Stars

Category archives for Stars

“We [are] a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos.” -Carl Sagan When the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft were launched, they contained a message emblazoned on them: a map of 14 pulsars, showing the location of Earth relative to…

“Yes, I am well aware that nature — or what we call nature: that totality of objects and processes that surrounds us and that alternately creates us and devours us — is neither our accomplice nor our confidant.” -Octavio Paz For most of us heading to the path of totality, we’re in for an incredible…

“…and the Sun has perished out of heaven, and an evil mist hovers over all.” -Homer’s Odyssey The great american eclipse is coming, and you’re in luck! This astronomical sight is unlike anything else that occurs on Earth (or any rocky planet in the Solar System), and there are three incredible stories that it teaches…

“The discovery of deuterium and the marked differences in the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen and deuterium, together with an efficient method for the separation of these isotopes, have opened an interesting field of research in several of the major branches of science.” -Harold Urey By time the first few minutes of the Big…

“Eddington had needed to make significant corrections to some of the measurements, for various technical reasons, and in the end decided to leave some of the Sobral data out of the calculation entirely. Many scientists were suspicious that he had cooked the books. Although the suspicion lingered for years in some quarters, in the end…

“[Brown dwarfs] appear to live a more exciting life than we presumed. They are too big to be planets and two small to be stars, but it does appear that if you watch one it has very active events… there is action going on.” -Lars Bildsten For every star that’s out there in the Universe, for…

“It shows you exactly how a star is formed; nothing else can be so pretty! A cluster of vapor, the cream of the milky way, a sort of celestial cheese, churned into light.” -Benjamin Disraeli From here on Earth, most of the stars we see in the night sky are ancient, having departed from the…

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” -Dave Barry When we break out the big guns — space telescopes like Hubble or James Webb — we can see the Universe as it was billions of…

“Billions of years from now our sun, then a distended red giant star, will have reduced Earth to a charred cinder.” -Carl Sagan “Bigger mass makes a bigger star,” you might be inclined to say. The smallest stars in size should be small because they have the least amount of material in them, while the…

“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.” -Dmitri Mendeleev When the Big…