Daily Archives: April 9, 2013

The Planet Pluto

The little planet that could… Although I am only 22 years old, the world has changed a lot since I grew up. No longer are the days of hearing the obnoxious but familiar sound of dial-up internet, listening to music with a walkman in your hand instead of an ipod in your pocket, and above all else, […] Continue reading

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Oxygen on Europa?

Europa, which is one of the four largest moons orbiting Jupiter, is currently one of the top candidates for potential life. Europa’s surface is made of ice, but beneath all this ice, is an ocean of water. This water is likely due to tidal heating caused by Jupiter and is evidenced by the magnetic field […] Continue reading

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M-theory Might Explain Everything

Have you ever thought about the Big Bang? And what might have happened before it? If you have come to blindly accept the widely accepted theory about how our universe was created, you might have missed the various loopholes the theory presents. For instance, the Big Bang theory states that before the huge explosion took […] Continue reading

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Neutrinos and Other Strange Things in Space

An article on SPACE.com lists the “Top 10 Strangest Things in Space” including antimatter, exoplanets, quasars, and many others. I thought this list gave a very interesting overview (and cool pictures) of these more cutting-edge areas of astronomical research. It also explained why the existence of these things are significant. For example, galactic cannibalism may […] Continue reading

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A Big Snack

The physics major in me has always been incredibly interested in black holes. We haven’t spoken about them much in this course, but there are likely black holes at the center of each galaxy, and thus studying black holes can tell us a lot about galaxies in other parts of the universe. For the first […] Continue reading

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Searching the Sky

In class this week I was curious about how astronomers are able to constantly search for exoplanets. On one hand, I knew that the Kepler Space Telescope had played an integral part in discovering the roughly 2,740 exoplanetary candidates as of January 2013. However, keeping in mind how vast space is and how quickly exoplanets […] Continue reading

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The toughest animal on the planet

Most creatures require a specific set of conditions to survive: a certain amount of oxygen, temperature, pressure, food, etc.  However, some animals can live in conditions so extreme they kill almost everything else.  These animals are called, fittingly, extremophiles.  One extremophile is the tardigrade, more commonly called water bears or moss piglets. In general, tardigrades […] Continue reading

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100,000 Stars

Above is a video of an awesome website, 100,000 Stars. This website is an interactive, 3D map of the closest 100,000 stars to us. The video gives a little taste, but I encourage everyone to go to the site and explore for yourselves. Zooming in on our Solar System, you encounter the Oort Cloud first, […] Continue reading

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Habitable Exoplanets

Researchers at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo have developed a rank ordering system of comparing exoplanets to Earth called the Earth Similarity Index. Using this system, scientists have been able to highlight a few exoplanets similar to Earth and have determined which ones are the most similar to Earth. To visit the website, […] Continue reading

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Chemical Activity on Titan

  Scientists at NASA now believe that Saturn’s moon Titan is much more chemically active than we previously thought. According to Astronomy Magazine, the found that the “complex organic chemistry that could eventually lead to the building blocks of life extends lower in the atmosphere than previously thought.” This is activity in the lower atmosphere […] Continue reading

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