Tag Archives: energy

The Balmer Thermometer

How hot would you say this star is? Take a wild guess. Well…sorry, but I’m going to stop you for a moment just to make sure we’re all using Kelvins. The Kelvin scale is like the Celsius scale, except water … Continue reading

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Stars and Radiation

Stars are hot. Really hot. Hot enough to have energy to spare for their planets. If our star wasn’t hot, we couldn’t live on Earth. And our star isn’t even particularly hot for a star. It’s a middle-aged star of … Continue reading

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Atoms and Radiation

Everything we know about space comes from radiation. Now wait just a moment here. That statement explains how astronomy is such a successful field of science—it’s based entirely on the information we can glean from radiation, after all. But how … Continue reading

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Infrared & High-Energy Astronomy

You probably recognize this image. You see something like it whenever you look up at the sky. Some days are clearer than others—some, you might even see a completely blue sky—but regardless, you know that this is an image of … Continue reading

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Radio Astronomy: Advantages

Whoa…what’s this thing? It’s a radio telescope, the largest in the world. It’s so huge that a normal support system can’t support its weight. So it’s basically suspended between three mountaintops. It’s 300 m across, which is 1000 feet. It’s … Continue reading

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Radio Astronomy: Limitations

Astronomy is a labor of love, and radio astronomy is no different. As I covered in my last post, radio astronomy deals with the longest wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (a spectrum that includes visible light). Radio waves are not sound … Continue reading

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The Spectrum of Light

Does this look familiar? People think of rainbows as a symbol of happiness and fortune. There are even myths that leprechauns hide gold at the end of a rainbow. That’s more of a tease than good fortune, if you ask … Continue reading

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