Stars

Category archives for Stars

The Planet with Nowhere to Land

“Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner Despite the discovery of dozens of…

“Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.” -Carl Sagan Nothing lasts forever in this Universe, not even the seemingly timeless stars in the sky. At any moment, any one of the brilliant, twinkling points of light from across the galaxy could run out of fuel,…

“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 Like it was for many people, the original, very first Star Wars movie was one of my favorites as a child. And while there was a lot to be in…

The Galaxy’s Biggest Valentine

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” -William Shakespeare Up in the night sky, just a few degrees away from Orion, one of the most identifiable constellations in the winter sky, lies a cluster of newly formed stars. 5,000 light years away, this cluster…

Defeating Hubble, from the ground!

“The Earth’s atmosphere is an imperfect window on the universe… atmospheric turbulence blurs the images of celestial objects, even when they are viewed through the most powerful ground-based telescopes.” -John Bahcall There’s no doubt that the Hubble Space Telescope has given us some of the most spectacular, high resolution views of the Universe. From the…

Our Galaxy’s Next Supernova

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” -Johannes Kepler So said the man who, in 1604, discovered the supernova that was the last to be seen, visually, within our…

A History of our Galaxy’s Fireworks!

“When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.” -Tycho Brahe When we look out at galaxies throughout the Universe, we find that every so often…

Learning all about the Eagle, all over again

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known Universe.” -Edwin Hubble While large parts of the internet are blacked out…

Did this Supernova Leave Nothing Behind?

“Nothing leads the scientist so astray as a premature truth.” -Jean Rostand One of the most awesome events, literally, that happens in this Universe is when stars — giant nuclear furnaces like our Sun — die in the most energetic way possible: a supernova. Video credit: Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Ors Hunor Detre, Oliver Krause), via…

Hubble: Still Unbeatable

“At the last dim horizon, we search among ghostly errors of observations for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial. The search will continue. The urge is older than history. It is not satisfied and it will not be oppressed.” -Edwin Hubble Given the relative peace of our night skies, combined with the vast distances from…