Author Archives: Chloe

Made Out of Meat?

Space voyagers searching for intelligent life finds a race that has been trying to make contact for one hundred of its years – however, this species is so unlike anything these voyagers have ever contacted that they refuse to believe it’s even intelligent. When one of the voyagers convinces the other that the species is, […] Continue reading

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Sleipnir Fossa, Pluto’s “Giant Spider” Fracture

Pluto may have had its planet status revoked, but astronomers are still studying its surface through images captured by the NASA New Horizon’s spacecraft. In the last week, images and information about one of Pluto’s most recently discovered features was released.   Sleipnir Fossa and related fractures in an image captured by New Horizons on 14 July […] Continue reading

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The Dwarf Planet Sedna

According to Inuit mythology, Sedna was the name of a mortal woman who became a goddess of the ocean and the underworld. One version of the myth holds that Sedna was a young woman who consented to marry a hunter, only to find, once she had left home with him, that he was in fact […] Continue reading

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The Stardust Mission

Missions that deliberately bring back extraterrestrial material to Earth are rare. The NASA Stardust, a probe that launched in  1999, sought to collect dust samples from the comet Wild 2’s tail. Prior to the mission, experts believed that the dust in comets’ tails would be pre-solar particles. Instead, what they found from the particles retrieved […] Continue reading

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Plate Tectonics on Mars?

Active tectonic activity, as opposed to past and currently extinct activity, was thought to be limited to Earth among the terrestrial worlds. Tectonic plates on Earth cause activity such as earthquakes and volcanoes as well as mountain-building as they move atop the asthenosphere and recycle geological materials. However, UCLA scientist An Yin discovered evidence of plate […] Continue reading

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Stonehenge. Photographer: Howard Ignatius.  Stonehenge of southern England is one of the most famous Neolithic structures and burial grounds in the world. Construction on Stonehenge started in 5,000 BCE and continued for 1,500 years.  Its eerily arranged stones, transported from up to two hundred miles away from the site, are an iconic draw for the […] Continue reading

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The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS

When it comes to reflecting telescopes, bigger can mean better. The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC), located on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, is currently the largest single-aperture optical telescope in the world. Its primary mirror surface is made up of thirty-six hexagon segments; together these segments function as one primary mirror […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context: Tycho Brahe and the Age of Exploration

Tycho Brahe (1546 – 1601). Image source. Tycho Brahe was born 14 December 1546 in Knudstrup, Denmark. He was one of the most accurate astronomical observers before the telescope was invented, making extremely accurate naked eye observations. Though the consensus of the day was that the heavens were unchanging and any phenomenon that showed change occurred […] Continue reading

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Name That Constellation

The Night Sky, showing the Milky Way, at La Silla Observatory in Chile. Source: Wikimedia Commons.   The constellations visible from the Western Hemisphere differ from those visible from the Southern Hemisphere. In English, we typically use names derived from Greek and Roman mythology for the constellations, referring to constellations such as Orion and Pleiades […] Continue reading

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One of Last Week’s Mass Extinctions

When people talk about the Cosmic Calendar – the entire history of the universe, from the Big Bang up until this very moment, plotted onto a Gregorian calendar – we often focus on the infinitesimal space that human history has taken up. According to the Cosmic Calendar in our textbook, modern humans as a species […] Continue reading

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