Tag Archives: observations

Cosmic Rays

Cosmic rays remain, for the most part, a cosmic mystery. But then, what about the universe doesn’t still remain partially shrouded in mystery? Cosmic rays are radiation, but they’re not electromagnetic. That is, they’re not on the electromagnetic spectrum. So, … Continue reading

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The Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most famous telescopes in the world. Oops, excuse me—one of the most famous telescopes built. Hubble, after all, is certainly not in this world. Unless you call the universe the “world,” it’s about … Continue reading

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Interferometry

Imagine you have an image like this. This object is faint and faraway, so you can’t make out much more detail. You know that other stars like it—closer, brighter stars—have looked like this and turned out to be two stars, … Continue reading

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Einstein: Space-Time Curvature Confirmed

When you hear about “space-time,” it’s just a way to say that space is related to time. And the curvature of space-time, as Albert Einstein predicted, is the way space and time alike literally bend around a mass such as the … Continue reading

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Galileo and the Telescope

When you hear the name “Galileo Galilei,” what immediately comes to mind? If you thought, “inventor of the telescope,” you’re not alone. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you thought “condemned by the Inquisition for believing the Earth orbited the … Continue reading

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Johannes Kepler and Planetary Motion

Thales and Pythagoras suggested that the natural world could be understood. Aristotle dared to imagine what was beyond the Earth. Plato encouraged thought about the universe, even if he did take astronomy one step forward and two steps backward. Copernicus … Continue reading

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Tycho Brahe, the Observer

It is surprisingly difficult to find a flattering image of Tycho Brahe. Honestly. Do me a favor and do a Google image search for the guy. It’ll come up with all sorts of disfigured images, mostly because his nose got … Continue reading

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The Copernican Revolution

Nicolaus Copernicus lived from 1473-1543, a time when rebellion against the Church was at its height. And unfortunately for the astronomy of the time, it had gotten inextricably tied up with Christian teachings. In that time, heaven and hell weren’t … Continue reading

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The Ptolemaic Universe

Claudius Ptolemy lived about five centuries after the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s time. Aristotle’s model for the universe—the first geocentric model, with Earth at the center—was still widely accepted, and Ptolemy sought to improve it. Ptolemy was one of the first of … Continue reading

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From Classical Beginnings

The universe as we know it was born out of chaos. We have a pretty good idea of the scale of our universe and how it began—as an infinitely dense point of matter that blew apart in what we call … Continue reading

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