Monthly Archives: February 2017

Blog 2: Celestial Navigation

Even though astronomers use scales such as arcseconds and arcminutes to measure certain distances between stars, the main tool of celestial navigation, the sextant, is only able to measure arcminutes. The sextant uses reflection in order to find the angle of celestial objects. Traditionally, the sextant has two mirrors. The horizon mirror is stationary and … Continue reading Blog 2: Celestial NavigationContinue reading Continue reading

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Blog 1: The Speed of Light And Refractive Index

Light travels at a velocity incredibly difficult for us to comprehend other then as just a very, very large number. To be exact, light travels at a constant velocity of 299,792,458 m/s within a vacuum. This is not the same for light traveling through other conditions. When light does travel through things other then a … Continue reading Blog 1: The Speed of Light And Refractive IndexContinue reading Continue reading

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Blog 2 – Occam’s Razor

For my second blog, I thought I’d discuss the idea of simplicity in astronomy; specifically, the idea of Occam’s Razor.  One of the hallmarks of science is the progression of creation and testing of models of nature that explain scientific observations as simply as possible.  This idea, that scientists should prefer the simpler of two […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Blog 1 – Cosmic Calendar

For my first blog, I wanted to discuss the cosmic calendar.  From the picture below, you can see, from a human bias, the five most important events in universal history, symbolized in the julian calendar: the big bang in january, the formation of the milky way in march, the development of the solar system in […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Goddess, the Machine

ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēkhanês theós). This simple Greek phrase has pervaded theatre, literature, and art across centuries. It represents a device used in ancient Athenian theatre, a device taken by the Romans, becoming the well-known deus ex machina (god from the machine). To understand the decision to entitle Ex Machina without the established deus, […] Continue reading

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What a Jam Jamboree!

Jamberry, illustrated and written by Bruce Degen, has always been one of my favorites, with its rich colors and wild adventures.  A boy and a bear go in canoes, under bridges, on trains, in a hot air balloon, to the circus, and beyond to find the best berries to make jam.  They see blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and hayberries, among […] Continue reading

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Space Physics and the Cassini Probe

Gravity is the magic super glue that keeps everything we know (and things we don’t know) together and functioning. Earth’s gravity keeps us on the ground, the moons gravity creates tides, and the sun’s gravity keeps us from flying away into oblivion. But why did Earth and the rest of the planets stay orbiting around […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Rogue Planets

All of the planets that we know and love in our solar system follow a pretty regular life. They spin about an axis, revolve around the central Sun, and go about their business in the small, but vast, family of the solar system. We are most familiar with “planets” as being what is similar to our […]Continue reading Continue reading

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The EM Spectrum

When most people think of the word “light” they are probably talking about visible light, but the electromagnetic spectrum is much bigger and more diverse than that. Visible light is actually a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Lets break down the spectrum in terms of wavelength. Visible light has a wavelength of 390 … Continue reading “The EM Spectrum”Continue reading Continue reading

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Feb 27 Solar Eclipse

On February 27, 2017 there will be an annular solar eclipse visible in parts of the South America and Southern Africa. A solar eclipse happens when the moon gets between the earth and the sun. An annular solar eclipse is like a total solar eclipse but instead of blocking all the visible light from the … Continue reading “Feb 27 Solar Eclipse”Continue reading Continue reading

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