Science

What is it? Stellar Classification

Stars light up the night sky. But as we saw a couple of weeks ago, not all stars are the same. Thanks to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, we can easily see that there is a relationship between the surface temperature of a star and the star’s luminosity. This relationship can tell …

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Science

What Is It? Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

If you’re like me, you’ve sat outside on a warm summer night, watched the darkness rise, and count the stars as they popped onto the night sky seemingly out of nowhere. They look more or less the same, but if you’re in a really dark location, you start to notice …

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Science & Nature

What Is That? Hoag-Type Galaxies

It hasn’t been too long ago that we humans thought that our galaxy was the entire universe. Edwin Hubble discovered that this is far from the case only in 1925. Since then we’ve come to realize that there are almost an inconceivable number of galaxies floating around in the the …

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Science Sunday

Science Sunday: Introducing Advanced LIGO, the Future of Gravitational Astronomy

On Tuesday, the LIGO Laboratory announced the completion of the Advanced LIGO detector array, which may finally be able to detect elusive gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are a consequence of Einstein’s General Relativity. They operate similar to other kinds of waves, and are thought to carry gravitational energy. Even though all objects with …

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FeaturedPhysicsScience Sunday

Science Sunday: Exoplanets!

It seems like nearly every week there’s a new announcement that astronomers have found another exoplanet, a planet orbiting a different star. Sometimes that planet is a Hot Jupiter, sometimes it’s a Super-Earth, sometimes it’s a planet made entirely of diamond or burning ice. Exoplanets are weird, incredibly diverse, and always fascinating. But there are …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 44: Challenge Accepted Part 2

In which a challenge is issued, a challenge is accepted, and a challenge is completed…for real this time! If you will remember, last week I was issued a challenge involving black holes by this cheeky physicist I know. Even though I’m far too dumb to really get my head around …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 43: Challenge Accepted Part 1

In which a challenge is issued, a challenge is accepted, and a challenge is…completed? Over the past several months I have collected physicist Facebook friends like people collected Beanie Babies in the ’90s. (Only my collection will prove much more valuable in the long run.) Recently, one such friend issued …

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Awesome Sauce Music FridayFeatured

Awesome Sauce Music Friday! Copernicus was Right, Come Out With Me Tonight Edition

Ooooooooh it’s been a long week, hasn’t it? But now it’s Friday, so it’s time to jam. Sometimes, when I’m looking for something to post in this slot every week, I just turn to YouTube and search for science songs. It’s a bit of a crap shoot, but every once …

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