Author Archives: bellagoodnight

Aliens in Pop Culture

Picture an alien. What did you think it looked like? Maybe you thought of a small green creature with a big head and big eyes, or maybe you thought of ET or one of the people from Avatar or Jar Jar Binks. No matter what you thought of, your picture was likely influenced by popContinue reading “Aliens in Pop Culture” Continue reading

Posted in Aliens | Tagged , | Comments Off on Aliens in Pop Culture


Tardigrades, moss piglets, water bears – these adorably ugly extremophiles go by many names. These little creatures are fascinating beyond just their strange appearance and many nicknames. Tardigrades are extremophiles because they have shown to survive both extreme temperature and extreme pressure, most notably in space! They are found on Earth in various environments includingContinue reading “Tardigrades!” Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Tardigrades!

The Mythology of Jupiter’s Moons

When I heard about the names of Jupiter’s moons, I immediately wanted to dive into the mythology behind them! The four largest moons of Jupiter, each interesting in their features, are also interesting in their mythological stories as people who were lovers of Zeus. In this post, I will briefly describe the story behind theseContinue reading “The Mythology of Jupiter’s Moons” Continue reading

Posted in Moons | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Mythology of Jupiter’s Moons

Fomalhaut b: The Planet that Disappeared

What’s more interesting than the story of a planet that disappeared? Fans of Fomalhaut b would argue that nothing tops the tragic story of this exoplanet. What was initially thought to be a large world sitting only 25 light years away was later found out to be nothing but a dispersing cloud of dust. FomalhautContinue reading “Fomalhaut b: The Planet that Disappeared” Continue reading

Posted in Exoplanets | Tagged , | Comments Off on Fomalhaut b: The Planet that Disappeared

All About Neptune!

Neptune has always been my favorite planet. I don’t know if it’s its pretty blue color, its name, or the fact that I did a project on it in elementary school that drew me towards it, but I’ve always loved Neptune. Neptune is the 8th planet from the Sun in our Solar System and namedContinue reading “All About Neptune!” Continue reading

Posted in Jovians | Tagged , , | Comments Off on All About Neptune!

The Carrington Event

When Dr. G first mentioned the Carrington Event in class, I was equally interested and terrified. The idea that a solar coronal mass ejection could happen today and wreak havoc on electrical grids leading to blackouts and an inability to communicate has now been added to my list of fears (much in the same veinContinue reading “The Carrington Event” Continue reading

Posted in Sun | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Carrington Event


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

Posted in Historical, Light, Sun | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Newgrange

Historical Astronomers in Context!

Johannes Kepler, born December 27, 1571; died November 15, 1630, was hugely important to astronomy as his ideas and, most notably, his three laws, paved the way for important future developments and understanding in the field. His laws helped provide more evidence for the heliocentric idea. He specifically refuted the idea that planets orbit inContinue reading “Historical Astronomers in Context!” Continue reading

Posted in Historical | Tagged , | Comments Off on Historical Astronomers in Context!

Eclipses and Shadow Snakes

Back in 2017, I was lucky enough to watch the Solar Eclipse here in Nashville! It was such a cool experience, and I can’t wait until I can see one again! One thing that stood out to me was weird shadows on the ground just before and after the Sun was totally eclipsed. I rememberContinue reading “Eclipses and Shadow Snakes” Continue reading

Posted in Light, Observables, Sun | Tagged , | Comments Off on Eclipses and Shadow Snakes


Hello everyone! My name is Bella Goodnight, and I am a first-year student majoring in Cognitive Studies. I am from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which is only about 45 minutes from Vanderbilt. I have always been interested in astronomy, so I am excited to learn more about it in this class! You can click here if youContinue reading “Introduction” Continue reading

Posted in Class | Tagged , | Comments Off on Introduction