Ask Ethan #9: Why everything rotates

“Galileo got it wrong. The Earth does not revolve around the Sun. It revolves around you and has been doing so for decades. At least, this is the model you are using.” –Srikumar Rao It’s the end of the week, so that means its time to take on another one of your questions from the … Read moreAsk Ethan #9: Why everything rotates

Does Dark Matter affect the motion of the Solar System?

“To disagree leads to study, to study leads to understanding, to understand is to appreciate, to appreciate is to love. So maybe I’ll end up loving your theory.” –John Wheeler Out there in the Universe, there’s a lot to marvel at. Over billions of years, gravity has attracted different portions of the expanding Universe together … Read moreDoes Dark Matter affect the motion of the Solar System?

The Far Future of our Solar System

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” –Alan Watts “They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead.” –J.R.R. Tolkien One of the most amazing facts about the Universe is that, despite only having spent a few hundred years … Read moreThe Far Future of our Solar System

An Atom in the Universe

“The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out – there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.” –Richard Feynman Here you are, a human being, a grand Universe of atoms that have organized themselves into simple monomers, assembled together into giant … Read moreAn Atom in the Universe

The Universe is Alive

“Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery When you look out into the Universe, what is it that you typically think of? Do you think of reliable, fixed stars and constellations? The … Read moreThe Universe is Alive

Why the World Will Run Out of Helium

“I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.” –Jimi Hendrix Hendrix, as I told you once before, was almost right. We know of helium, conventionally, as the lighter-than-air gas that we fill balloons, blimps and zeppelins with in order to quickly and easily … Read moreWhy the World Will Run Out of Helium

Our way is not the only way!

“The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at least once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at-least-once. And for life as we know it, with … Read moreOur way is not the only way!

How the Earth moves, and how do we know?

“Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.” –Galileo Galilei All of science is rooted in the idea that natural phenomena can be explained naturally, and that if we want to know how anything in the Universe works, all we … Read moreHow the Earth moves, and how do we know?

Where will we all be in 100 billion years?

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” –Winston Churchill We’ve come a long way in this Universe. Over the past 13.7 billion years, we’ve formed the light elements out of a sea of protons and neutrons, cooled and expanded to form neutral atoms for the first … Read moreWhere will we all be in 100 billion years?

A Super-Sized Sister Solar System!

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” -Neil Armstrong Here on our little wet rock in our Solar System, we … Read moreA Super-Sized Sister Solar System!