Astronomy and Us

“I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos, in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.” – Carl Sagan Even after learning all of the mysteries, all of the answers, all of the beauty, and all of the chaos of the universe, it is still natural […]

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Hello?

Is anybody out there? There are only two answers to this question: yes, or no. And it’s hard to say which one is scarier. For as long as we have studied and understood the cosmos, this question has constantly pelted our curious minds. Amidst the dark, cold, corridors of space, on a small ball of […]

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The Hunt For Exoplanets

Space is huge. Really, really huge. And empty. Occasionally, here and there, you’ll stumble across an asteroid, or planet, or perhaps even a star. But all in all, space is exactly what its name states: empty space. It’s difficult to fully appreciate just how gargantuan the universe is, and, beyond that, just how spacey it is. This interactive […]

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Comets

The formation of the planetary bodies was not a peaceful one. Planetesimals, effectively “planet seeds” that would accrete material to gain mass, would frequently collide with each other at violent speeds. A collision between two planetesimals of similar sizes would spell the doom for both – all of their hard work accreting mass would be […]

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Building a Planet 101

Step 1: A Solar Nebula To build your very own solar system, you will need to start out with a solar nebula – a colossal cloud of “star stuff” recycled from dying stars. It should consist mostly of hydrogen, about 1% hydrogen compounds (“ice”), and less than 1% consisting of rock and metal. It should look something like […]

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Rogue Planets

All of the planets that we know and love in our solar system follow a pretty regular life. They spin about an axis, revolve around the central Sun, and go about their business in the small, but vast, family of the solar system. We are most familiar with “planets” as being what is similar to our […]

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Gravity vs. Light

The light from a distant galaxy gets warped and distorted thanks to the immense gravity of the closer reddish-orange galaxy We usually think light is pretty fast. Usain Bolt can set new records for how quickly man can run. There are motorcycles that can travel faster than our own nerve impulses. Aircraft has long since broken the sound barrier. […]

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