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White Dwarfs, Red Dwarfs, and Blue Giants, Oh My!

White Dwarfs, Yellow Dwarfs, Red Dwarfs, Red Giants, and Blue Giants, oh my!As we look out from Earth along the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy, we see what looks like a pile of sparkly jewels, lots and lots of stars. So...

May 19, 2015

Worlds of Ice, Water... And Plate Tectonics?

Long have we talked about the requirements for a world able to harbor our kind of life. We needed liquid water for life to evolve on our planet, and we continue to need it in order to survive. And by “we” ...

January 20, 2015

Why Is The Sky Blue?

Why is the Sky Blue? If you live in the northern hemisphere of our world, your summer is coming to an end. Hopefully everyone had some nice sunny days, with blue skies, maybe near a beautiful blue lake or ocean. And ...

October 08, 2014

Another Earth Found? Maybe, Hopefully…

Last Thursday, the folks from NASA’s Kepler Mission had a very exciting announcement. They found a planet the size of Earth in the habitable zone around its star. Are we ready to dial long distance to see who an...

April 25, 2014

STRANGE NEW WORLDS: Uncovering The Mysteries Of Mars

We have been observing Mars long since before the time of Galileo. Being the first person to bother pointing a telescope up at the sky (instead of across the oceans looking for pirates), Galileo could add more details...

November 30, 2013

STRANGE NEW WORLDS: Clouds on an Alien World

When watching any of the Star Trek series or movies, we sometimes see scenes in orbit around alien planets. I am always amazed at the creativity of the artists who create these environments, building worlds that are c...

October 19, 2013

Strange New Worlds: Our Place in the Milky Way Galaxy

Our Place in the Milky Way GalaxyIf a solar system is like a home village, then a galaxy is like a very large home country. Our Sun and its collection of planets and other assorted celestial bodies is just a very smal...

June 18, 2013

Strange New Worlds: Seeking Other Earths

Last time, I talked about the search for planets and solar systems around other stars, and the progress astronomers have made in finding them. From knowing only the planets in our own Solar System some 20 years ago, w...

March 17, 2013

Strange New Worlds #5: Here Come The Earths!

Here Come the Earths!These are truly exciting times, not only for astronomers, but also for Star Trek fans, especially those with an eye on the list of planets we have encountered in the over 1000 hours of Star Trek. ...

January 25, 2013

Strange New Worlds #4: Playing Hide-And-Seek At Titan

While watching the latest Star Trek movie, introducing us to Kirk and company at a much earlier time in their lives, one scene in particular stood out for the astronomer in me. Nero had destroyed Vulcan, and was about...

October 30, 2012

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