Author Archives: kaswat

So What’s the Big Deal?

The Milky Way Galaxy So, I’ve spent 4 months learning about the solar system and how everything works so perfectly together. When I started astronomy it was just because I needed a technical elective; however, it gave me a lot of perspective. Our world is in the perfect placement in a 100,000 light-year galaxy to… Continue reading Continue reading

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The Drake Equation

The Drake Equation by XKCD The Drake Equation allows us to predict the amount of communicative extraterrestrial civilizations.  In 1961, Frank Drake proposed this equation to “guestimate” the possibility of life.  The equation includes factors such as the number of planets that could support life, the fraction of those with the ability to create intelligent… Continue reading Continue reading

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Could Titan hold life?

A joint mission with the NASA and ESA called Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) will explore Titan’s surface more in depth. It will allow us to see if the liquid-water features have allowed life to form on Titan. If there were life, it would obviously have to be adapted to the -180⁰C surface temperature and… Continue reading Continue reading

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The Biggest Astronomical Question of Our Generation

Why is Pluto not a planet anymore? I mean, seriously? It makes us have to do things like rewrite textbooks and change our mnemonic devices.  What if we never find out the end of “My Very Earthly Mother Just Served Us Nine____”. Nine, what?!  Anyway, the bigger point here is what exactly defines a planet.… Continue reading Continue reading

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The Sun: Our Source of Light

Our Sun is massive! It is 333,000 times the Earth’s mass. It provides all the light and other energy we need to survive – which is pretty impressive within itself.  The sun is made mostly of helium and hydrogen and exists as plasma instead of a solid. But, what makes the sun shine? Some people… Continue reading Continue reading

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The Moon’s Effects on the Ocean

Generally, if you’ve ever been on the ocean, you understand the concept of tides. You put your umbrella and chair up at noon near the edge of the ocean and you fall asleep and you wake up a few hours later in the middle of the waves. You didn’t move, so the ocean had to… Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context: Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler (27 December 1571 – 15 November 1630) is well-known in astronomy for his three laws of planetary motion. He worked for Tycho Brahe where he analyzed Brahe’s observations. Brahe was convinced that the planet’s orbits were circular. However, Kepler could not accept this because Mars did not follow this pattern. He used his and… Continue reading Continue reading

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Star Chart: An iPhone App Review

Recently, I downloaded the Star Chart App for iPhone and iPad (free in the app store). This app allows you to see the stars that are visible in your area through your phone.  The app uses GPS technology to create a 3D image on the phone of the stars, planets, and other objects in the… Continue reading Continue reading

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What are you doing with your 2 microseconds?

With a universe that is 13.8 billion years old, it’s almost impossible to fathom the time line for its life. Therefore, we created a cosmic calendar (seen below) to put it in perspective. This calendar shows the entire life of the universe in one calendar year. As seen on this calendar, the entire history of the… Continue reading Continue reading

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