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The Evolution of Starlight

“Aristotle taught that stars are made of a different matter than the four earthly elements— a quintessence— that also happens to be what the human psyche is made of. Which is why man’s spirit corresponds to the stars. Perhaps that’s not a very scientific view, but I do like the idea that there’s a little…

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” -Mark Twain While it’s hard to imagine for me now that I have one, there are plenty of people out there who have never known the rewards and joys…

“The man’s a born straggler… another lucky exception to the rules of natural selection. A million years ago he would’ve been an easy snack for a saber-toothed tiger.” -Carl Hiaasen Welcome to the latest Messier Monday, where each week we take a look at one of Charles Messier’s original catalogue of 110 deep-sky objects that…

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!’” -Hunter S. Thompson For those of you who’ve never…

Giving thanks for our place in the Universe

“We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.” -George Bernard Shaw All that is real about ourselves is nothing…

“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” -Niels Bohr One of the most amazing recent technological innovations is the advent of 3D Printing, where any shaped or textured object can be accurately reproduced with the right software and printing materials. The things that I’ve seen made so far…

“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” -Mark Twain Welcome to yet another installment of Messier Monday, where each week, I’ll pick one of the 110 Messier Objects — deep-sky objects catalogued to avoid confusion for comet hunters — to highlight for you. So far,…

Where do Type Ia Supernovae come from?

“You have to have a canon so the next generation can come along and explode it.” -Henry Louis Gates When it comes to stars, their fates are very well known. Every single star that’s massive enough to fuse hydrogen into helium in its core will someday run out of fuel and die. The very brightest…

The Deepest View of the Universe. EVER.

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” -Joseph Campbell One of the bravest things that was ever done with the Hubble Space Telescope was to find a patch of sky with absolutely nothing in it — no bright stars, no…

How the Earth moves, and how do we know?

“Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.” -Galileo Galilei All of science is rooted in the idea that natural phenomena can be explained naturally, and that if we want to know how anything in the Universe works, all we…