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Author Archives: colepospisil
The future of astronomy lies in finding or making worlds habitable for people. While we are learning so much about the universe around us, the things that people seem to care about are aliens and space colonization. This is why I feel that resuming space travel is crucial to reviving public interest in astronomy. While […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The Fermi Paradox points out the issues with the expected number of predicted civilizations in the galaxy and the lack of interaction that mankind has had with them. It points out that the Sun is a young star and that many other star systems have had the time and conditions to bring about a civilization. […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Whenever one thinks about mining in space, the image that is likely to come to mind is of drilling an asteroid made of solid gold. However, this is unlikely to be how this process will ever occur. That is partially because the value of the resources that one would receive from them would overcome the […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Recently, Pluto was demoted to being called a “dwarf planet”. This has caused an uproar among many people who suddenly discovered that their favorite planet was Pluto. The idea that we change how we refer to a desolate rock is apparently unbelievable to a large portion of the population. The question of whether Pluto is a […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The Sun is often referred to as a great big ball of burning gas, perhaps most famously by Pumbaa in Disney’s The Lion King. This is actually a misconception because the hydrogen in the Sun does not burn, but rather emits energy through the process of nuclear fusion. If the Sun was really burning, then […] Continue reading → Continue reading
In Star Wars: A New Hope, Han Solo claims to have made the Kessel Run in only 12 parsecs. It is at this point that a general outcry raises from the physicists who know that a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. But when one knows more about Star Wars, it all makes sense. […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Planets are like ogres, they have layers. As you approach the center of the planet, mass is skimmed off until the effective mass of the planet is zero at the center. At this point, the planet’s gravity affects you in equal and opposite directions, so there is essentially no gravitational force. Everywhere other than the […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) is important to astronomy because he was the first person to develop laws governing planetary motion. Our understanding of orbital motion is based on the work that Kepler did. The following are events that occurred during Kepler’s life. The British East India Company was founded in 1600. This company heavily influenced British policy […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The signs of the zodiac have been the focus of astrologers for thousands of years, believed to have influence on the personalities and fortunes of those born under their time in the sun. While there is no scientific evidence to support this belief, there can be no denying that it serves as an important cultural […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Imagine a perfectly accurate clock, one that measures nanoseconds away without any margin of error. This clock is more advanced and precise than anything we have today, even the atomic clock pictured above. If you wanted to know what time it is right now, this clock would still be a little behind, unfortunately. This is […] Continue reading → Continue reading