Author Archives: Michaela Thomas

Contact: The Third Answer to Fermi’s Paradox

The Fermi paradox posits that there are only three possible answers to the question “Where is everybody?” in terms of the search for other intelligent life in the Universe. The three possibilities are as follows: We are alone Civilizations are common, but no one has colonized the galaxy There is a galactic civilization, but it […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, astro2110, astronomy, blog9, carlsagan, Space travel, Universe | Comments Off on Contact: The Third Answer to Fermi’s Paradox

Another Step Toward the Stars

Unless you missed it somehow, you’ll know that today Elon Musk’s company Space X successfully landed a reusable rocket on a drone ship in the ocean. This rocket returned from space immediately after detaching from the supply ship headed toward the International Space Station. This is an important feat since it means so much less […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, blog8, science, Space travel, spacex, technology, Universe | Comments Off on Another Step Toward the Stars

The Possibility of Life on Enceladus

One question that still excites both amateur and professional astronomers is the possibility of life on other worlds. Certain important elements, however, must be present in order for organic life to exist. Enceladus, one of Saturn’s icy moons, has an underground ocean that may be a source of life, either sometime in the ancient past […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, astro2110, blog7, enceladus, Jovians, Moons, Observables | Comments Off on The Possibility of Life on Enceladus

The Pock-Marked Sun God

Sunspots are areas on the Sun that appear darker compared to their surroundings because they are cooler than the areas around them. This does not mean that the spots are actually cold, but relative to the 5800K temperature of the rest of the Sun, sunspots are much cooler at 4000K. Magnetic fields prevent the hotter […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, blog6, Historical, Sun, sunspots | Comments Off on The Pock-Marked Sun God

Climate Change

Climate change is unfortunately vastly overlooked as a serious threat to our species today. NASA itself has a detailed list on its website devoted to the current evidence of climate change. The list includes the following phenomena: Sea level rise Global temperature rise Warming oceans Shrinking ice sheets Declining Arctic sea ice Glacial retreat Extreme […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, blog6, climatechange, globalwarming, Observables, science | Comments Off on Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate change is unfortunately vastly overlooked as a serious threat to our species today. NASA itself has a detailed list on its website devoted to the current evidence of climate change. The list includes the following phenomena: Sea level rise Global temperature rise Warming oceans Shrinking ice sheets Declining Arctic sea ice Glacial retreat Extreme […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, blog6, climatechange, globalwarming, Observables, science | Comments Off on Climate Change

Dark Matter

In honor of the pre-release of a song I wrote called “Dark Matter,” I wanted to do a post on the subject that inspired my song. The above picture is of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520. This galaxy cluster formed from the collision of many massive galaxy clusters. The image shows dark matter, hot […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, astronomy, blog4, darkmatter, galaxyclusters, matter, music, mysteries, Observation, Universe | Comments Off on Dark Matter

Tycho, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and the New World

  Tycho Brahe lived from 1546 to 1601. Here is a page detailing his contributions to astronomy.  William Shakespeare wrote his first 23 plays during Tycho’s lifetime. These plays include such major works as Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet. Click here for a list of Shakespeare’s major works.  Also, in 1584, the first […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, brahe, Historical, HW6, tycho | Comments Off on Tycho, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and the New World

The Egyptian Senmut Star Map

The Ancient Egyptians made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. These ancient anstonomers were able to predict solar eclipses based on the passage of the moon between the Sun and Earth during the daytime. The Egyptians developed calendars and star clocks that kept time based on celestial movement. Senmut, the grand vizier of Egypt in […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in ancientcultures, archaeastronomy, astro2110, astronomy, blog3, Egypt, Historical, science, technology | Comments Off on The Egyptian Senmut Star Map

Ancient Astronomers and the Zodiac

  We’ve learned that the zodiac constellations are connected to the position of the Sun as it moves along its path. The sun spends about a month closest to each of these constellations, or “in” the constellation, and then moves on to the next. Ancient Greek and Babylonian people groups named the constellations and defined […] Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, Astrology, blog2, Class, Constellations, history, Zodiac | Comments Off on Ancient Astronomers and the Zodiac