Category Archives: astronomy

exo… moons?

What are exomoons? Well, we have already studied exoplanets (short for extra-solar planets) which are planets that are not from our star system.  Accordingly, exo-moons are moons that orbit planets that orbit stars that aren’t the Sun.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Well exomoons get even more interesting.  In fact, exomoons are currently the subject of…

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Dark Matter and Dark Energy

One of the more peculiar parts of our universe is the presence of a great deal of mass that we cannot see. When looking at the gravitational effects on the mass in the universe, it is apparent that a significant amount of matter must be present but is not visible to us, leading to its … Continue reading Dark Matter and Dark Energy Continue reading Continue reading

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Archeoastronomy and the Newgrange monument

Newgrange is a monument located in County Meath, Ireland.  This mysterious structure is estimated to be over 5,000 years old and was built by ancient inhabitants of Ireland during the Neolithic period.  Since its construction, word of the structure was passed down through generations as part of Irish folklore.  In the meantime, the mound-like shape…

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Retrograde Motion simplified.

The path of Mars, as viewed from the Earth.          Retrograde motion is the apparent backward motion of a planet caused by its being lapped by another planet, or vice-versa.1  These two planets are usually on two different orbits, a larger one and a smaller one, and they move around the sun … Continue reading Retrograde Motion simplified. Continue reading Continue reading

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Copernicus in Context

Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus was born February 19, 1473 and died May 24, 1543. Copernicus‘ most important contribution to astronomy is his heliocentric model of the solar system that placed the Sun at a fixed point in the center, and depicted the planets orbiting the Sun. In this model, Earth was just another planet. The … Continue reading Copernicus in Context Continue reading Continue reading

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Using Stellarium for observing

“Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.” – Stellarium webpage   Stellarium is an amazing bit of software to use for help with astronomical observing.  It is free 🙂 and you can…

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Astronomy’s Lasting Influence on Human Thought

If my short study of Astronomy has taught one thing, it is how influential Astronomy has been on our way of thinking as a species. This influence can be seen in ancient times, when civilizations such as in Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, Egypt, China, India, and Greece placed Astronomy and Astrology at the centers of their ideology, […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Did the U.S. Navy detect Alien Aircraft?

The Fermi Paradox is a fundamental piece of where human civilization currently stands concerning the question of life on other planets: if the probability of life in the universe is so high, why have we not interacted with this life before? One of the answers to this is question is simple: life from other worlds […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Pale Blue Dot

Over the course of the semester, I learned a lot of things. I started off learning about the size and scale of the universe, and the enormous distances between planets and stars. We can’t even travel a tenth of a light year in our lifetime in the fastest spaceship we own. Our furthest spacecraft, Voyager … Continue reading Pale Blue Dot Continue reading Continue reading

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Where Do We Go from Here?

Given that NASA is a government agency, it’s a little worrisome how it’s funding can be pretty wantonly taken and given as the government sees fit. (That’s why privatization of the space industry through companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX is so necessary) However, Nasa is currently budgeted .5% of our national budget- that’s 18.4 billion-so […] Continue reading Continue reading

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