Tag Archives: astronomy

How do we observe galaxies further than 13.7 billion light years away?

z8_GND_5296. Credit: V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS team, and HST/NASA Sorry for such a lengthy title, but the subject came up because of a widely circulated announcement of the discovery of “The Most Distant Galaxy … Continue reading

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Ask a Physicist: Is the Earth Putting on Weight?

Last week, I put in a call for questions, and the opportunity to win a signed advanced copy of The Universe in the Rearview Mirror (and seriously, it’s never too early to pre-order). The first winning column is up: “Is … Continue reading

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I get mail: Why are maps of the universe drawn as ellipses?

You’ve almost certainly seen all-sky maps like the Planck CMB map, above. To those of us in the biz, it may seem obvious what it is we’re looking at, but that’s only because we’re overly familiar. It’s worth reminding ourselves … Continue reading

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Tycho

One of the most famous stories in astronomy surrounds the development of the Keplerian model of the planets. Kepler’s model (the one we use today) has three laws: Planets travel in an ellipse with the sun at one focus. This … Continue reading

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A short interview on the Russian Meteor Event

My university news service wanted to do a short interview about the Russian meteor strike last week. I’ll post a link when it’s up, but I figured I’d post my responses in full here. Enjoy! – Dave Q: Early reports … Continue reading

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1 Sentence Science Summaries: Mayan Apocalypse Edition

As it’s a bit past noon on December 21st, I’m going to round up and call it a day. No apocalypse this time around. But please, if you managed to “predict” that the world wouldn’t end today, don’t hurt yourself … Continue reading

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The Transit of Venus (June 5-6)!

Greetings, astronomy fans! As you may have heard, next Tuesday evening (as seen from the east coast of the U.S.), we’re going to witness a rare and historical astronomical event: the transit of Venus. If you somehow missed the news, … Continue reading

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I get email: Could we spot the enterprise?

Every now and again, I get a fun question that is totally in appropriate for the column, in that in order to answer it, I need to throw out a few equations. Last week, I got an intensely nerdy email … Continue reading

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Ask a Physicist: Are we Surrounded by Dyson Spheres?

My latest “Ask a Physicist” column is up at io9. This week, I’ve got a mashup of extraterrestrials, dark matter, lensing, and Big Bang nucleosynthesis. The question is: “Are we surrounded by Dyson Spheres?” (A: no.) If you’re checking out … Continue reading

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A spoonful of neutron star makes your spaceship explode

Note: This one has a “technical” tag, which means equations lay ahead! I got a fun email today, and while it’s probably not quite right for my Ask a Physicist column, it’s actually a lot of fun to go through … Continue reading

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