Monthly Archives: April 2015

Astronomy, we need it!

Throughout two semesters of astronomy I have always been torn about its importance. On one hand the problems we face on Earth seem to trump anything that can happen is space, but on the other hand the more knowledge we obtain the more we are able to understand. What I started to realize towards the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Is the Drake Equation Useful?

The idea behind the Drake equation is perfectly logically. Take the variables that most likely determine whether or not life exists, assign a value to those variables and calculate the number of civilizations. And to put the Drake equation in perspective I will quote the one, the only, Drake “I’ve never been reckless – always calculated.” That […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Extremophiles

Life outside of Earth can be hard to find. It was thought that life could not survive in our solar system outside of Earth. It would be too harsh for any living creature to survive. It is; except for extremophiles. Lichens showed promising results under Martian conditions. Escherichia coli and Paracoccus denitrificans not only survived, but […] Continue reading Continue reading

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New Horizon’s Approaches Pluto: So What?

NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft is only three months approaching Pluto, and for the first time, we have a true color picture of the Pluto/Charon dwarf planet system. As I sit here typing this, I say, “so what?” Well, it turns out that this is the first time that any spacecraft has traveled so long and […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Solar System: My Changed Perspective

Hey Guys! This will be my last post for Astro 201. As I look back on this semester’s teaching, I realize how insular my perspective was. I had always heard about the vastness of the universe and how small we were in comparison, but I never realized how small exactly. This first struck me when […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Fermi Paradox: Where is Everyone?

Hey Listeners! Today, because we have recently been discussing life, I’m going to discuss one of the arguments against there being other intelligent civilizations in our galaxy (or the universe). This argument is called the Fermi Paradox. It consists of a number of primary points. One is that the Sun is a relatively typical star […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Possible Messages from Aliens?

Recently, the search for alien life has become more and more prevalent in astronomy during this past century. New fields, such as astrobiology, have formed. Theories and formulas focused on the search for alien life, such as the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation, have become widely known. Messages for possible intelligent life have been […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Looking to the Future

Coming into college, I was excited to finally be able to take astronomy courses to satisfy my science requirements, since I had always had a mild interest in space. Taking ASTR 102 in my fall semester opened my eyes to just how extensive the universe was, and what an incredible way in which it developed.… Continue reading Looking to the Future Continue reading Continue reading

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NASA’s NExSS Project to Lead the Way for the Search for Alien Life

NASA is currently assembling a group that it plans to call the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), which will be a group of specialists from various scientific fields in hopes to study the nature of exoplanets and figure out if some might be suitable for life. Currently the project has garnered support among planetary and […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Necessities of life

In looking at what planets can sustain life, one requirement always includes liquid water. From this we can narrow down our searches to a solar system’s habitable zone, which is the region surrounding a star capable of supporting liquid water. But are we limiting ourselves too much in our searches? What if life was capable […] Continue reading Continue reading

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