Gravity

Tag archives for Gravity

If it comes back to you, it’s yours!

“Not even light can escape such hollowing, this huge mass in a small space. Even the Milky Way with its open arms is said to have a black hole at its heart.” -Susan B.A. Somers-Willett Our Milky Way is home to us all. With its hundreds of billions of stars, massive spiral arms, dust lanes,…

Say Something Smart

“You must learn to talk clearly. The jargon of scientific terminology which rolls off your tongues is mental garbage.” -Martin H. Fischer I’ve always thought that the Universe is absolutely amazing; that everything from the tiniest indivisible particles all the way up to the largest structures and superstructures making up the Universe has an amazing…

“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” -Carl Sagan Our night sky, quite literally, is our window to the Universe. Well, it’s kind of a…

“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is just opinion.” -Democritus of Abdera When you take a look out at the Universe, past the objects in our own solar system, beyond the stars, dust and nebulae within our own galaxy, and out into the void of intergalactic space, what is it that you see? What…

It’s hard to leave this world

“Some prophecies are self-fulfilling But I’ve had to work for all of mine Better times will come to me, God willing Cause I can’t leave this world behind” -Josh Ritter You sure can’t leave this world behind. At least, not very easily. The reason for it, of course, is gravity. Here on the surface of…

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…

Hole in the Universe? What Hole?

Some of you who’ve been following astronomy for awhile might remember this report, where a group of astronomers reported finding a giant “void” in the Universe. What is a void? Well, galaxies are distributed pretty randomly, but because of gravity, they cluster together. A small example is our local group which looks like this, and…

How “Quantum” is the Big Bang?

There is a very techincal paper this morning by Martin Bojowald that asks the question, How Quantum Is The Big Bang? Let me break it down for you. If you took a look at empty space and zoomed in on it, looking at spaces so small that they made a proton look like a basketball,…

The Story of Neptune

(This is adapted from my public lecture, Afraid of the Dark: How We Know What We Can’t See.) Let’s go back over 200 years ago, to 1781. William Herschel (left) discovered the planet Uranus, noticing that an object, as bright as a star, was actually moving relative to the other stars. The other five inner…

Ethan takes on Johannes Kepler

Can you believe that I had a fight today with someone who’s been dead for over 350 years, and I’m losing? — Ethan, yesterday Of course you can believe it, when the man I’m fighting with is Johannes Kepler. I don’t get a chance to tell you about my research very often, mostly because it’s…