Author Archives: victoriayaden

Where is everybody?

Despite evidence that suggests that there should be extraterrestrial civilizations, we have not yet detected any signs of these civilizations. This issue is called the “Fermi Paradox,” after Enrico Fermi—a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Compared to the lifespan of the universe, our sun is relatively young at 4.6 billion years old, so there are older stars […] Continue reading

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Ultima Thule

The New Horizons space probe was launched in 2006—primarily to study Pluto, but also to study Kuiper belt objects in its following years. Following the space probe’s flyby of Pluto in 2015, it reached 2014 MU69, also known as Ultima Thule, on January 1, 2019. Ultima Thule is a Kuiper belt object that orbits 1.6 […] Continue reading

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Spirit and Opportunity

In 2003, NASA launched the Mars Exploration Rover mission, dropping the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars in January 2004. Although their planned mission lifetime was 90 days, both rovers far exceeded this. Spirit lasted 20 times longer than this, traveling almost 5 miles before sending its final message to Earth on March 22, 2010. […] Continue reading

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Retrograde motion probably isn’t ruining your life

It seems that anytime Mercury enters its period of retrograde motion, the Internet starts freaking out because according to astrologers, Mercury retrograde is bad for communication. Although this is a nice scapegoat for any misfortune one might encounter, there is no scientific evidence that this phenomenon has an effect on your day-to-day life. So what […] Continue reading

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Tycho Brahe in Context

Tycho Brahe (14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601) was a naked-eye astronomer who observed planetary motion, and his work was largely centered around improving measurements. Although his own model of the solar system proved to be inaccurate, his observations provided important information that set the foundation for future astronomers to construct more accurate models. … Continue reading Tycho Brahe in Context Continue reading

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Earth’s Precession: Why Your Zodiac Sign is Wrong

When it comes to taking meaningless BuzzFeed quizzes or looking at Tumblr text posts about my zodiac sign, I am guilty as charged. There’s something satisfying about taking a quiz that tells you which limited edition Oreo flavor you are by your zodiac sign! (I’m apparently Gingerbread. Who knew?) I even know some people who … Continue reading Earth’s Precession: Why Your Zodiac Sign is Wrong Continue reading

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I’m Victoria, and I’m a sophomore from East Tennessee. This blog is for Astronomy 2110: The Solar System. I’ve taken the stars and galaxies lecture, as well as Astro lab (where I learned that because of Earth’s precession, I’m not actually a Libra…), so I am excited to learn more about astronomy this semester!   Continue reading

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