Monthly Archives: February 2021

Nabta Playa

Nabta Playa is the world’s first astronomical site, having been built at an estimated 7000 years ago.  For reference, this was when the Neolithic Revolution was occurring, and agriculture was first being practiced.  In order to assist with this, the Nabta Playa stone circle was built, about 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza inContinue reading “Nabta Playa” Continue reading

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Evolution of Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy describes the study of the interaction between matter and the wavelength of the light it produces, although this definition has been updated to include anything measured as a function of frequency or wavelength. Isaac Newton was one of the first people to demonstrate that light from the Sun could be scattered into a spectrumContinue reading “Evolution of Spectroscopy” Continue reading

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Mound 72

Image Source Mound 72 is a very interesting example of the knowledge early Native Americans had about astronomy in at least 950 CE. Mound 72 is the sight of one of several “woodhenges” created by the Cahokia people of south west Illinois. These woodhenges were all relatively identical in relation to the positioning of theContinue reading “Mound 72” Continue reading

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Reflecting Telescopes

Telescopes have allowed us to bring what is far and mysterious up close and personal. Scientists and astronomers have built telescopes for a variety of uses, whether it’s for imaging, spectroscopy, or time monitoring. Within the realm of telescopes, there a two main types: refracting and reflecting telescopes. Between the two types, reflectors are theContinue reading “Reflecting Telescopes” Continue reading

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Pi’ilanihale Heiau

Pi’ilanihale Heiau is located on the island of Maui, Hawai’i. It’s the largest shrine on the island, and throughout all of Hawai’i. Temples like this one are custom throughout ancient Polynesia, and many individual households would build their own smaller, personal household shrines. In face, “Pi’ilanihale” directly translates to “house of Pi’ilani.” The structure extendsContinue reading “Pi’ilanihale Heiau” Continue reading

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Weight and Altitude

Most people know that if you were to take your weight on the earth and then the moon, you would weigh a lot less on the moon. But what about your weight with different altitudes on the earth? Surprisingly your weight also changes with varying altitudes. If you were to take your weight at seaContinue reading “Weight and Altitude” Continue reading

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The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel

As many know, the Moon causes the tides to occur all over our planet. But those same people may not know the place that has the largest change in high and low tides. Said place is an islet and commune called Mont-Saint-Michel. Off the coast of Normandy, France, it has an accessible walkway to itsContinue reading “The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel” Continue reading

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Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

Looking for a place to up your stargazing? Vanderbilt University has an observatory just 20 minutes away from campus! The Dyer Observatory has a 24 inch reflecting telescope. This means that the telescope uses one or more mirrors to reflect light from space to form an image for the viewer. One of the advantages ofContinue reading “Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory” Continue reading

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When reading up on archaeoastronomy, I was immediately fascinated by Newgrange, a structure located in Ireland. This fascination was not only due to my slight obsession with Ireland, but also because of its age. It was built roughly around 3200 BC, meaning it is actually older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge! On the outside,Continue reading “Newgrange” Continue reading

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Spectroscopy and Stars

While it may seem impossible to be able to identify the types of elements that stars billions of light years away are made of, scientists discovered a way to do exactly that. In the 1850s, Kirchhoff and Bunsen managed to identify what the black lines in light spectra meant, and it allowed them to identifyContinue reading “Spectroscopy and Stars” Continue reading

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