Category Archives: Class

Tardigrades

Tardigrades are the toughest animals that we have yet discovered, not due to their physical strength, but rather their incredible ability to survive. People praise cockroaches for their ability to survive levels of radiation that would be lethal to humans, but the real heroes are microscopic “water bears” called tardigrades. Tardigrades are extremophiles, or micro-organisms … Continue reading Tardigrades Continue reading Continue reading

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A semester wrestling pessimism and optimism

Here are two things I’ve been doing this semester (in addition to taking this course) Watching Star Trek: The Next Generation Taking an investigative writing course focusing… Read more “A semester wrestling pessimism and optimism” Continue reading Continue reading

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Are civilizations doomed? One possible explanation for the Fermi Paradox

It’s the age old question: are we alone in the universe? It’s a topic we began wrestling as children, well before we even had basic knowledge of… Read more “Are civilizations doomed? One possible explanation for the Fermi Paradox” Continue reading Continue reading

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The Final (frontier) Post

Throughout the semester, I learned about things I had never thought of including the moons of others planets, tiny microbes living in extreme conditions, and astronomical objects here on Earth. Each of these topics and more helped me grasp the scope of the universe and the solar system we live in. There are so many […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Fermi Paradox

One of the biggest questions in the universe is whether or not we are alone. The Fermi Paradox seeks to answer this question and try to make sense of our place amongst the cosmos. The basis of the paradox is if a civilization had the right rocket technology and the will, they could colonize the […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Reflections: A Year of Astronomical Study

As my freshman year of college draws to a bitter sweet and slightly chaotic close, I’ve been doing some major thinking about about the events of the past school year. I fell in love with astronomy from the very first lecture I attended, way back in August of last year. While my first semester gave … Continue reading Reflections: A Year of Astronomical Study Continue reading Continue reading

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The Arecibo Message: Humanity’s Greeting to the Cosmos

To this day, one of humanity’s most loaded questions remains unanswered: are we alone in this universe? Though we have yet to detect the presence of any extraterrestrial civilizations, that has not stopped humanity from attempting to make contact with whatever else might be out there. The most famous attempt to communicate humanity’s existence to … Continue reading The Arecibo Message: Humanity’s Greeting to the Cosmos Continue reading Continue reading

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Chroococcidiopsis Aboard EXPOSE-R2

Chroococcidiopsis was sent aboard EXPOSE-R2 as part of the Biofilm Organisms Surfing Space (BOSS) experiment on July 24, 2014. Its goal was to test the hypothesis that “microorganisms grown as biofilms, hence embedded in self-produced extracellular polymeric substances, are more tolerant to space and Martian conditions compared to their planktonic counterparts” (or, put simply, to … Continue reading Chroococcidiopsis Aboard EXPOSE-R2 Continue reading Continue reading

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Extremophile: Chroococcidiopsis

Chroococcidiopsis is a primitive, photosynthetic, coccoidal cyanobacteria that is able to resist desiccation (extreme dryness). Its ability to live in arid environments is due in part because it colonizes on the underside of translucent rocks which provide both enough condensed moisture for growth and enough light for photosynthesis to occur. Hence, because Chroococcidiopsis is resistant … Continue reading Extremophile: Chroococcidiopsis Continue reading Continue reading

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A Great Semester

This was a great class, and I’m grateful for all the information I learned. Some concepts were reemphasized since I knew them before taking the course, but I’ve received and retained some new, useful knowledge that I can share with others. I’ve been interested in all things concerning astronomy since I was young, and I … Continue reading A Great Semester Continue reading Continue reading

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