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Author Archives: jonsastroblog
A new two-year long study done by the European Space Agency has created the most comprehensive survey of the universe ever recorded. The Gaia project has cataloged over 1.7 billion stars, 14,000 asteroids and numerous galaxies and galaxy clusters spread throughout the universe. What started out as a relatively small affair eventually exploded into a … Continue reading A new Stellar Catalog → Continue reading → Continue reading
Solar sails are a new and incredibly interesting propulsion system that is currently undergoing various testing around the globe. Instead of being powered by rockets, solar sails allow spacecrafts to be powered by the sun itself. Just as a sailboat is pushed along by the winds on the ocean, solar sails are pushed along by … Continue reading A New Way to Travel Through Space → Continue reading → Continue reading
For many years now, the astronomy community has believed that there must be a single super-massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, but new research done by astronomers at Columbia University may have changed that belief. According to their research, data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory has shown that there are at least … Continue reading Black Holes Discovered in Milky Way Center → Continue reading → Continue reading
Haumea is a recently discovered dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt that has some very unique features. The first thing many people notice is that Haumea is shaped more like a football than a sphere. This is due to the fact that Haumea spins around its axis roughly every four hours. This extreme rotation causes … Continue reading The Peculiar Dwarf Planet: Haumea → Continue reading → Continue reading
Harnessing nuclear energy as an energy source has long been an idea surrounded in mystery and fear. Very few people actually know how nuclear power plants work, but many people know how catastrophic nuclear reactor meltdowns can be. However, the kind of nuclear energy we can currently control in nuclear power plants is only one … Continue reading How Close Are We to Nuclear Fusion Reactors? → Continue reading → Continue reading
Ever since Edwin Hubble’s groundbreaking observations, it has been known that the universe is expanding. According to his observations, galaxies farther away from us are moving faster than objects closer to us (at least in terms of relative velocities). However, according to more recent studies, the Milky Way and other galaxies near us seem to … Continue reading Blog Post #3: The Great Attractor → Continue reading → Continue reading
For centuries astronomers have used telescopes to look into the night sky. In 1946 Lyman Spitzer, a prominent astrophysicist in his time, theorized that a telescope placed outside of Earth’s atmosphere would be able to collect much clearer data than telescopes on the surface of the planet. The logic behind his theory is that the … Continue reading Blog Post #2 → Continue reading → Continue reading
Tycho Brahe (December 14th, 1546 – October 24th, 1601) Tycho Brahe was known as the last great “naked-eye” astronomer. He did all of his research without the aid of telescopes and was still able to be more precise than any of his predecessors. Much of his work revolved around studying the moon and other objects … Continue reading Historical Astronomers in Context → Continue reading → Continue reading
There’s really no other way to phrase it: the universe is enormous. With our current level of technology, it might as well be an infinite space, but there is a limit to our universe. Our best guess as to the size of the universe right now is that the universe is around 93 billion light … Continue reading The Incredible Scale of the Universe → Continue reading → Continue reading