Author Archives: berlinbe

Post 8

Now that the class has concluded, I would like to reflect on astronomy and the importance of the material that we learned. Astronomy is a fascinating topic, not only because of the nature of exploring the universe, but because it has implications for nearly every other science. From studying astronomy, we make revolutions in subjects […] Continue reading

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Post 7

The Fermi Paradox essentially states that given the size of the universe, there should be aliens. So where are they? This paradox is based on various estimation equations like the Drake and Seager equations, which are ways to estimate the number of other intelligent civilizations in the galaxy that should theoretically be able to contact […] Continue reading

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Post 6

Many people may remember the last total solar eclipse that was visible from North America. It occurred on August 21, 2017. The next total solar eclipse that covers North America, and the only one for the next 20 years, will occur on April 8, 2024—almost one year from today. Total solar eclipses are a fascinating […] Continue reading

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Post 5

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) declared that Pluto was not a planet, but rather a dwarf planet. This was largely because Pluto is relatively small (smaller than our moon) and it belongs to the Kuiper Belt—a body of comets/large objects that orbit the sun on the outer edges of the solar system. This […] Continue reading

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Post 4

Scientists often try to determine the age of various bodies in the solar system. The Earth and moon are around 4.5 billion years old, and the sun is around 4.6 billion years old. But how do scientists know this? And how confident are scientists in these ages? Scientists use radiometric dating to accurately date different […] Continue reading

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Post 3

The sun produces energy via nuclear fusion—that is, it fuses two atoms into one, releasing a tremendous amount of energy in the process. The most common form of fusion in the sun is when hydrogen atoms are fused into helium—giving off energy in the process due to the lost mass. This is the most efficient […] Continue reading

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Post 2

Astronomy is a science. This means that in astronomy we make predictions, test hypotheses, and use findings to continuously build and refine our theories. Interestingly, astronomy was very likely the first science. Humans, ever since the ancient civilizations, have looked to the sky and pondered its mysteries. What use would such people have in astronomical […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Nicholas Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who was born on February 19,1473 and died on May 24, 1543. Copernicus was important to astronomy because he formulated and popularized the idea that the Sun, rather than the Earth, was the center of the “universe.” He also accurately described how Earth’s rotation was the cause of sunrise […] Continue reading

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Post 1

Like other electromagnetic particles, light has a specific velocity at which it travels. Further, it is presumed to be the fastest theoretical speed of any particle. The speed of light–referred to as “c” in a vacuum–is roughly 300,000,000 m/s. Since it moves so fast, most people never observe light as a moving particle or something […] Continue reading

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Introductory Post

Hello, My name is Ben Berlin and this blog is where I’ll be sharing my thoughts during my time in ASTR2110. Here is my favorite astrological image: Continue reading

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