Author Archives: solarelizabeth


The barophiles we have found are tiny organisms, usually bacteria, living in areas with intense pressure. They are found on ocean floors where pressure can reach about 400 atm. For reference, the atmospheric pressure at sea level is 1 atm. Some barophiles known as obligate barophiles cannot survive in low pressures. The barophile Halomonas salaria […] Continue reading

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Bracewellvon Neumann Probes

Human space travel is slow and each mission must be meticulously planned. What if there were a way we could learn more about the universe more efficiently? John Von Neumann, in charge of computing the design of a bomb, wondered how else he could use his computing skills. He developed the idea of self-reproducing automation. […] Continue reading

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Detecting Extrasolar Planets

Extrasolar planets can be difficult to detect because they are tiny, far away, and dim, but the Doppler Method provides an indirect way to find them. This method involves looking for alternating blueshifts and redshifts in the star’s spectrum, which reveal a star’s motion around its center of mass. This motion could reveal the presence […] Continue reading

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Jovian Layers

The formation of our solar system helps explain the composition of the Jovian planets. Past the frost line, hydrogen compounds condensed into ices. The four jovian planets started as icy planetismals, but Jupiter and Saturn captured much more hydrogen and helium gas than Uranus and Neptune during solar system formation. This is probably because Jupiter […] Continue reading

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Earth’s Atmosphere and Life

Earth’s atmosphere is conducive to life in a way other terrestrial worlds’ atmospheres are not.  This is because of the greenhouse effect, which keeps Earth warm and allows water to exist in its liquid form. Other planets such as Mercury which do not have an atmosphere or the greenhouse effect are extremely hot during the […] Continue reading

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The Sun’s Nuclear Fusion

The Sun has been producing a huge amount of energy for over 4 billion years through nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is the process by which the Sun converts mass to energy. Albert Einstein’s equation, E=mc^2, reveals that a little bit of mass has a huge amount of potential energy which indicates why the sun has […] Continue reading

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Light: Wavelength, Frequency, and Energy

A prism splits white light into a spectrum of colors ranging from red to violet. These colors correspond to different wavelengths, frequencies, and energy levels. Light with a longer wavelength has a lower frequency and lower energy level, and light with a shorter wavelength has a higher frequency and higher energy level. Violet light has […] Continue reading

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Johannes Kepler: Context

Johannes Kepler was born December 27, 1571 and died November 15, 1630. Johannes Kepler, continuing Brahe’s work, discovered that planetary orbits are ellipses with varying levels of eccentricity instead of perfect circles. This helped him predict planetary positions and discover three laws of planetary motion. Kepler’s discoveries helped solidify the theory that planets move around […] Continue reading

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Solstices and Equinoxes

The seasons change as Earth orbits the sun. Earth’s hemispheres receive different amounts of sunlight during each season because of the 23.5 degree tilt of Earth’s axis. When the Earth is at a point in its orbit that the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, it is summer for the northern hemisphere. This is […] Continue reading

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My name is Elizabeth and I am a student at Vanderbilt University. Here is my school’s website! I am studying Human and Organizational Development and Economics. I am from Tennessee and I love walking, reading, watching movies, and relaxing with friends and family. Continue reading

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