Quote of the Day
People get cranky when you burst their bubble. Over time, advances in astronomy have relentlessly reinforced the utter insignificance of Earth on a celestial scale. Fortunately, political and religious leaders stopped barbecuing astronomers for saying so, turning their spits with human-rights activists instead.
The Scriptures were written, not to make us astronomers, but to make us saints.
Recent results from astronomers who study the occasional gravitational lensing of unknown worlds by intervening stars suggest that orphan planets could be at least as numerous as the stars. In other words, there could be hundreds of billions of orphan worlds shuffling through our galaxy.
Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see an eclipse, clouds prevent a sight of it; and yet a sense of relief accompanies the disappointment.
Female physicists, astronomers and mathematicians are up against more than 2,000 years of convention that has long portrayed these fields as inherently male.
Astronomers still can't decide what the shape of our universe is. Is it closed and finite, which is to say, is there a countable tally of all the galaxies that exist, even beyond the ones we can see? Or is it infinite? The latter possibility is still on the table.
Of course, Sol is a big ball of hot gas, but one that - thanks to its endlessly boiling innards - shakes and vibrates. By studying patterns on the Sun's surface, astronomers can learn much about Sol's internal construction.
Probably the closest things to perfection are the huge absolutely empty holes that astronomers have recently discovered in space. If there's nothing there, how can anything go wrong?
You know, there was a time, just before I started to study physical science, when astronomers thought that systems such as we have here in the solar system required a rare triple collision of stars.
The atmosphere is great for people - it allows us to survive - but it's a real headache for astronomers.
Andrea M. Ghez
Astronomers are obsessed with building larger and larger telescopes. There are two promises that we make with bigger telescopes: that they can see fainter things and that they see more detail. But it's been really hard to follow through on that second promise because of atmospheric distortion.
Andrea M. Ghez
Radio astronomers study radio waves from space using sensitive antennas and receivers, which give them precise information about what an astronomical object is and where it is in our night sky. And just like the signals that we send and receive here on Earth, we can convert these transmissions into sound using simple analog techniques.
Give consideration to the fact that alien astronomers could have scrutinized Earth for more than 4 billion years without detecting any radio signals, despite the fact that our world is the poster child for habitability.
Given the tendency of many to picture God's realm as somewhere high above Earth - an idea that sounds suspiciously like the Greek stories of deities perched on inaccessible mountain tops - it may seem plausible to assume that astronomers have special insight. Well, of course they don't.
Astronomers ought to be able to ask fundamental questions without accelerators.
Physicists and astronomers see their own implications in the world being round, but to me it means that only one-third of the world is asleep at any given time and the other two-thirds is up to something.
The cosmic game changed forever in 1992. Before then, logic told us that there had to be other planets besides the nine (if you still count poor Pluto) in our solar system, but until that year, when two astronomers detected faint, telltale radio signals in the constellation Virgo, we had no hard evidence of their existence.
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