Author Archives: dillonkoval

Human Expansion

The future is a terrifying, exhilarating venture regardless of the scope. As the human population on Earth grows, it is quite possible that we begin to set hungry eyes on extraterrestrial real estate (assuming technological advances that make it possible/profitable). The moon, being only a short hop away, would likely be the first extraterrestrial human […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Let’s Talk About Extremophiles

Extremophiles are organisms that can live in environments that are considered ‘extreme’ due to conditions that make ‘normal’ life basically impossible. These conditions could be extremely hot, reaching temperatures of 240 degrees Fahrenheit, or and environment with very little to no oxygen. There are many different kinds of extremophiles grouped into categories depending on the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Messenger’s Last Legs

The MESSENGER mission, short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging sent up the probe in August 2004. In March 2011 it became the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. The probe has done a lot in its years around the Solar System’s first planet including: constructing the best-ever maps of Mercury and discovering carbon-containing […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Comet Brightness – Not Related to Test Scores

A comet is an icy Solar System body with very elliptical orbit that takes it close to the Sun on one end and far from the Sun on the other. When it gets close to the Sun it begins to outgas, forming a visible atmosphere called a coma and often also a tail. One noticeable […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The K-T Extinction: Asteroids and Atmospheres

Let’s talk about the dinosaurs. Everyone has heard the story: Dinosaurs roamed the Earth ages ago until an asteroid hit and caused all of them to go extinct. There was a huge amount of dust thrown up into the atmosphere which blocked out the Sun and caused plants to die. This set off a chain […] Continue reading Continue reading

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It’s All in the Rocks

As many people know, rocks are broken up into three main categories: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. However, the formation processes that govern why one would find a certain type in a certain place is very important to exploration of activity of a terrestrial world. Let’s start with igneous rocks. These are rocks that cool directly […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Search for Life and the (Not So) Habitable Zone

The question of other life in the Universe is one that has long plagued scientists and astronomers. The pure size of it makes it supposedly statistically probable that if life can happen on Earth, then it can (and probably does/has) happen elsewhere. Because the only type of life that we know is our own, scientists […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Tidal Changes from a Beach Stand

I worked for two years renting out beach umbrellas and chairs at Assateague State Park for two summers in high school. I would walk out to the beach and set up my little stand next to a fence used to protect the dunes from wandering beach-goers. Assateague has a very large sandbar and some days […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Kepler in Historical Context

Johannes Kepler Plymouth Landing: 1620 This was the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. A very major and early event in American history. John Napier discovers logarithms: 1614 Logarithms are integral to a lot of current scientific theory. Their discovery allows for very complex problems to be solved using fairly simple algorithms. Pope Gregory XIII : […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Light Pollution in the Move From Rural to Urban

I am from a very small rural town, which equates to incredible views of the starry sky every night. Every so often, mostly on warm summer nights, there would be bonfires in the middle of a field or on a beach and the sky would be absolutely incredible to behold. It wasn’t until I moved […] Continue reading Continue reading

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