Throwback Thursday: The Lives and Deaths of Sun-Like Stars (Synopsis)

“Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.” –Samuel Johnson You might look up at our Sun in the sky, delighted at its brilliance and life-giving brightness, thankful for all it’s brought to our world. But we’re all just a little bit dismayed at the crushing realization that it won’t live forever, and will … Read moreThrowback Thursday: The Lives and Deaths of Sun-Like Stars (Synopsis)

Incredibly rare “back-to-back” maximum eclipses are coming! (Synopsis)

“And everything under the sun is in tune But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” –Pink Floyd We normally think of eclipses as rare phenomena, something that happens only occasionally. While it’s true than any particular location only experiences eclipses — particularly solar eclipses — infrequently, we actually experience these things around four times a … Read moreIncredibly rare “back-to-back” maximum eclipses are coming! (Synopsis)

The secret of the galaxy’s most famous nebula (Synopsis)

“The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the ‘evolution’ of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.” –William James Summer is coming. No, not to Westeros, but to your … Read moreThe secret of the galaxy’s most famous nebula (Synopsis)

Weekend Diversion: Trompe-l’œil Art (Synopsis)

“The contemporaries and rivals of Zeuxis were Timanthes, Androcydes, Eupompus, and Parrhasius. This last, it is said, entered into a pictorial contest with Zeuxis, who represented some grapes, painted so naturally that the birds flew towards the spot where the picture was exhibited. Parrhasius, on the other hand, exhibited a curtain, drawn with such singular … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Trompe-l’œil Art (Synopsis)

Throwback Thursday: Global Warming for Beginners (Synopsis)

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” –David Attenborough If you had never heard of global warming before, how would you figure out whether it was happening, whether humans played a role, and what the magnitude of it was? Thankfully, we … Read moreThrowback Thursday: Global Warming for Beginners (Synopsis)

Why are there (at most) eight planets in the Solar System? (Synopsis)

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to … Read moreWhy are there (at most) eight planets in the Solar System? (Synopsis)