Stars

Category archives for Stars

How the Sun *really* shines (Synopsis)

“Mr. Burns: Smithers, hand me that ice-cream scoop. Smithers: Ice-cream scoop? Mr. Burns: Damn it, Smithers! This isn’t rocket science, it’s brain surgery!”  -The Simpsons I bet you’re one of those people who hears a term like “nuclear physics” and thinks that’s hard stuff, way over your head. But in many ways, it’s the easiest of all…

“Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.” -Samuel Johnson You might look up at our Sun in the sky, delighted at its brilliance and life-giving brightness, thankful for all it’s brought to our world. But we’re all just a little bit dismayed at the crushing realization that it won’t live forever, and will…

“The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the ‘evolution’ of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.” -William James Summer is coming. No, not to Westeros, but to your…

“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?” -Khalil Gibran When you think about globular clusters, you normally think about great collections of hundreds…

Ask Ethan #26: Burn, baby, burn!

“Man loves company – even if it is only that of a small burning candle.” -Georg C. Lichtenberg It’s the end of the week here at Starts With A Bang, and so it’s time for still another Ask Ethan! This is — for those of you wondering — the final Ask Ethan we’ll have here on…

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” -National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Ahh, Christmas. It’s easy to forget how much the invention of the light bulb in 1879 reduced the number of tree fires in people’s homes. It was a mere three years later that people began…

“A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite.” -Elizabeth Fishel With 110 deep-sky wonders to choose from in the Messier catalogue, our long-running series on Messier Monday promises to keep us busy for some time to come! As we’ve finally passed the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, many new spectacular sights…

Ask Ethan #16: What are Variable Stars?

“To be is to be the value of a variable.” -Willard Van Orman Quine It’s the end of the week once again, and the very end of our Year In Space 2014 Wall Calendar giveaway! So for this week’s Ask Ethan column, after dipping into our question/suggestion box, I’m very pleased to let Vera from…

“Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.” -Maria Mitchell It’s time again for Messier Monday, where we highlight the various wonderous deep-sky objects of the night, and show you how to find them against the expansive backdrop of stars. The (almost) full Moon is…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” -Joseph Campbell Ever since we created a question/suggestion box here, we’ve been deluged by far more excellent questions than one person could possibly answer, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t trying! For this…