Author Archives: harperastronomyblog

How Astronomical Are Our Chances of Finding Extraterrestrial Life?

I’ve always thought that we weren’t alone in the world–and my Astronomy class has really helped to confirm my thoughts. After studying the Drake Equation, it seems almost certain that intelligent life and life that could eventually communicate with us must exist. After all, the Earth is only 4.6 billion years old–a baby compared to […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Jupiter’s Galilean Moons

Discovered by Galileo in 1610, Jupiter’s four largest moons are some of the most interesting worlds in our Solar System. “Volcanic Io”: Jupiter’s inner-most moon, Io, is the fourth largest moon in the solar system. It is also the most volcanically-active object in the Solar System, with over 400 active volcanoes. Large mountains cover its […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Hot Jupiters and Why They Don’t Wreck our Model of Planetary Formation

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is located exactly where astrophysicists and planetary-formation theorists believe that it should be. Its size indicates that it should be located around the middle of the Solar System, where it was able to pick up rock, ice, and a lot of gases (such as hydrogen and helium) […] Continue reading Continue reading

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GRAVITATIONAL WAVES!!!!

According to the this video by the New York Times, Scientists working at LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) have made a monumental discovery that reinforces Albert Einstein’s theory of special relatively put forth almost a hundred years ago. Einstein predicted gravitational waves when he announced his theory, but until LIGO’s announcement on Thursday, no […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, astro2110, blog3, Class, Dwarf Planets, Exoplanets, Galaxies, General, Gravitational Waves, Historical, Instruments, Jovians, Light, Moons, Observables, Outreach, physics, Planet Rings, public policy, science, Small SS Objects, SolarSystem, Space travel, Stars, Sun, Terrestrials, Universe | Comments Off on GRAVITATIONAL WAVES!!!!

LIGHTSPEED, COSMIC SPEEDLIMITS, AND (FINALLY!) LOOKING INTO THE PAST (Part 2)

In one of my previous posts , I explained what a light-year was and how the speed of light remains constant in a vacuum (a.k.a. space). I also explained that there would be another post explaining some of the things that I couldn’t fit in that post. Now I am finally ready to finish–the long awaited!–part […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, astro2110, Blog 4, Class, Dwarf Planets, Exoplanets, Galaxies, General, Historical, Instruments, Jovians, Light, light-speed, Moons, Observables, Outreach, physics, Planet Rings, public policy, science, Small SS Objects, SolarSystem, Space travel, Stars, Sun, Terrestrials, Universe | Comments Off on LIGHTSPEED, COSMIC SPEEDLIMITS, AND (FINALLY!) LOOKING INTO THE PAST (Part 2)

Copernicus in Context

Historical Context of Nicholas Copernicus  Portrait of Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) Nicholas Copernicus  was born in the Kingdom of Poland on February 19, 1473 and died in the same area he was born on May 24, 1543. He was an extremely important and influential figure for early astronomy, and his work became the basis for a lot of […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Your Zodiac Sign is Wrong: 3 Misconceptions You Have About the Night-Sky

We all get it. You’re a Capricorn or a Taurus or a Sagittarius or a(n) [any other zodiac constellation]. You’ve read all of your horoscopes, and they fit your personality soooo well. “This is so me,” you might yell to your friends, completely disregarding the fact that they don’t care which vague internet prediction you identify with. […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Lightspeed, Cosmic speedlimits, and Looking into the Past (Part 1)

In my last post, I made it a point to say that I would try to keep my blog interesting. In light of that decision (I didn’t even notice this pun until I already had this entire post typed up, so this one’s not on me), and because the winter makes me long for the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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