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Category Archives: Stars
There are few things in the entire Universe that are as terrifyingly awesome as a black hole. To have a region of space exist that contains gravitational forces so strong that literally nothing can escape it (whether it’s a particle, light, or any electromagnetic radiation for that matter) seems like a concept straight out of … Continue reading What’s in a Black Hole? → Continue reading → Continue reading
Comets have been noticed by ancient civilizations for millenia, and, like many other celestial bodies, were viewed as omens of the future. Comets in particular were considered bad omens. The most famous example is Halley’s Comet, seen in 1066 by the English and theorized to have been an omen for Harold II of England’s death. … Continue reading Comets as Omens of the Future Continue reading → Continue reading
Potential Habitable Planets An extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star that’s not our sun. Even though these planets can be recognized, and their sizes measured, they are light years away so it would take astronomers thousands of years to reach these extrasolar planets. To detect these planets, scientists use either one of … Continue reading Exoplanets 101: Does the earth have a twin? → Continue reading → Continue reading
Recently, I have started work as an undergraduate research assistant in the Physics and Astronomy department at my university. The project I was assigned to is of a stellar nature; we are attempting to find evidence of extrasolar planets, or planets around other stars. Though we haven’t found any planets yet, I keep thinking about … Continue reading Extrasolar Planets: A Search to Span Solar Systems → Continue reading → Continue reading
Pulsars are pretty dang cool. Pulsars are a kind of neutron star that rotates really rapidly. As they spin about their axis, they shoot off “pulses” or beams of energy. These beams are emitted from their magnetic poles. Pulsars (like all neutron stars) are formed from…
Nuclear fusion is where two nuclei combine resulting in a displacement of energy. The fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium specifically is what powers the energy output of the sun. This can only occur under the most extreme conditions – typically, the positively charged nuclei of two atoms repel each other quite strongly, and … Continue reading Nuclear Fusion Continue reading → Continue reading
You may be familiar with the Periodic Table, which lists every type of atom (referred to as ‘elements’) in the universe. Each of the elements is formed by combining subatomic building blocks in different ways. One of the most important element-creating events in the Universe was Big Bang nucleosynthesis, the period about 10 seconds to … Continue reading Stars: How to Make Just About Everything → Continue reading → Continue reading
Long before history has been recorded, humans have studied the stars in the night sky. Although we have looked at stars for thousands of years, it wasn’t until 1930 that the 88 constellations were officially named by the International Astronomical Union. 48 of these constellations were named by Ptolemy in his book The Almagest in … Continue reading History of Constellations → Continue reading → Continue reading
Nuclear fusion is the process in which the Sun and all other stars generate energy through the combination of light atoms into heavier ones. The nuclear fusion in most stars is carried out in proton-proton fusion. In the first step, two protons fused together to create a proton-neutron core and emitting a neutrino and positron. … Continue reading Nuclear Fusion in the Sun → Continue reading → Continue reading
One of the most famous and recognizable constellations, Orion is most visible in the evening sky, winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It was named after a hunter in Greek Mythology, Orion. Rigel, a blue-white supergiant, and Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, are the brightest stars in Orion. Thousands of newly formed stars can be found in … Continue reading How to Find Orion in the Night Sky → Continue reading → Continue reading