Author Archives: maxflorsheim

On This Day in Astronomy History…

  On April 27th, 1961, fifty-seven years ago, NASA launched Explorer 11 into space. This satellite held the first gamma-ray telescope to go into space. Gamma rays are the wavelength of light with the highest energy levels. These wavelengths can originate from sources such as supernova explosions, supermassive blackholes, and solar flares. While scientists had […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Are Viruses the Missing Piece in Astrobiology?

Despite being the most abundant form of life on Earth, viruses and their dormant state known as virions, are often left out the conversation in identifying life outside this place. However, a group of scientists are now calling for this to change. Noting that the term virus is only used six times within NASA’s 250-paged […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Jupiter As Never Seen Before

Juno, NASA’s space probe orbiting Jupiter, has just completed it’s fourth flyby of the jovial planet. In doing so, it sent back surprising images which revealed new features of Jupiter. Specifically, the images changed scientist’s previous perception of the planet’s interior composition and structure, as well as its weather patterns. In studying massive cyclone’s captured […] Continue reading Continue reading

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On This Day in Astronomy History…

On this day, April 9th, 59 years ago in 1959, NASA introduced the world to their first ever astronauts, the Mercury 7.  A press conference was held in D.C. to announce the line up, and reveal America’s next move in the space race against the Soviet Union. This came a year after NASA had introduced […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Can Elon Musk’s Dream Become a Reality?

Just last month, Elon Musk’s SpaceX used the worlds most powerful rocket, Falcon Heavy, to launch his personal red Tesla roadster into space, racing towards Mars. With a spacesuit-wearing dummy named ‘Starman’ at the wheel, the car is predicted to enter Mars’ orbit sometime in July, before exiting soon after. While Musk claims the purpose […] Continue reading Continue reading

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On This Day in Astronomy History…

  Thirty-four years ago today, on February 7th 1984, NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II became the first person to fly untethered from their spacecraft. McCandless, who just recently passed December 21st at the age of 80, was able to travel 320 feet from the space shuttle Challenger without any connection to the shuttle. He accomplished […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Largest Telescope in the World

Wikipedia Commons In order to allow for astronomers to observe far into space, there are numerous gigantic telescopes laid out globally. None larger than the Gran Telescopio Canarias, located on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands. As an infra-red telescope, the telescope seeks to explore questions such as the mystique surrounding […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Johannes Kepler December 27th, 1571 – November 15th, 1630 Image Source: High Altitude Observatory Kepler was a German astronomer and mathematician whose greatest contribution to the field of astronomy were his three planetary laws of motion. Using mathematical calculations, he discovered orbits are ellipses and that within such orbits, equal areas are swept out within […] Continue reading Continue reading

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2017 Solar Eclipse

My junior year at Vanderbilt University began in the most spectacular way – witnessing a total solar eclipse through a skylight within Nashville airport, immediately upon arrival. Surrounded by a gathering of fellow traveller’s experiencing this magical moment, the moment in which the Sun was reduced to a radiant ring wrapped around the black outline […] Continue reading Continue reading

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