Get Your Galaxy in Gear!

“We don’t understand how a single star forms, yet we want to understand how 10 billion stars form.” –Carlos Frenk The Universe has been around for a long time: nearly 14 billion years, to the best of our knowledge. When it was very young, there were absolutely zero stars in it, while today, there are hundreds … Read more

It's My ______ In A Box!

“I would rather be adorned by beauty of character than jewels. Jewels are the gift of fortune, while character comes from within.” -Plautus When it comes to astronomy, there’s no doubt that I’ve got a northern hemisphere bias. It’s no surprise, of course; I live here. And while I often write about the skies that … Read more

Sometimes, Size is Everything!

“I went into a clothing store, and the lady asked me what size I was. I said, ‘Actual’. I’m not to scale.” –Demitri Martin When you look out at the Universe, what you can see is limited, at the most fundamental level, by the size of what you look with. This is why you can … Read more

Incredible Star Trails, from Earth and Beyond

“Building one space station for everyone was and is insane: we should have built a dozen.” –Larry Niven Here on the solid ground of the Earth, the Sun and Moon rise and set on a daily basis. During the hours where the Sun is invisible, blocked by the solid Earth, the stars twirl overhead in … Read more

Practically Everything Leaves Something Behind

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people … Read more

What Lies in the great Pinwheel Galaxy?

“This seems to be the law of progress in everything we do; it moves along a spiral rather than a perpendicular; we seem to be actually going out of the way, and yet it turns out that we were really moving upward all the time.” –Frances Willard As spring gives way to summer here in … Read more