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: Solar System: Terrestrials
The removal of Pluto as a planet was an emotional blow to anyone with a heart. It was a devastating betrayal leaving many asking questions that no one wanted to hear the answers to. While there were many reasons behind Pluto’s status change, the ultimate culprit is the dwarf planet Eris. Eris was discovered inContinue reading “The Real Villain in Pluto’s Demise” Continue reading → Continue reading
With a growing distrust in both science and the government (something I discussed in one of my earlier blog posts about the Flat Earth Movement), NASA is one government agency that comes under a lot of fire these days. With many in politics hoping to slash the NASA budget or cut the agency entirely, itContinue reading “Why NASA?” Continue reading → Continue reading
For years, the idea of colonizing another planet has fascinated the world (and with our climate crisis, become a very topical issue). After the moon, there are two obvious options, Mars and Venus. Obviously, we have directed our efforts towards Mars, but why not Venus? Venus is more comparable to the Earth in size andContinue reading “Why We Opted for Mars, not Venus” Continue reading → Continue reading
We all remember learning the mnemonic device in elementary school: My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles (or whatever variation you prefer). Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the eight planets of our solar system. But what do these names actually mean? How do planets and moons and other stuff inContinue reading “How do we name our Solar System?” Continue reading → Continue reading
While believers in a Flat Earth have always existed (even after it became widely understood that the Earth is a sphere), the number of “Flat Earthers” has grown (and continues to grow) at alarming rates. So how is a fact that has been proven thousands of different ways over a few thousand years rejected byContinue reading “The Resurgence of Flat Earth Theory” Continue reading → Continue reading
The winter and summer solstices occur as a result of the Earth’s tilt. The summer solstice occurs for a hemisphere when it is facing most directly towards the sun, and this marks the longest time of sunlight for that hemisphere. The winter solstice, is the exact opposite occurrence, resulting in the least amount of timeContinue reading “The Equinoxes Throughout History” Continue reading → Continue reading
Venus’s atmosphere is very, very dense. It is composed of about 96% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen, and trace amounts of other gases, including sulfur dioxide. Although Earth’s atmosphere is composed of over 75% nitrogen, Venus’s atmosphere is so dense that the 3.5% of its atmosphere that is composed of nitrogen has around 4 times the … Continue reading The Atmosphere of Venus → Continue reading → Continue reading
InSight is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, and is NASA’s next big spacecraft. A little contrived, but its memorable. InSight is a Mars lander designed to study the inside of Mars: the crust, mantle, and core. It does so by measuring the planet’s seismology, heat flow, and precision tracking. … Continue reading Almost InSight → Continue reading → Continue reading
Image of hematite tubes from microfossils discovered in the hydrothermal vents We only had to memorize a few dates for Astro 2110, but one of them was how long ago life on Earth began. Memorizing such dates are easy, but I think it’s so interesting to consider how exactly scientists (and our textbook authors!) are … Continue reading Blog #7Continue reading → Continue reading
Image of SAGE III Climate change is an oft-mentioned topic in a diverse range of conversations including those within the scientific community and increasingly in the political sphere as well. Despite a lot of ongoing talk about climate change, I think that many ordinary citizens, including myself, don’t have a good grasp of the science … Continue reading Blog #4Continue reading → Continue reading