Author Archives: Maddy Pollard

The Moon

Last night I got to go observing for the first time! We used telescopes to look at three different astronomical objects, but my favorite thing to look at was the Moon. It was in the waxing gibbous phase, but it was so close to being full that it looked like a perfect circle (see the […] Continue reading

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The Drake Equation

Are we alone in the universe? This is the question that has driven years of space exploration and innovation. Humans have always wondered if there are other advanced civilizations similar to our own. Unfortunately, we lack technology that is advanced enough to know for certain. But in 1961, astronomer Frank Drake wrote an equation that […] Continue reading

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The Sun

The Sun is arguably the most important thing in our solar system. It is the orbital center for each planet, and allows for life to be sustained on Earth. But what actually is the Sun? The Sun is a giant, glowing hot ball of gas that actually has many layers to it. The outermost layer […] Continue reading

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Our solar system is full of many mysteries, and spacecraft are one of the main ways we can gather information about it. There are four types of robotic spacecraft: flybys, orbiters, landers and probes, and sample return missions.  Flybys travel past a world only once, and then continue on their way into space. Because of […] Continue reading

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Ancient Structures

Many people have heard about Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous monuments. But did you know that the circle of stones was actually an astronomical device? Archeoastronomists have debated what the original purpose of Stonehenge was, but many believe that it was used to mark solar and lunar alignments, including eclipses, solstices, and equinoxes. […] Continue reading

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Johannes Kepler in Context

Johannes Kepler was born on December 27th, 1571 and died on November 15th, 1630. He is considered to be a pioneer in astronomy because of his three laws of planetary motion. His first law states that orbits are ellipses, so their motion follows conic sections. His second law states that in an orbit, equal areas […] Continue reading

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Night Sky App

I downloaded the Night Sky app at the beginning of this semester, before I even knew I would be taking this class. On a late night walk back from the library, my friend and I noticed an unusually bright star in the sky. Interested to find out what it was, I downloaded this app and […] Continue reading

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Introductory Post

This is a picture I took while in Colorado this summer! I love spending time outdoors, doing activities like hiking, swimming, skiing, and more! Continue reading

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