Stars

Category archives for Stars

One of the great, catastrophic truths of the Universe is that everything has an expiration date. And this includes every single point of light in the entire sky. The most massive stars — like Betelgeuse (at the upper left) — will die in a spectacular supernova explosion when their final stage of core fuel runs out.…

Impending Doom (Synopsis)

“From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.” –Nikola Tesla Stability: it’s the hallmark of the Solar System. The motions of all the planetary bodies are regular and periodic. The paths of…

“I lie on the floor, washed by nothing and hanging on. I cry at night. I am afraid of hearing voices, or a voice. I have come to the edge, of the land. I could get pushed over.” –Margaret Atwood We had a great run with Messier Monday, followed by a fun mini-series on Mini-Movie…

The slow dance that made you (Synopsis)

“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!” –George Gamow But how was it that this happened? Sure, the Universe may have started off with hydrogen and helium alone, but when we look around at…

“A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.” –Niels Bohr There’s a wonderful story that the Universe tells us about itself: the story of where everything in it came from, and how it came to be this way. From the perspective of a human being, there’s possibly no component of that as…

“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” –Ovid With all that we know of astronomy, with the hundreds of billions of galaxies and hundreds of billions of stars in each that we know are there, it might surprise you to learn that the stars — for the most part…

The Physics of the Death Star (Synopsis)

“What’s that star? It’s the Death Star. What does it do? It does Death. It does Death, buddy. Get out of my way!” –Eddie Izzard It’s said — at least by Darth Vader — that the power to destroy a planet is nothing compared to the power of the force. But how much energy is that,…

“But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.” -John Adams Not every swarm is a danger, however, particularly…

“It’s not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it’s what you have on the inside that shines in the dark.” -Anthony Liccione You might look out at a picture of a star cluster, globular cluster, or galaxy in space and think of this as mundane by this point in time. After all,…

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” -John Lubbock Each Messier Monday, we take a look at one of the 110 deep…