Author Archives: hallesolar

Psychrophile Style

Among the many types of extremophiles that can live in extreme conditions, psychrophiles are microorganisms that thrive in cold environments. We actually have a lot of psychrophiles in a variety of landscapes throughout Earth, including Anthrobacter, a bacteria found in soil, and Psychrobacter, which can live in many sets of conditions and can cause human ailments. […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Big Bang, Small Seconds

Most of us have an awareness of the basic concept of the Big Bang Theory from a very young age. I am not referring to the CBS show, but I suppose children learn about that fairly young nowadays as well. Anyway, although I’ve always had a basic understanding of what the Big Bang Theory entails, […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Jupiter’s Less Popular Moons

Io, Europa, Ganymede and Castillo get a lot of love, but the 63 other members of Jupiter’s posse are often overlooked. This NASA webpage provides in-depth information about each of Jupiter’s 67 moons. 50 of them are official moons and have names to reflect that status. However, the other 17 are mere “Provisional Moons,” which […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Amazing Aurora

Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, is one of the most beautiful phenomenon we have on Earth. It is caused by particles from the Sun’s atmosphere that reach Earth’s atmosphere. As the two collide, different colored light is produced, depending on the chemical element and altitude. The lights can shine anywhere from 50-400 miles above the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Tennessee Tectonics

Although Tennessee is in the middle of North America, we are still affected by tectonic activity. There are earthquakes in this region from time to time, thanks to the New Madrid Fault. This Tectonophysics article helps us understand why there are earthquakes in Tennessee. North America began to rift, or break apart, in the Late […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Learning the Planets

We all remember trying to learn the names and order of the planets in our Solar System in grade school. Some of us got pretty thrown off by the removal and addition of Pluto on the list. For me, the Blue’s Clues Planet Song we the best way to remember the planets and a fun […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Want to Buy a Telescope?

If you would love to see deeper into space from your own home, you may be interested in buying your very own telescope! Fortunately, Sky & Telescope has some guidelines to help you make this big purchase, as described by Kelly Beatty in her recent article, “How to Choose Your First Telescope.”  Here are some highlights […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

My chosen astronomer is Johannes Kepler, who lived from 12/27/1571 – 11/15/1630. Kepler helped us understand orbits. He developed three rules, the first of which tells us that things orbit in elliptical shapes. His second rule tells us that when something is in orbit, it sweeps equal areas in equal time. His third rule shows us a […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Lunar Cycle

The moon completes it orbit around Earth every 29.5 days, creating the lunar cycle. The most interesting thing I learned from the Chapter 2 reading was that the word “month” is meant to sound like “moon” – I’m surprised I never knew the origin of the word before! As the moon orbits Earth, we are able […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Size of the Universe

After reading our first assignment in the text, I am stunned by the size of the universe. Our book, The Cosmic Perspective, asks us to imagine that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. And then there are more beyond that, over 14 billion light years away! Now I’m thinking about how many planets […] Continue reading Continue reading

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