Monthly Archives: February 2020

What is retrograde motion?

Retrograde. It’s a word you hear tossed around quite a bit lately. Mercury always seems to be in retrograde, which, apparently, is not a good thing. But what is retrograde motion really? Retrograde is an apparent motion. An objects appears to be in retrograde when it is lapped by another object that is the pointContinue reading “What is retrograde motion?” Continue reading

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The Visible Doppler Effect

            Ever wonder why the siren of a police car or a firetruck seems to change in pitch after it passes by? Well, the phenomenon is known as the Doppler Effect. The Doppler Effect explains how sound, like in the example above, or light waves are manipulated by the movement of an object in relation toContinue reading “The Visible Doppler Effect” Continue reading

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Spring and Neap Tides

Many are familiar with the concept that the Moon creates high and low tides on Earth, but few know that the Sun also plays a role in the process. Tides are formed from the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon pulling on the Earth differently in different places due to variations in distance. TheContinue reading “Spring and Neap Tides” Continue reading

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Gravity’s Effect on Light

Light appears almost instantaneous to the naked eye. This seems especially evident on the Fourth of July, watching a firework explode, only for the boom to hit you seconds after the colorful light hits your eyes. It does not seem like something so fast and instant could be affected by a force such as gravity.Continue reading “Gravity’s Effect on Light” Continue reading

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What is celestial navigation?

Those who use the placement of stars in the night sky in order to determine where to go to are using a practice called celestial navigation. Ancient peoples noticed the patterns associated with stars in the night sky and were able to study and record them in order to teach the following generations how toContinue reading “What is celestial navigation?” Continue reading

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Gravity Waves

Gravity waves have been speculated to exist ever since Einstein set a speed limit to the universe, the speed of light. When Newton came up with the gravitational force equation, it only considered mass and distance when calculating the force. It did not take into account that if one mass disappeared, then that information ofContinue reading “Gravity Waves” Continue reading

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Alphonso X

Every time I pick up The Cosmic Perspective to do the assigned reading, I end up learning something new and exciting. This unit, while I was reading Chapter 3 “The Science of Astronomy” one particular part struck me. The textbook mentions a Spanish monarch named Alphonso X who lived from 1221 to 1284. Alphonso XContinue reading “Alphonso X” Continue reading

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Time Warps- More Than Just Sci-Fi?

Space travel is a relatively new concept compared to the overall age of astronomy. From Armstrong to Koch, sending people into space is still an amazing feat with distances that don’t dare to go beyond our moon. But what if this could change? What if, like our telescopes, we could travel to Jupiter or PlutoContinue reading “Time Warps- More Than Just Sci-Fi?” Continue reading

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Celestial Navigation throughout History

Like many other technologies, one might assume that celestial navigation has only been truly developed efficiently in recent times with our technology. But you may be surprised to know that many of the techniques we use today were invented centuries ago, or even thousands of years! Celestial navigation is the practice of using angles betweenContinue reading “Celestial Navigation throughout History” Continue reading

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scattering: light and sunsets/sunrises

This morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise (pictured) and got to pondering how the colors came to be. Apparently, they result from a process called scattering, a process by which small particles in the the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Although scattering affects the color of lightContinue reading “scattering: light and sunsets/sunrises” Continue reading

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