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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Author Archives: Gabi Grys
Before sending the Voyager spacecraft off into space in 1977, Carl Sagan and his team insisted on including a “bottle” to send off into the “cosmic ocean.” This message to potential intelligent life in the universe is contained in the Voyager record, a 12 inch golden record meant to encapsulate life on Earth. The record […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The Hubble telescopes famous successor was not always called the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The telescope, initially dubbed the Next Generation Space Telescope, was rechristened in 2002 to pay homage to the celebrated James Webb, NASA’s second administrator. Webb ran NASA from 1961-1968, a time when the emergent agency was still trying to define […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The ~spooky~ imagine below is not, as one may initially believe a charcoal sketch drawing of branches against the night sky (Just me? Okay). Instead, the image below shows tracks on the Martian surface from dust devils. Dust devils, strong whirlwinds comparable to tornadoes, leave beautiful dark lines and swirls on the Martian surface. […] Continue reading → Continue reading
The Sun serves at the central focus of our Solar System, our source of heat and light. However, sometimes things tend to ~flare up~ on this Sun that can disrupt things here on Earth. Eruptions of hot gas on the Sun (or solar flares) can cause shock waves that produce radio waves that worm […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Astronomers, like all scientists, love their symbols. Why spend ages written out full text when shorthand will do? Not only are the symbols for the planets convenient, they also have interesting stories behind them that tie into the planet’s history. Sun: The symbol for the sun is a circular shield with a dot in the […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Anyone who has spent the day at the beach has experienced the changes of the tides. Few of us, however, have ever seen anything like the Bay of Fundy, a body of water between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada with the largest tidal range in the world. Within twelve hours between low and […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Johannes Kepler made important contributions to astronomy through his discovery that planetary orbits are ellipses. Kepler came to this conclusion after several years of painstaking effort trying to make sense of all the observations of his former master Brahe. Kepler also proposed three laws of planetary motion as a summary of his findings. Kepler was […] Continue reading → Continue reading
I have, apparently, been living a lie. My entire life, I thought I was an Aquarius, yet I have recently come to learn that my astronomical Sun sign is off by nearly a month. Because of the phenomenon of precession (the work of the gravitational pull and the conservation of angular momentum to correct the […] Continue reading → Continue reading
In the novel, In Desert and Wilderness, Henryk Sienkiewicz remarks, “…he began to fear whether in the presence of far greater events, all his acts would not fade into insignificance, just as a drop of rain disappears into the sea.”On the Cosmic Calendar, the average human life span is only about two tenths of a second, […] Continue reading → Continue reading