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.
ADD YOUR COURSE BLOG TO THIS SITE!Are you administering or participating in a course blog as at Vanderbilt? SEND US THE URL and we'll include it on this site.
Category Archives: Universe
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
Could human beings inhabit Titan, one of Saturn’s moons? Titan is one of the least hostile places for humans in the outer solar system. Titan has liquid methane lakes and oceans on its surface, and even has weather. Titan’s atmosphere is very dense – 95% nitrogen and 5% methane. The gravity on Titan is slightlyContinue reading “Living on Titan?” Continue reading → Continue reading
It’s no secret Pluto has been out of the privileged circle of celestial bodies to be considered planets for over a decade now. But many don’t realize what events led to this ousting, and the reasonings for doing so. Pluto had long since been considered a planet since its discovery in the 1930’s. Yet startingContinue reading “Why is Pluto No Longer a Planet?” Continue reading → Continue reading
The giants of our solar system, other than the Sun of course, are quite different from the terrestrial planets whether it comes to the atmospheres, the surfaces, size, or other planetary features. One key difference is the interior of these giant planets. Terrestrial planets, for context, have a very dense core followed by a rockyContinue reading “The Interiors of the Giants of the Solar System” Continue reading → Continue reading
“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy So you want to study space? Now, … Continue reading The Trouble With Astronomy 🤔 Continue reading → Continue reading
The Big Bang. It was big and definitely was a bang, but many think that this event just happened and here we are in the same universe billions of years later. In reality, the Universe has been evolving, rapidly at first slowing over time, and it continues to evolve today. The first stage of evolutionContinue reading “Back to the Beginning: The Big Bang” Continue reading → Continue reading
For ages, humans have been questioning the possibility of other life forms in the universe. There are many theories and ideas of evidence of other life forms. For example, there appears to be dry river beds on Mars. It is thought that Mars could at one point retain water on its surface and life could’veContinue reading “We’re Not the Only Living Ones in the Universe, Kind Of” Continue reading → Continue reading
With the pressing concerns regarding climate change, alternative sources of energy have been a prevalent topic of discussion. These sources range from feasible ideas such as nuclear power to ideas a bit more far fetched, such as harnessing energy from waves. While the alternative energy sources in question are all relatively feasible, there are someContinue reading “Exotic Energy Concepts” Continue reading → Continue reading
In a previous post, I wrote about the Hubble telescopes revolutionary Hubble Legacy Field image. This ended the era of Hubble, which was the source of most of the discoveries of our solar system over the past decades. The new James Webb telescope is now set to be put into orbit in 2021, and itContinue reading “The Revolutionary James Webb Telescope” Continue reading → Continue reading
A concept that has always intrigued me is the possibility of life on Earth. It seems like every topic we cover reveals another statistical improbability that has allowed life to exist on Earth at all. For example, we are just far enough from the sun that we have an atmosphere, but not so far fromContinue reading “Blog #4: Statistics Behind Our Solar System” Continue reading → Continue reading