Tag Archives: Class

Jovian Layers

The formation of our solar system helps explain the composition of the Jovian planets. Past the frost line, hydrogen compounds condensed into ices. The four jovian planets started as icy planetismals, but Jupiter and Saturn captured much more hydrogen and helium gas than Uranus and Neptune during solar system formation. This is probably because Jupiter […] Continue reading

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You Can’t Sit With us

The famous used to be planet kicked out by none other than Neil deGrasse Tyson is now considered a dwarf planet, ever since 2006. Pluto was reclassified because it didn’t meet the three criteria the IUA uses to define a full sized planet Criteria Must orbit a star  It must be big enough to have […] Continue reading

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The Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere

So many of Earth’s features today, from our blue sky to life itself, depend on the atmosphere surrounding the planet, but it has taken billions of years to evolve to where it is today. This post will explore the evolution and progression of Earth’s atmosphere as well as the processes that led to these changes. […] Continue reading

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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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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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Earth’s Atmosphere and Life

Earth’s atmosphere is conducive to life in a way other terrestrial worlds’ atmospheres are not.  This is because of the greenhouse effect, which keeps Earth warm and allows water to exist in its liquid form. Other planets such as Mercury which do not have an atmosphere or the greenhouse effect are extremely hot during the […] Continue reading

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The Sun’s Nuclear Fusion

The Sun has been producing a huge amount of energy for over 4 billion years through nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is the process by which the Sun converts mass to energy. Albert Einstein’s equation, E=mc^2, reveals that a little bit of mass has a huge amount of potential energy which indicates why the sun has […] Continue reading

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Born from the Stars

It may be hard to believe, but in all technicality, everything in the solar system, including humans, are born from star dust. Let’s start at the beginning, at the big bang. The matter released from the big bang made up the first generation of stars, only containing the elements hydrogen and helium. Eventually, when the …

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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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Historical Vanderbilt Astronomer

If you have spent much time in E. Bronson Ingram residential college on Vanderbilt’s campus, you may have noticed that part of the dorm is named after one Edward Emerson Barnard. As it turns out, Barnard was an astronomer who attended the university from 1883-1887. His research focused on observation and photography of stars and […] Continue reading

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