Category Archives: Astronomy

Planet with Three Suns

On March 17, 1941, John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, asked Isaac Asimov that: “What, if people see the stars once in a thousand of years?” Campbell has had read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 essay “Nature” and Emerson was saying in the first chapter that “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!”

Campbell wanted Asimov to read that quote, and asked him the question above, “What if people see the stars once in a thousand of years?” Asimov said, “I don’t know…” Campbell said: “I think men would go mad.” And he added: “Now, go and write a story about that.”

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A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning

We evolved here on Earth, and for thousands of years, we just thought the Earth is also the universe, or at least the most important and the biggest part of it. Our brains have been adapted to the life on Earth and the basic survival needs. So we can deal with the moderately sized objects which have moderate velocity, we can understand the small numbers like 1, 2, 50, we can conceptualize the small distances like two kilometers or the distance from our “cave” to the nearest river. But when the numbers and distances get bigger, I mean much bigger, like the distance from Earth to the Sun, it becomes incredibly difficult to conceptualize.

Previously I posted an article titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System“. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, it is an amazing way to understand how big actually our Solar System is.

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Planet Nine – Where is it?

In January 2015, Caltech (California Institute of Technology) astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown published an article titled Evidence For A Distant Giant Planet In The Solar System and announced calculation-based evidence of a massive ninth planet. Despite they have had started their research to demonstrate that there’s no ninth planet, they reached the exact opposite result: there must be a ninth planet beyond Pluto, and it’s probably 10 times the mass of Earth (for comparison, Neptune has 17 times as much mass compared to the Earth).

In an effort to state Planet Nine’s exact location, a team of French scientists used the data from the Cassini–Huygens (an unmanned spacecraft orbiting Saturn, launched on October 15, 1997). They couldn’t able to find the exact location of the giant planet, but they narrowed down the “possible areas”.

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The Tiny Earth

We are living on a tiny life-bearing rock, an oasis, in a large, very large and hostile desert called “Universe”. The universe is big, really big, in fact, even our solar system is shockingly large compared to Earth. But again, our brains have problems dealing with the big numbers and the large objects.

Jacqui Frank of Business Insider has prepared video comparing our planet with large objects (and distances) in the Universe. These amazing to-scale visuals will help to recognize how small (and fragile) our planet is.

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Astronomers Think They’ve Found Evidence for a Ninth Planet Beyond Pluto – And It’s a Giant!

Astronomers now think there’s a ninth planet in the solar system almost certainly. The farthest planet from our Sun is probably a giant, smaller than Neptune but likely larger than the Earth. It is informally called Phattie, but commonly known as Planet Nine.

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If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A tediously accurate map of the Solar System

The title describes itself. Artist and designer Josh Worth has created a great web page which is actually a scaled model of our solar system. He scaled the Moon to only one pixel (the radius of the Moon is 1,737 km / 1079.322 mi) and put the planets and other objects like the Kuiper Belt accordingly.

Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, it is a good way to understand how big is our Solar system actually (it is really big!).

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Are we the first?

In 1950, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi was chatting with his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory(1). They talked about the recent rise in UFO reports, then the conversation shifted to other subjects. But during the lunch, Fermi suddenly asked: “Where is everybody?”. He was talking about the extraterrestrial life, especially intelligent life. He made some calculations on the probability of Earth-like planets, the beginning of life, the probability of intelligent life and high technology and concluded that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over.

But, there is no reliable evidence aliens have visited Earth and we have observed no intelligent extraterrestrial life with current technology nor has SETI found any transmissions from other civilizations. The Universe, apart from the Earth, seems “dead”.

So, where is everybody?

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Timeless Dreams – the Earth in daytime and nighttime

You must watch this! An amazing video by the filmmakers led by Julian Tryba: in May 2015, over the span of three weeks, they traveled in the Southwest of the United States (3,000 miles through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California) and filmed timelapses of several strikingly beautiful landscapes. Then they spliced the films together to create this wonderful video, a strange day-night world.

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