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Does water freeze or boil in space? (Synopsis)

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” -Rabindranath Tagore And you can’t answer a hypothetical question for certain, at least in science, without doing the experiment for yourself. Here on Earth, liquid water is plentiful; our planet has the stable temperatures and pressures that water needs to exist in its…

2014’s greatest meteor shower (Synopsis)

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Sure, sure, and they’re not even big, impressive stones. But like any real estate agent will tell you, location is everything. And when your tiny, pebble-sized stone originates from…

“You may have heard the world is made up of atoms and molecules, but it’s really made up of stories. When you sit with an individual that’s been here, you can give quantitative data a qualitative overlay.” -William Turner This blog has always been about the cosmic story common to us all: the story of…

“The probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search the chance of success is zero.” -Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison Although, for many various reasons, most of us may find the prospect of journeying into deep space beyond our physical grasp, that doesn’t means we can’t journey there in our imaginations.…

“In that little party there was not one who would desert another; yet we were of different countries, different colours, different races, different religions–and one of us was of a different world.” -Edgar Rice Burroughs It’s the end of yet another week, and so it’s time to look back on all we’ve written about and…

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.” -Michael Faraday And yet, it’s often incredibly difficult to use those laws of nature — even if they’re as simple as can be — to actually measure and quantitatively understand the Universe around us. Perhaps one of the most glaring…

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson No, what happened on Mars isn’t in any danger of happening here on Earth, despite what your sci-fi…

Why Pluto Still Matters (Synopsis)

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet.” -Giuseppe Piazzi Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would…

The Moment of Truth for BICEP2 (Synopsis)

“The paradigm of physics — with its interplay of data, theory and prediction — is the most powerful in science.” -Geoffrey West So earlier this year, the BICEP2 team shook up the world by announcing the discovery of primordial gravitational waves: a signal from the earliest stages of the Universe, going all the way back to before the Big Bang!…

Messier Monday: The Ultimate Trip (Synopsis)

“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.” -Dr. Seuss It’s been more than two years in the making; we started Messier Monday way back in October of 2012, and after 110 consecutive weeks, we finally arrived at our final entry last week. What better…