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Recalling the Importance of Wonder

Recalling the Importance of Wonder

Last night I had the privilege of speaking about astronomy to the boys at Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. After telling them a bit about myself, I narrated the story of the cosmological revolutions of the past century, answering the question...

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Fine-Tuning in the Cosmos

Fine-Tuning in the Cosmos

This image is a three-color composite of the Chandra Deep Field South. Take a moment just to look at it in wonder. Pretty much every object in the photo is a galaxy, containing billions of stars.  The area of space in this photo takes up only one part in 375,000 of...

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Trip with UIAS to Yerkes Observatory

Trip with UIAS to Yerkes Observatory

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel up with the Astronomical Society of the University of Illinois and visit the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Yerkes Observatory has a few telescopes, including the world's largest...

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Pinpointing Planet Nine

Pinpointing Planet Nine

A few weeks ago, Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, distinguished researchers at Caltech, announced that there is probably another planet lurking in the outer realms of our solar system. Brown and Batygin were looking for an explanation for the alignment of the orbits...

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First AAS Experience

First AAS Experience

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Kissimmee, Florida. I was able to meet several important astronomers as well as others who like me are applying for graduate school in astronomy. The convention provided...

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Solar Time and Sidereal Time

Solar Time and Sidereal Time

When the Earth spins on its axis, the 360-degree turn is not actually what we normally call a day. That would be considered a sidereal day, that is, a day according to the distant ("fixed") stars (the genitive singular form of "star" in Latin is sideris). A sidereal...

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Why Is the Sky Blue?

Why Is the Sky Blue?

Here are two simple explanations: 1. For anyone: The atmosphere is like an obstacle course for light from the Sun, and light that hits any obstacle bounces off in a random direction. Blue light tries to pass through a lot more obstacles, whereas light of other colors...

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Flying on Faith and Reason

Flying on Faith and Reason

"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the...

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