SAMPLE ALL THE FLAVORS!Increasingly, Vanderbilt instructors are incorporating blogs into their course design. Course Blogs at Vanderbilt is a mash-up of live feeds representing a wide variety of Vanderbilt courses that use blogging to help students reflect on, comment about, and introduce new ideas to course material. Click on the blog title to view the originating course blog. You can also click on the Participating Blogs tab for links to each blog.
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Monthly Archives: March 2020
Contrary to what Jerry Smith says in Rick and Morty, Pluto is not a planet. But why did Pluto lose this designation in 2006? The International Astronomical Union has 3 main criteria to determine what is a planet and what is not. These three criteria are: having an orbit around the sun, having sufficient massContinue reading “Why isn’t Pluto a planet?” Continue reading → Continue reading
There are many celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt. One notable object is a dwarf planet named Makemake. This dwarf planet was one of the objects NASA used to demote Pluto from its previous planet status down to dwarf planet status. NASA wasn’t aware of other bodies that looked like Pluto, and when they foundContinue reading “Dwarf Perspective” Continue reading → Continue reading
On January 14, 1986, Voyager 2 captured a picture of Uranus, capturing the planet’s chilling-blue color. Although the giant planet was already known for being odd — spinning on its side and having an off-center magnetic field. However, it was also recently identified that the icy planet has a giant magnetic bubble around it madeContinue reading “Plasma Bubble Around Uranus” Continue reading → Continue reading
As I commented in a previous blog post, one of the most fascinating questions that a person studying the solar system can ask is whether life exists outside of our Earthly home. Within this question lay an abundance of philosophical arguments, all counteracting one another and seeking to define the ‘correct’ answer to this question.Continue reading “Would Landing on Europa Make Us Europeans?” Continue reading → Continue reading
On the outside, the worlds, plots, and protagonists of Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man and Roger Zelazny’s “For a Breath I Tarry” are irreconcilably different. Bester’s world is a technologically advanced 24th Century where some humans have evolved … Continue reading
The above image is of Comet Atlas, which is a comet that has been getting closer and much, much brighter over the past few weeks. If it doesn’t fizzle out, Comet Atlas will be able to be seen by the naked eye in as little time as a couple of weeks, at places without much … Continue reading So Close, Yet From So Far ☄️ Continue reading → Continue reading
Solar winds are arguably one of the most destructive forces in our solar system. As a kid, I never took these forces into account when thinking about space travel. In my mind, as long as you avoided flying your space ship directly into the sun (which I thought was on fire, of course), our starContinue reading “Solar Winds” Continue reading → Continue reading
On an especially brutally stormy day, you may have thought to yourself, “Why does it have to be this way? Why do we have to be so inconvenienced?” Well, if we colonize Mars or the Moon someday, your wish may come true. That’s because weather stems from the presence of an atmosphere! Weather is mostly … Continue reading How’s the Weather Up There? ⛅ Continue reading → Continue reading
When quizzed about planetary characteristics in elementary school, the typical questioned asked when referring to Saturn is, “Which planet in the solar system has rings?” While answering Saturn is not incorrect, it isn’t completely correct either. Other planets with rings in our solar system are Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. A more accurate way to askContinue reading “The Lesser Known Planetary Rings” Continue reading → Continue reading