gas

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The Largest Trainwrecks in the Universe

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay It was just a little while ago that we were all speculating wildly — and optimistically — about Comet…

“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” -Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order…

How do we see through our own galaxy?

“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” -Johann Lambert When we look out at the Universe, our view is pretty consistently dominated by the…

The Universe is Alive

“Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery When you look out into the Universe, what is it that you typically think of? Do you think of reliable, fixed stars and constellations? The…

“It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight.” – Neil Armstrong Indeed, all that glitters so brilliantly in the cosmos does so because of the stars that have formed throughout it. Over the 14 billion-or-so years that our Universe has been around, we’ve formed hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone. Given that our…

Behind the Galaxy’s Most Famous Nebula

“The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the ‘evolution’ of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.” -William James Up in the heavens, there are planets, stars, and galaxies…

Q & A: Inside a Gas Giant

I’m always happy to receive questions from those of you interested enough to ask them, and every once in a while one of them feels just right to write up an article about it. Today’s comes from Brad Walker, who asks about the inside of gas giants. Specifically, The question pertains to the insides of…

Alright, startswithabang-ers, Ben, my most avid commenter, saw me online while I was eating breakfast this morning, and pointed me to this new press release. Now, before you get started clicking on everything, the guy who the release is about is Brian Gaensler, who’s a really nice guy, lives in Australia, whom I met at…