“A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and stars – billions upon billions of stars.” –Carl Sagan Perhaps the most striking feature of the night sky under truly dark conditions isn’t the canopy of those thousands of points of light, but rather the expanse of the Milky Way, streaking across the entire night sky. … Read moreBillions of Stars in the Galaxy!
“[The black hole] teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as ‘sacred,’ as immutable, are anything but.” –John A. Wheeler To an astronomer on any other world, the … Read moreA Little Black Hole Goes A Long Way
“Think binary. When matter meets antimatter, both vanish, into pure energy. But both existed; I mean, there was a condition we’ll call ‘existence.’ Think of one and minus one. Together they add up to zero, nothing, nada, niente, right? Picture them together, then picture them separating–peeling apart. … Now you have something, you have two … Read moreWhy is there something instead of nothing?
“You will be able to program a robot to follow a track on the ground and manipulate a hand. You can also write little programs that will give the robots goals.” –Bill Budge Ever since the very first robots were conceived, the robot apocalypse — or a time where the robots will become intelligent enough … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Here comes the Robot Apocalypse!
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” –Edgar Allen Poe When you look out into the darkness of a moonless, unpolluted night sky, you’ll of course notice that it’s full of stars, planets, and the occasional extended object. But you’ll also … Read moreThis is what your Universe looks like!
“When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.” –Tycho Brahe When stars reach the end of their lives, there are many possible fates that they … Read moreA Martian Supernova for Skywatchers Everywhere!
“To use Newton’s words, our efforts up till this moment have but turned over a pebble or shell here and there on the beach, with only a forlorn hope that under one of them was the gem we were seeking. Now we have the sieve, the minds, the hands, the time, and, particularly, the dedication … Read moreNeutrinos and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
“Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite; it is a passionate exercise. We’ve got to learn to live with a full measure of uncertainty. There is no last word. That’s the silence under the chatter of our time.” –John Patrick Shanley Normally, … Read moreWeekend Diversion: The Amazing Dance of Dark Matters
“The saying ‘It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings’ is erroneous, because women who are fat are never listened to.” –Margaret Cho Last year, the OPERA collaboration made worldwide headlines when they announced the results of a remarkable experiment. From over 730 kilometers away, in another country, neutrinos were created by one of the … Read moreThe Fat Lady Sings for OPERA
“Now go on, boy, and pay attention. Because if you do, someday, you may achieve something that we Simpsons have dreamed about for generations: you may outsmart someone!” –Homer Simpson Today, March 14th, is known tongue-in-cheek as Pi Day here in the United States, as 3.14 (we write the month first) are the first three … Read morePi Day Fun Facts!