SAMPLE ALL THE FLAVORS!Increasingly, Vanderbilt instructors are incorporating blogs into their course design. Course Blogs at Vanderbilt is a mash-up of live feeds representing a wide variety of Vanderbilt courses that use blogging to help students reflect on, comment about, and introduce new ideas to course material. Click on the blog title to view the originating course blog. You can also click on the Participating Blogs tab for links to each blog.
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Category Archives: Class
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. In my opinion it is also one of the most interesting. One of the interesting features on Jupiter is its Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is a churning, red hurricane that is twice the size of Earth. It was first discovered in 1831, soContinue reading “The Great Red Spot” Continue reading → Continue reading
Where are the aliens? This is the question the Fermi paradox attempts to answers. The paradox revolves around the lack of confirmed evidence of extraterrestrial life and the high calculated probability that life beyond Earth exists. The Fermi paradox is named after physicist Enrico Fermi. The argument raised by Fermi was formalized by Michael Hart.Continue reading “Fermi Paradox” Continue reading → Continue reading
After traveling 94 million miles into deep space, the journey of NASA’s Kepler space telescope was finally completed in October of 2018. Operational since 2009, the telescope was able to detect a total of 2,681 exoplanets before running out of fuel. The archival data retrieved by Kepler will have immense value as it is continuedContinue reading “Kepler-1649c” Continue reading → Continue reading
We all love hearing stories about aliens and extraterrestrials. But what if I told you that there is a probabilistic equation that is used by scientists to estimate the amount of active and communicative extraterrestrial civilizations there are in the Milky Way. It is called the Drake Equation and it was made by Frank DrakeContinue reading “Extraterrestrial Civilizations: The Drake Equation” Continue reading → Continue reading
Many will remember William Herschel as the one who found planet Uranus. This founding was shocking and revolutionary. After all, Uranus was the first star found by humans for a long time. Nevertheless, there are many more interesting things one can say about William Herschel. For one, he did not train to be an astronomer.Continue reading “An Important Musician In Astronomy” Continue reading → Continue reading
Extremophiles are organisms on Earth that thrive in extreme environment that most other organisms wouldn’t be able to survive in. They are found in places that at a glance, seem unlivable, places like inside volcanoes, or deep in the ocean under extreme pressures. So why do these extremophiles matter when thinking about space? The ideaContinue reading “Extremophiles, and What They Mean For Life in Space” Continue reading → Continue reading
Our galaxy should be teeming with civilizations, but where are they? If we imagine that we would be able to survive long enough to become interstellar travelers, and that we begin to colonize habitable planets around nearby star systems, we would have dozens of outposts around nearby stars within a few centuries. We would beContinue reading “So Where Are the Aliens?” Continue reading → Continue reading
The Drake equation, also known as the Green Bank equation, is used to yield the number of technically advanced civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy. The equation uses astronomical, biological, and psychological factors to determine this number. The formula was first discussed in 1961 at a conference on the “search of extraterrestrial intelligence”, formulated largelyContinue reading “The Drake Equation” Continue reading → Continue reading
A comet is made of a nucleus (inner core), coma (cloudy envelope around the nucleus), and then a tail. Where exactly do these beautiful, fast-moving cosmic snowballs come from? Scientists are able to trace comets that we see in the inner solar system by retracing their orbits. Through this, scientists believe that comets come fromContinue reading “Comets: where do they come from?” Continue reading → Continue reading
When considering the likeliest hosts for extraterrestrial life in our very own system, Europa surely is near the top of possible candidates. One of Jupiter’s 79 (!) moons, it possesses the smoothest surface of any celestial body in the solar system. Because of this and imaging from probes, scientists have hypothesized that Europa has aContinue reading “Life on Europa?” Continue reading → Continue reading