Stars

Category archives for Stars

“A bit of mould is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an ant-hill of stars.” -Victor Hugo In the distant future, about 7 billion years from now, our Sun will run out of all the nuclear fuel it’s capable of burning in its core. As it contracts under its own gravity, radiation becomes unable…

How the Universe changed in 2016 (Synopsis)

“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” -W. Somerset Maugham After 13.8 billion years have gone by, you might not think that a year makes much of a difference. A year to the…

“Science doesn’t always go forwards. It’s a bit like doing a Rubik’s cube. You sometimes have to make more of a mess with a Rubik’s cube before you can get it to go right.” -Jocelyn Bell-Burnell Observations that surprise us, of a phenomenon we weren’t expecting and don’t have an explanation for, are some of…

“This isn’t my life anymore, Mulder. I’m done chasing monsters in the dark.” -Dana Scully, X-files One of the most exciting things a scientist can experience is when they look at a sample of data, expecting to not see a particular exciting effect, and yet, something’s there. Immediately, you have to check yourself: what are…

“From our home on the Earth, we look out into the distances … to imagine the sort of world into which we are born… . But with increasing distance our knowledge fades, and fades rapidly, until at the last dim horizon we search among ghostly errors of observations for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial. The…

“Scratch a cynic and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.” -Jon F. Merz The stars overhead might twinkle and cause us to wonder what they are, exactly, but perhaps a more important question is to wonder where they are. If we can determine the distances to the stars, and then use those known distances to measure…

“Teaching man his relatively small sphere in the creation, it also encourages him by its lessons of the unity of Nature and shows him that his power of comprehension allies him with the great intelligence over-reaching all.” -Annie Jump Cannon A look up at the stars in the night sky shows a clear distinction: some…

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” -Alan Turing The Cosmic Microwave Background data gave us an unprecedented picture of our Universe in terms of accuracy, with the latest Planck results showing us our Universe is 68% dark energy, 13.8 billion years old…

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” -J.K. Rowling From 19,000 light years away, Terzan 5 looks a lot like pretty much any globular cluster you’d expect to find: it’s massive, concentrated, with a huge number of stars at right around 12 billion years of age. But mixed in…

“Mapping out the elements in a star is like reading its DNA. We’re using those DNA readings to decode the history of the Milky Way from the stars that we can observe today.” -Steven Majewski Most of the stars in our Milky Way have long lives ahead of them, with dozens or even hundreds of…