Category Archives: Historical

Putting the “Super” in Supernova

Within the past year, astronomers have made an incredible discovery about 4.5 million light years away from us. A supernova, but not just any supernova, the most powerful supernova recorded in history ever spotted by astronomers. This explosion is so powerful that astronomers did not even know that it was possible to have such aContinue reading “Putting the “Super” in Supernova” Continue reading

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Moon Rock Mischief!

Apparently theft isn’t exclusive to Earth! In 2002, college NASA interns Thad Roberts, Tiffany Fowler, and Shae Saur stole more than $20 million worth of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. How did they pull it off, exactly? An elaborate heist that eventually ended in an FBI sting operation. In May… Continue reading

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What if the Carrington Event Occurred Today?

Are we ready for a Carrington-level event today? The short answer- not really. In 1859, Richard Carrington observed “two patches of intensely bright and white light” (a solar flare followed by a coronal mass ejection) on the surface of the Sun. The next morning, brilliant red, green, and purple auroral displays appeared as far as… Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Nicholas Copernicus (Feb 9th, 1473- May 24th, 1543) Copernicus was born just 5 years before first Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition was a tactic by the catholic monarch ruling over Europe to spread Catholicism all across territories they controlled. They deployed officers to target individuals engaging in heresy, that is displaying beliefs or actions that […] Continue reading

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History of Telescopes

While there were some objects artificially resembling telescopes in the ancient world, and even some used for sighting, the first modern telescope would have been the work of a Dutch glasses-maker named Hans Lippershey, in 1608. This is merely the first documented one though, as he was the person to file a patent, and theContinue reading “History of Telescopes” Continue reading

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Nabta Playa

Nabta Playa is the world’s first astronomical site, having been built at an estimated 7000 years ago.  For reference, this was when the Neolithic Revolution was occurring, and agriculture was first being practiced.  In order to assist with this, the Nabta Playa stone circle was built, about 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza inContinue reading “Nabta Playa” Continue reading

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Evolution of Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy describes the study of the interaction between matter and the wavelength of the light it produces, although this definition has been updated to include anything measured as a function of frequency or wavelength. Isaac Newton was one of the first people to demonstrate that light from the Sun could be scattered into a spectrumContinue reading “Evolution of Spectroscopy” Continue reading

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Mound 72

Image Source Mound 72 is a very interesting example of the knowledge early Native Americans had about astronomy in at least 950 CE. Mound 72 is the sight of one of several “woodhenges” created by the Cahokia people of south west Illinois. These woodhenges were all relatively identical in relation to the positioning of theContinue reading “Mound 72” Continue reading

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Pi’ilanihale Heiau

Pi’ilanihale Heiau is located on the island of Maui, Hawai’i. It’s the largest shrine on the island, and throughout all of Hawai’i. Temples like this one are custom throughout ancient Polynesia, and many individual households would build their own smaller, personal household shrines. In face, “Pi’ilanihale” directly translates to “house of Pi’ilani.” The structure extendsContinue reading “Pi’ilanihale Heiau” Continue reading

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The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel

As many know, the Moon causes the tides to occur all over our planet. But those same people may not know the place that has the largest change in high and low tides. Said place is an islet and commune called Mont-Saint-Michel. Off the coast of Normandy, France, it has an accessible walkway to itsContinue reading “The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel” Continue reading

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