Category Archives: Stars

Blog One – Night Sky Observing

In my first post, I briefly mentioned the international dark sky association. This association advocates for the protection of the night sky by leading the fight against light pollution through their efforts at the grassroots up to the international level.  Although cultures around the world have looked up at the night sky for millennia, in […] Continue reading

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When the Sun Dies

All good things must come to an end, including the ancient (at least relative to humanity), life-giving star we see each day. Even though the sun is considered a young star, it still has a finite lifetime, and it will eventually “die” in about 5 billion years. The image above shows a rough timeline of […] Continue reading

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blog post 03

Nuclear fusion reactions power stars. In nuclear fusion, 2 atoms’ nuclei merge and form a heavier single nucleus. The leftover mass becomes energy. In stars like the Sun, this is generally the transformation of Hydrogen to Helium (proton-proton chain). Other, more massive stars, use the CNO cycle (uses more elements) to accomplish energy transformation. The […] Continue reading

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Kepler Supernova

The image above is of Kepler’s Supernova, which Johannes Kepler is credited with discovering with his description of the stellar object in his De Stella Nova. As stars progress through their main sequence lifetime and beyond and use up more of their hydrogen in nuclear fusion, they can fuse heavier and heavier elements. More massive […] 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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Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion is a reaction between molecules where nuclei are combined to form different atomic nuclei and particles, releasing energy. This process powers main sequence stars through stellar nucleosynthesis. Stellar nucleosynthesis can only occur at extremely high temperatures in the cores of stars. Depending on the mass of the stars, i.e. the pressure and temperature […] Continue reading

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Proxima: Our Cosmic Neighbor

The closest star to our solar system is one named Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is a relatively small star, as it is a red dwarf star with about 12.5% the mass of the Sun and only about 0.17% as bright as the Sun. Proxima Centauri resides about 4.25 light years away from Earth, and is […] Continue reading

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The Orion Nebula

If you have participated in observing for class, then you have seen through a telescope the Orion Nebula. Nebulae are star-forming regions that when studied can tell us lots about how stars and solar systems come to be, and the Orion Nebula is no different. When we look at the Orion Nebula through a telescope, […] Continue reading

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Blog 1 – Initial Review of SkyView Lite

SkyView Lite is an iPhone application that allows the user to point their phone at different parts of the sky and see an overlay of constellations in the direction that they point. I downloaded the app and tried it out. This post is going to be about my experience using the app. The app works […] Continue reading

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Helix Nebula

This is an image of the Helix Nebula, located in the constellation Aquarius. Continue reading

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