Monthly Archives: March 2013

Quantum What?

The Sun is really hot, yeah we all know that. We also know that all of this heat is produced by the fusion of hydrogen into helium in the core. However, did you know that the temperature required to produce fusion here on Earth (100 million K)  is much greater than the temperatures present in […] Continue reading

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Kepler 37b

The smallest exoplanet that has been discovered is Kepler 37b.  It is very small, being about the size of the moon, and is also believed to be terrestrial.  Scientists speculate that Kepler 37b is very much like Mercury, being hot, barren, and geologically inactive.  Also, like Mercury, it is orbits very close to its parent […] Continue reading

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How much did the Apollo Missions Cost?

Recently, due to Budgetary Concerns, the Government has made cuts to NASA programs and has eliminated the Space Shuttle Program.  As a result many scientists and space enthusiasts have complained that NASA expenses are minuscule compared to the many other articles of government expenses on the budget.  In addition, according to our book, many people have […] Continue reading

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Mars Suitable for Life

I know everyone is blogging about this, but how exciting is it that Mars was once suitable for life?!?  Of course, Mars will soon be on the other side of the Sun, so NASA will not be able to test … Continue reading Continue reading

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Habitable Planets

To be classified as a habitable planet, the planet in question must be found in what is known as the habitable zone. The largest requirement for this is that it must be the correct distance from the planet’s star to be able to have liquid water. The distance for the habitable zone varies based on […] Continue reading

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Many people hear the word radioactive and immediately think of either radiation from nuclear power plants or bombs, or they think of turning into a superhero. So they generally associate the idea of radiation and humans as an always negative thing. However, what they may not realize is that the human body itself emits radiation. […] Continue reading

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Nearby Star System Discovered

Above: an artist’s conception of the binary system On the same note of new discoveries, Kevin Luhman, a researcher in Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, just discovered a pair of stars that constitute the closest star system found in a century, and the third-closest star system we have ever discovered.  The binary […] Continue reading

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Life on Mars?

Recently, we’ve been emphasizing comparative planetology in our work.  This has prompted studies of each planet in our solar system, which made it clear that many of our questions remain unanswered.  We know that Mars had a warmer, wetter period billions of years ago, and have much evidence indicative of abundant liquid water flows in […] Continue reading

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Space Travellers

The greatest barrier to human exploration of space is undoubtedly the vast distances and time lengths required to travel from one stellar body to the next. This post will outline some potential modes of interstellar propulsion: Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) Thrusters As described by NASA, MPD thrusters are the most powerful form of electromagnetic propulsion. They use […] Continue reading

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Save Mr. Snow Miser!

The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) based in Boulder, Colorado, has been taking images of our planet for 34 years, documenting climate changes and ice levels across the planet. Data from the past five years show ice levels to be lower than any previously document years. Changes in climate and ice levels […] Continue reading

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