Let’s face it: some astronomical systems don’t make any sense. Join us for a look at the history of some of these terms, as we try to understand why stellar spectral classification and the magnitude system work like they do.
A relatively detailed discussion of a classic paper in cosmology, which basically covers everything you might want to know about how structure forms in the Universe on the very largest scales.
Let’s be serious for a moment: nothing dire is going to happen on December 21st. Rest easy. But in celebration I’ve decided to count down my top five favorite astronomical doomsday scenarios, ordered from most to least plausible.
I recently attended a two-week crash course in the “Astrophysical Applications of Gravitational Lensing”. In this post, I overview a few of the ways astronomers employ lensing to study the Universe, from extrasolar planets to distant quasars and large-scale structure.
Fact: Jupiter is the best planet. What’s not to like? Big, beautifully stripey, four exciting moons, hurricane three times the size of the Earth, lots of fascinating hydrodynamics…I could go on. But Jupiter isn’t just awesome on its own. It was also the site of the first observed extraterrestrial impact event, and is routinely struck […]
A coalition of willing billionaires, spaceflight professionals, and scientific advisors under the banner of Planetary Resources have announced their intention to go out there and mine themselves some asteroids. Are they serious? What’s going to happen? What does it mean for astronomers and planetary scientists? What contributions will the scientific community make, and what data do we stand to gain?
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data release promises many new and exciting discoveries!