Tag Archives: astronomy

4,375+ Exoplanets

With earth being the only known habitable planet in our solar system and little knowledge regarding what lies outside of our solar system, its easy to feel like we are the only ones in the universe. However, would you still think that if you knew that NASA has confirmed 4,375 planets outside of our solarContinue reading “4,375+ Exoplanets” Continue reading

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BepiColombo and Learning about Mercury

As discussed in chapter 9 of our textbook, scientists still have a lot to learn about Mercury, especially since it doesn’t seem to follow quite the same patterns that most of the planets in our solar system follow, studying the planet could possibly help scientists to gain a better understanding of planets outside of ourContinue reading “BepiColombo and Learning about Mercury” Continue reading

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Perseverance and Ingenuity

Just 16 days ago, the newest rover to explore Mars embarked on its first ride around the planet! It took Perseverance a total of 7 months to get there, that must have taken a lot of… Perseverance’s mission is to collect samples from the surface of Mars to be returned to Earth and tested byContinue reading “Perseverance and Ingenuity” Continue reading

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Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

Looking for a place to up your stargazing? Vanderbilt University has an observatory just 20 minutes away from campus! The Dyer Observatory has a 24 inch reflecting telescope. This means that the telescope uses one or more mirrors to reflect light from space to form an image for the viewer. One of the advantages ofContinue reading “Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory” Continue reading

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Spectroscopy and Stars

While it may seem impossible to be able to identify the types of elements that stars billions of light years away are made of, scientists discovered a way to do exactly that. In the 1850s, Kirchhoff and Bunsen managed to identify what the black lines in light spectra meant, and it allowed them to identifyContinue reading “Spectroscopy and Stars” Continue reading

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Reconciling Science and Religion

In 1615, Galileo wrote a letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (read: the Church) “to accommodate Copernicanism with the doctrines of the Catholic Church … [by] arguing that the Copernican theory was not just a mathematical calculating tool, but a physical reality” (source).  In his letter, Galileo claimed – among other things – the following:Continue reading “Reconciling Science and Religion” Continue reading

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Copernicus in Context

Astronomer: Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) Copernicus purported seven postulates in his Commentariolus, and the postulates became the foundation of the heliocentric cosmology (David Weintraub, “Copernicus” (Nashville, TN, 2020)).  The postulates were the following (quoted directly from Weintraub): There is not a single center for all the celestial orbs or spheresContinue reading “Copernicus in Context” Continue reading

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The app SkyView is a great way to apply your growing knowledge about astronomy to actual space! While it may be easy to look at a star map and tell which stars are which it’s much harder to do that when you are actually looking up at them from Earth. The app SkyView allows youContinue reading “SkyView” Continue reading

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Spacecraft in the Solar System

As we have learned so much about the solar system, much of our knowledge comes from telescopic observations, ground-based and those in Earth’s orbit, as well as spacecraft explorations. Robotic spacecraft operate primarily with preprogrammed instructions and carry radios that allow them to communicate with controllers on Earth. Having sent robotic spacecraft missions to numerousContinue reading “Spacecraft in the Solar System” Continue reading

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Spectroscopy and Space

Although Isaac Newton’s most famous contributions to astronomy are his laws of motion and gravitation, which he published in Principia, Newton also founded modern spectroscopy by publishing his second work, Opticks. Spectroscopy is an essential tool for astronomers because it allows them to not only analyze the presence of certain chemical elements, but also physicalContinue reading “Spectroscopy and Space” Continue reading

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