only seeing a tiny fraction of what’s actually present in our galaxy. Your…

The Sun’s Littlest Secret (Synopsis)

“Every time we get slapped down, we can say, ‘Thank you, Mother Nature,’ because it means we’re about to learn something important.” –John Bahcall And what’s possibly more important than learning how the Sun works? For nearly all of human history — well into the 20th century — we really didn’t know. Could it have…