Big Planets’ Moons and Life Outside “Habitability”

Astrobiology has long relied on the concept of a “habitable zone”, that is a zone around a star that is the right distance from said star to hold liquid water, and therefore life. This concept is absolutely valuable, especially insofar as it allows us to classify new exoplanets and identify potential exoplanets that may hostContinue reading “Big Planets’ Moons and Life Outside “Habitability””

Space Junk

Space junk is a potential threat to human space exploration. In the frictionless vacuum of space, even a small particulate left behind by a past voyage can become deadly, fracturing seals and damaging the integrity of any spacecraft as it travels at extremely high speeds. So far, we’ve been relatively lucky—the sheer size of spaceContinue reading “Space Junk”

How do we know the age of Earth?

How do we know how old the Earth is? The age of the Earth was a relatively contested figure for a while, with early scientists struggling to date it with any level of precision. The first and most-well known way to set a lower bound on the age of the earth is through radioactive dating.Continue reading “How do we know the age of Earth?”

Ultraviolet Catastrophe

While we discussed in class the importance of blackbody spectra continuous spectra, there is an important historical footnote in understanding where the famous blackbody curve arises from. Physics in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s predicted the wavelength-intensity relationship to be I α 1/λ^4, using a derivation based on classical statistical mechanics. This relationship closelyContinue reading “Ultraviolet Catastrophe”

Speed of light and distance

It is a nearly universal maxim of science fiction that faster than light (FTL) travel must exist. Let us take a look at why this is universally necessary for the sake of a good story by comparing the size and scope of both our real universe and a few fictional universes to how long traversalContinue reading “Speed of light and distance”

In the Beginning

This is a test blog to ensure the capabilities are functioning correctly. My name is Erich (I’m named for my dad, Richard: as I’m the oldest child I’m the “heir of Rick”). Here’s a photo of me. Here’s a link to my favorite blog post about astronomy, from Wait But Why: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html . I’ll postContinue reading “In the Beginning”

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