Category Archives: Observables

things we can see from Earth using our eyeballs or telescopes

blog post 07

The Fermi Paradox is the conflict between the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life and high estimates for its existence. The main explanation people have come up with for this paradox is that intelligent life is rare. Using this explanation, it makes sense why there would be many places with rudimentary life, but without intelligent […] Continue reading

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Wrapping Up Solar System

One of the biggest takeaways I have from the Solar System course is how different perspectives can be, and how they can really shape the way we think about not only space-related topics but life in general. The picture above is a prime example of perspective as almost everything we know about space is viewed […] Continue reading

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Using Variable Stars to Find Exoplanets

One of the preeminent methods for finding exoplanets is tracking periodic variations in stellar brightness. In class, we practiced this technique by examining the light curves of certain variable stars and identifying the presence of orbiting exoplanets. In the real world, scientists must first identify variable stars and then determine which of these variable stars’ […] Continue reading

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blog post 06

In 2019, researchers captured the first image of a black hole. They were able to do this by having all the major radio telescopes on Earth act together to simulate a radio telescope that was the size of Earth. Before this, we could only see indirect evidence of the existence of black holes. This particular […] Continue reading

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blog post 05

In 2006, Pluto was taken off the list of planets, leaving our Solar System with just 8 planets. This demotion occurred 76 years after Pluto was initially added to the list of planets. This decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined what objects could be classified as a planet. An object needs to be […] Continue reading

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blog post 04

Many people have traveling to see the Northern Lights on their bucket lists. This unique phenomenon typically occurs near the Arctic Circle, with places like Finland advertising tourist expeditions to see them. The Northern Lights, otherwise known as aurora, occur when ions from solar winds collide with atoms of different elements (oxygen, nitrogen) in Earth’s […] Continue reading

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Legacy Survey of Space and Time: The future of astronomical observation is here…. almost!

Just two years from now, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will commence operations, beginning its mission to image nearly 40 billion celestial objects over 10 years! These observations will be made with the world’s largest digital camera and an enormous 8.4 meter (in diameter) telescope, ensuring that its images will be of the highest quality. […] Continue reading

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The Himalayas of Venus

The Himalayas might be considered the most impressive mountain range on Earth, but what about other geological formations on planets around the solar system? Most famously, Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain in the solar system, located on Mars at 21229 meters, and about 2.5 times the size of Mount Everest. Alternatively, while not as […] Continue reading

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blog post 02

NASA’s James Webb Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021. It is a collaborative effort between NASA (United States), The European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. This telescope has four main areas where its data will be used: considering the first light in the universe, early assembly of galaxies in the universe, birth […] Continue reading

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blog post 01

Solstices and Equinoxes The winter/summer solstices are, respectively, the shortest and longest periods of sunlight during the calendar year. The vernal/autumnal equinoxes are days in which the amount of time the day has with sunlight and without are of equal length. Days that are solstices/equinoxes demonstrate the formal change in seasons. This occurs because the […] Continue reading

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