Stars

Category archives for Stars

“Black holes can bang against space-time as mallets on a drum and have a very characteristic song.” -Janna Levin If you had told an astrophysicist five years ago that binary black holes were common, that would’ve been news, but not surprising. If you had told them that ~30 solar masses was a good estimate for…

“Until the 1990s, there were few reliable observations about movement at the scale of the entire universe, which is the only scale dark energy effects. So dark energy could not be seen until we could measure things very, very far away.” -Adam Riess Just thirty years ago, scientists argued over the value of the Hubble…

“The bedrock nature of space and time and the unification of cosmos and quantum are surely among science’s great ‘open frontiers.’ These are parts of the intellectual map where we’re still groping for the truth – where, in the fashion of ancient cartographers, we must still inscribe ‘here be dragons.’” -Martin Rees Inside the nuclear…

“We have known since the 1800s that carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. The right amount keeps the climate conducive to human life.” -James Hansen Thanks to our position in space, the energy output of the Sun, and the right atmospheric conditions on Earth, we have temperatures conducive to liquid water on our planet.…

“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 When stars like our Sun run out of fuel, they…

“When a star goes supernova, the explosion emits enough light to overshadow an entire solar system, even a galaxy. Such explosions can set off the creation of new stars. In its own way, it was not unlike being born.” -Todd Nelsen The vast majority of elements beyond hydrogen found on Earth were created inside a…

“There’s no god, it’s the elements that control this world and everything on it.” -Scott A. Butler From hydrogen through uranium and even beyond, the Universe gives us a huge variety of elements that can bond together in practically innumerable ways, creating all the matter we’ve ever observed in existence. Everything beyond helium in the…

“Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” -Carl Sagan Glittering above high overhead, the canopy of night offers thousands of points of light, each one…

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.” -Jean-Luc Picard The cosmic story common to all of us — where we came from, how we got here and where we’re headed into the future — is both amazing and daunting. But when we’re first exposed…

“When I was in high school, I was certain that being an astronaut was my goal. It was a very important time — Sally Ride was making her first flight into space and she had a real impact on me. Those ‘firsts’ kind of stick in your head and really become inspirations for you.” Karen Nyberg,…