planet

Tag archives for planet

“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. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to…

Where do Rogue Planets come from?

“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” -Edward Burtynsky It’s really a romantic notion when you think about it: the heavens, the…

“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 —…

Whose world is it, anyway?

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” -Mark Twain So, you’ve been around a while, seen all sorts of things, and learned an awful lot about the world, solar system and Universe that we live in. But how well do you know it,…

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…