Kepler

Tag archives for Kepler

“You can spend too much time wondering which of identical twins is the more alike.” -Robert Brault You’ve of course heard by now the news that Kepler, the most successful and prolific planet-finding mission of all time, has probably reached the end of its useful lifespan. With nearly 3,000 planet candidates under its belt, including…

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson In the great cosmic ocean, there’s only one planet that we know — for certain — has the right conditions and history to result in intelligent life: our own. Life — or even intelligent life —…

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…

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…