Author Archives: hollyreichert

The Solar System: An Overview

This year I learned details about the Solar System that I did not even know existed.  Before astronomy this year, I did not know about the Kuiper Belt.  I thought we only had the Asteroid Belt.  I knew that comets and asteroids were different– but I was not sure what the difference was.  Now I […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Extremophiles Under the Sea and in Space

Life can be found everywhere on Earth, even in extreme environments.  The organisms that live here are called extremophiles and rely on things other than oxygen for survival.  Hydrothermal events are an example of extreme environments in which extremophiles have been found.  At the bottom of the ocean, temperatures and pressures are so high that […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Rings and Diamonds? A Girl’s Best Friend!

  On Jupiter and Saturn, scientists have recently discovered that there could be a lot of carbon on the planet.  This carbon could be present in the form of diamonds that rain down from the sky.  While the diamonds eventually melt and don’t stay around for long, they can be as large as a centimeter […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Halley’s Comet Shooting Through the Sky

In 1705, Edmond Halley noticed records of comets passing by Earth in 1531, 1607, and 1682.  While at first they were thought to be three different comets, Halley thought they were all the same one.  The comet passes by Earth around every 75 years.  It was here last in 1986, and is predicted to come […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Volcanoes on Venus

Venus is around the same size as Earth, and therefore has a similar interior makeup.  Earth has volcanoes and they are still erupting today.  On Venus, there are signs of volcanoes but a space probe has never seen a volcano erupt on the surface.  By measuring infrared levels on the surface, we can tell that […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Our Most Famous Dwarf Planet

Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.  However, decades earlier, Percival Lowell first thought that there may be another planet by Neptune and Uranus.  He died before he could find the planet and it wasn’t until years later that the search was set up again to find the planet.  The name Pluto […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Where Can You See Stars in the 4th Largest City?

In the heart of the museum district in Houston, Texas, there is the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Besides a football field size paleontology hall, IMAX screen and butterfly center, HMNS hosts the Burke Baker Planetarium.  The planetarium also is used to train astronauts to help them be able to identify stars. In addition to […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Highest Tides in the Bay of Fundy

Tides are created by the Moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth.  While the Sun also pulls on the Earth, it is so far away that the tides are not as affected by the Sun as they are by the Moon.  The tidal force is created by the difference in gravitational pull on each side of […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

For my astronomer, I chose Galileo Galilei.  He was born on February 15, 1564 and died on January 8, 1642. In 1607, Jamestown Settlement was founded in present day Virginia.  This was the beginning of British settlement of North America.  It was the foundation of the colonies that later became the United States of America. In […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Star Walk: Planetarium in Your Pocket

When looking up into the sky at night, usually I can’t identify all the constellations above.  The Star Walk app knows where you are and tells you what stars and planets are above you.  You can hold it up wherever you are and it is like having a mobile planetarium.  Even in the city where […] Continue reading Continue reading

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