Author Archives: dromalley

Final Post

It has been a long and interesting semester, filled with learning about everything from the laws of gravity, to the instruments of astronomy, and even alien life. Over the course of this semester, my view of the Solar System has changed drastically, both in detail and much more generally. I’ve learned many surprising facts about […] Continue reading

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Where is Everybody?

The Fermi paradox is a very simple question whose answer could have massive consequences for the future of humanity: where is everybody? With equations like the Drake equation predicting a huge number of extraterrestrial civilizations, it seems odd that we have detected no signs of life outside of Earth. In this blog post, I will […] Continue reading

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The Outer Solar System

For this blog post, I’m going to be taking you on a journey through the outer solar system, beginning with what’s usually the last stop on the tour: Pluto. Pluto, formerly a planet, is now classified as a dwarf planet, orbiting at a distant 39 AU from the Sun in the dim outer reaches of […] Continue reading

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Over the past several decades, the study of extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, has been one of the most rapidly advancing fields of astronomy and even science in general. With huge leaps forward that have been made in both technology and methodology, the number of exoplanets astronomers have been able to directly observe has exploded, with […] Continue reading

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The Λ-CDM Model

As this blog post presents me with much more freedom in topic, I’ve decided to discuss the most widely accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe: the Λ-CDM model. This model, named for the cosmological constant Λ which governs the accelerating expansion of space-time and for Cold Dark Matter, lays out a […] Continue reading

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The Imaginary Planet

While the five planets visible to the naked eye have been known for almost all of astronomy’s history, it was not until the discovery of Uranus in 1781 by Sir William Herschel that astronomers began searching for other planets in our Solar System. After Neptune was discovered in 1846, astronomers began turning their telescopes towards […] Continue reading

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The Tools of Discovery

For my second blog post, I’ve decided to provide an overview of a few of the most advanced telescopes both on and around the world which have allowed astronomers to peer into the distant mysteries of our universe and uncover more about its nature. First, we will examine some of the most advance ground based […] Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context: Kepler

Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who was born on December 27 1571 and died 15th of November 1630. During Kepler’s lifetime, one major event was the Bohemian Revolt in 1618, kickstarted by the Third Defenestration of Prague, which launched the Holy Roman Empire into chaos and began the thirty years war. This war caused […] Continue reading

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Scale and Travel Times

At this very moment, the Voyager 1 spacecraft is hurtling through space at about 61,500 km/h each and every hour, carrying it ever further from our Solar system which it left 18 years ago. But despite this staggering speed, it would still take Voyager more than 75,000 years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. […] Continue reading

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