The Explosion Brighter Than The Moon

Our sun is boring. That might seem like a harsh assessment of the object that literally keeps all life on Earth living, but it's true. In the context of the Universe, our star is a bland, boring main-sequence that will burn steadily for a long long time. Which is great! For us, as it means … Continue reading The Explosion Brighter Than The Moon

Looking Up

Recently I picked up the hobby of astrophotography. It’s exactly what it sounds like, pointing cameras and telescopes at the sky and taking photos of whatever object is interesting you in the moment. It’s a rewarding hobby, if also a little bit frustrating. For as long as people have been staring up through telescopes, there’s … Continue reading Looking Up

Ripples in Space

I posted a few days ago about pulsars, and used the clunky analogy of an object on a trampoline to describe how matter sits in the fabric of space-time. Essentially, the mass of the object will bend space-time and cause it to curve towards the object. The higher the density, the more massive the object, … Continue reading Ripples in Space

Lighthouses in Space

When was the last time you jumped on a trampoline? For me, it was the same time I had the unfortunate luck of going through the fabric of the trampoline and landing hard on the ground. I ask because the fabric of space-time can be imaged to be like the surface of a trampoline. If … Continue reading Lighthouses in Space

Respecting Realities

One day, if you are unlucky, there may come a time when proteins within your brain misfold, and clump together.  They will smother your neurons like plaque on teeth and decay your brain in the same way.  If you are unlucky, you may join the ranks and become one of the unfortunate ~50 million people … Continue reading Respecting Realities

The Bear That Cheats Death

Okay, okay. I'll come clean, it isn't a bear and it doesn't cheat death, it's just very good at surviving. The bear (or bears, really, as there are more than one thousand species) is a Tardigrade. A creature first observed in 1773 by Johann August who described them, in an admittedly adorable fashion, as 'little … Continue reading The Bear That Cheats Death

Keeping Time

If you put a human in a sealed room, with a light switch, and no way to tell the time, would they be able to do it? What if you controlled the light and turned it on and off at random intervals? Do you think that would help or hinder this persons efforts at keeping … Continue reading Keeping Time

Escaping a Black Hole

Can you think of a feat more incredible than escaping the tug of a black holes gravity? The very thing that is strong enough that light doesn't escape it? I cannot, and that makes the idea of Hawking Radiation truly incredible. What could escape the gravity of a black hole? Not light, not atoms, not … Continue reading Escaping a Black Hole

The Relentless March

It is believed that the first measurement of time was the separation of Day and Night. Two distinct passages of the Earth's rotation (despite the cause not being known at the time) that nicely worked out to be roughly even, depending on where the observer was. As time went on, early humans and their ancestors … Continue reading The Relentless March

Ingenuity

We all know what this post is going to be about: NASA has flown a drone on another planet. The importance of this cannot be overstated. It's the equivalent of the first steam engine or the first Moon landing. This is a first step to inhabiting Mars one day in the (hopefully) not-so-distant future. Here's … Continue reading Ingenuity