Author Archives: Chad F

Looking Forward

This class has taught me to never doubt human innovation.  Man has been looking to the stars since the beginning and the milestones we have made over the centuries are astounding.  Ancient peoples figured out orbital speeds and distances of the planets by just observing the night sky, and nowadays, we have traversed open space […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Ammonia Aliens

When we look for planets that harbor alien life, we usually are searching for planets within the habitability zone around their stars.  This habitability zone really is just where the temperature is just right for liquid water to exist.  All life on Earth uses water as the solvent for the reactions of life, so it […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Almost Hit by a Meteorite

In the video above, a skydiver was almost hit by a meteorite falling through Earth’s atmosphere.  There is only one person in recorded history, Ann Hodges from Alabama in 1954, to ever be hit by a meteorite and that was off of a bounce.  With all of the people that have lived throughout human history, you have a better chance of […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Ceres, the Inner Solar System Dwarf Planet

Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  It was originally classified as a planet, but has since been demoted to a dwarf planet.  It is thought to have an icy mantle and a rocky core with the possibility of a subsurface ocean and thin atmosphere. […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Potentially Habitable Planets

Over the past few decades, we have discovered a number of planets outside of our solar system.  The majority of these planets are giants, but a certain few have some Earth-like characteristics.  For these Earth-like planets there is a ranking system to determine how similar they are to Earth.  In the image above, the top […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Sun is Not On Fire

In the video above, it may seem that the sun is a boiling ball of fire.  Fires provide us light and heat similar to our sun, so it makes sense that people would think that the sun actually is a ball of fire.  However, fire requires a chemical to be burned.  The sun is made up […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Largest Telescope in the World

Larger telescopes allow for better angular resolution, which allows for us to discern between two light producing objects that are close together.  Therefore, telescopes are ever increasing in size to get better and better images.  Beating out telescopes called “Very Large Telescope” and “South African Large Telescope”, the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico is […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Light in the Universe

Light is a very meaningful aspect of the universe that allowed us to make the observations about space that we have made so far.  The light that stars produce allows us to determine many things about them.  Their absorption line spectra allow us to determine their composition and the Doppler effect allows us to determine […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Nicholas Copernicus (Feb. 19th, 1473- May 24th, 1543) realized that there were many errors in the Earth centered model for the universe.  Copernicus discovered a formula to determine orbital speed based off of distance from the sun.  He published a book describing his Sun centered theory, but it was no more accurate than the Ptolemaic model because […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Google Earth Sky

In the video above, Sally Ride, helps teach us how to use Google Earth as a star gazing program.  Instead of a program like Stellarium, Google Earth provides a way to actually zoom in on the galaxies around us.  The vantage point of Google Earth Sky is not on Earth.  Instead, the camera is located at […] Continue reading Continue reading

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