Monthly Archives: May 2018

Farewell, InSight Lander!

On Saturday, May 5, NASA is launching its newest Mars lander. The Mars InSight lander is set to arrive at Mars in November. This spacecraft is a first of its kind because it will be launched from the West Coast unlike other launches to Mars. More importantly, however, this lander is unique because it will … Continue reading “Farewell, InSight Lander!” Continue reading

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Fermi’s Great Filter

Many people think about our future of exploring the solar system and perhaps nearby star systems and imagine finding bacterial life or perhaps even fossils or ruins of life that has gone extinct. While this would imply that life exists much more plentifully than expected across our galaxy, it might not actually bode well for … Continue reading Fermi’s Great Filter Continue reading

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Enter The Hypolith

Hypoliths are photosynthetic bacteria that inhabit the desert. Despite the Namib desert in Namibia being one of the most extreme environments on Earth, hypoliths thrive under quartz rock under these harsh conditions. This desert can go years without rain and it is subject to constant solar radiation and scorching heat. With very little water and … Continue reading “Enter The Hypolith” Continue reading

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Expanding Our Minds: The Science Behind the Expansion of the Universe

You’ve probably heard of the name Hubble before. “Hey, isn’t that that big telescope that’s out in space taking pictures of the universe?” And, you would be right if you did ask such a question. But, like many things that are named and sent to space, these names have a meaning. The history of the… Continue Reading → Continue reading

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What Lies in the Great Beyond

  As my last blog post for this class, I want to discuss one thing that has bugged me since we brought it up in lecture, and that is the Pioneer Plaque. For those of you who don’t know, the Pioneer Plaque is a plaque that was attached to the outside of the spacecraft Pioneer … Continue reading What Lies in the Great Beyond Continue reading

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How Will the Universe End?

Just like everything in life, the universe will eventually meet its demise. And while this event is not expected to happen for some time (estimates range from 2.8 to 22 billion years from now), scientists are wasting no time in theorizing about the end of everything. When scientists first started researching the beginning of the … Continue reading How Will the Universe End? Continue reading

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The Expanding Universality of the Cosmic Perspective is Fundamental to Human Prosperity

To call back to the late Carl Sagan, the study of astronomy is a humbling experience. The vast scale of the Universe is beyond true understanding relative to the human experience. Yet it is through the study of this  incomprehensible immensity that one develops a regard for the significance an ever growing cosmic perspective affords … Continue reading The Expanding Universality of the Cosmic Perspective is Fundamental to Human Prosperity Continue reading

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The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)

WFIRST, which stands for Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope, is NASA’s observatory that is designed to research the area of dark energy, exoplanets, as well as infrared astrophysics for six years. WFIRST’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters, which is 7.9 feet, in diameter. This size is the same as the size of Hubble Space Telescope’s … Continue reading The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Continue reading

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Lions, Tigers, and Water Bears – Oh My!

Recently in class, we learned about extremophiles – creatures that can survive in extreme situations. My personal favorite extremophile is the water bear (whose official name is the tardigrade) because they’re the hardiest extremophile (in my personal opinion). “Tardigrades have the ability to withstand complete dehydration. Once desiccated, they have been frozen in blocks of … Continue reading Lions, Tigers, and Water Bears – Oh My! Continue reading

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Survival in Space

Scientists and knowledge seekers alike have always wondered about the source, composition, and evolution of both life on Earth and beyond. This field of study is known today as astrobiology, and scientists in this field are currently trying to answer the following question: could life exist beyond Earth? In solving this puzzle, the European Space … Continue reading Survival in Space Continue reading

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