Author Archives: bryancm1

Necessities of life

In looking at what planets can sustain life, one requirement always includes liquid water. From this we can narrow down our searches to a solar system’s habitable zone, which is the region surrounding a star capable of supporting liquid water. But are we limiting ourselves too much in our searches? What if life was capable […] Continue reading

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Terraforming Mars

Everyone seems so caught up on finding extraterrestrial life. I think rather than focus on finding others, carving out our own “space footprint” seems so much more exciting. If you’ve seen the 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel, you would have been introduced to the concept of terraforming. The remnants of the Kryptonian race wish […] Continue reading

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Searching for intelligent life

Humans have always fascinated themselves with the idea that maybe we aren’t so alone in the universe. We have made efforts to find extraterrestrials and so far turned up nothing. Is there any hope for them finding us first? A number of organized attempts have been made to let “others” know that we exist. The […] Continue reading

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Jupiter’s volcanic moon: Io

Io sports a surface temperature well below zero (around -130 degrees C). This is heavily contrasted by the fact that Io is also the most volcanically active body in our solar system. It is known to have over 400 currently active volcanoes. If you weren’t yet convinced about the effects of tidal heating, think about […] Continue reading

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Space Movies – Fact or Fiction?

Our in class discussion about some space movies had me venturing down a rabbit hole about Hollywood’s misconceptions about space. The most entertaining aspect for me is how movies portray character deaths in space. Movies always find creative and dramatic ways for their characters to die in space – none of which are accurate. In […] Continue reading

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The Aurora Phenomenom

Auroras are caused when particles from the sun become trapped in a planet’s magnetosphere. These particles gain energy and travel down the magnetic field and collide with atmospheric atoms and molecules. This collision is what produces the light that we see in an aurora. We have all probably seen pictures of auroras on Earth. Do […] Continue reading

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ESA’s Rosetta Mission

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission is probably fresh in a lot of your minds as it came to fruition in November of last year. For those unaware, the Rosetta space probe is the first probe to orbit a comet – the Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The probe also came equipped with a lander, which touched down shortly […] Continue reading

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The James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) is set to be the official successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, due to launch is 2018. In order to understand how the JWST will be improving on the Hubble, I think it is first important to understand some of the light aspects of space observation. Model […] Continue reading

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Galileo in Context

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Galileo Galilei was born into an era where the Aristotelian notion of a perfect universe dominated astronomic thought and the Roman Catholic Church dominated all knowledge. Rather than fall prey to these traditional views of the universe, Galileo was a scientific pioneer that would pave the way to a picture of the […] Continue reading

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#2 – When should I plan my vacation for Mars?

Looking to explore the northern plains of Mars? Or perhaps the craters in the south? Maybe scale Olympus Mons, or visit the Curiosity Rover? If you’re intending to travel without preparing properly, chances are you’re going to freeze to death. Luckily for you, Mars experiences seasons. With just a little bit of research, we can […] Continue reading

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