Tag Archives: astronomy

Milutin Milankovitch

Milutin Milankovitch (Milankovic) was a Serbian scientist, born in 1879 in the village of Dalj, in present-day Croatia. It was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At 17 he took up Civil Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology, going … Continue reading

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Evolution – Part One

Evolution: A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. The Free Dictionary, definition 1(a). Some years ago I published a series of articles about evolution in my local newspaper. It generated … Continue reading

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20 Big Questions about the Future of Humanity

Scientific American has asked some scientists what they call “20 big questions about the future of humanity.” Not all of the questions are strictly about humans, but most of them are, and I think we can forgive them for those … Continue reading

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Cassini’s Last Dance

The Cassini space probe is nearing the end of its life. Cassini is the spacecraft that NASA sent to explore Saturn. It arrived at the ringed planet in 2004, and here are a couple of pieces I wrote about it … Continue reading

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Interstellar Seeds Could Create Oases of Life

In 2004 I wrote a short piece for my local newspaper in which I speculated about the possibility of comet impacts splashing chunks of Earth back into space, and some of the life in those chunks surviving long enough to … Continue reading

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Cap Cloud

Cloud of the Day – Cap Cloud Cap cloud (link to a super photo on the Astronomy Photo of the Day website) is similar to pileus in that it forms on top of another structure. In the case of pileus, … Continue reading

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Zodiacal Light

Cloud of the Day – Zodiacal Light Brian May played guitar for Queen. That’s Queen, not The Queen, although Queen might have played for The Queen. I don’t know. It seems unlikely, though. On the other hand, Brian May was … Continue reading

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Solstice – Reprise

In Ireland there is a stone structure called Newgrange which has been dated to more than 5,000 years before present. This megalith – literally, big stone thing – is built in a circle, like its famous English cousin, Stonehenge. Both … Continue reading

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Aurora

Cloud of the Day – Aurora Aurora is not clouds. Clouds can’t form in the tenuous wisps of atmosphere found at the heights, approximately 90 – 1,000 kilometers, where aurora occurs. Therefore, it is wrong for me to call aurora … Continue reading

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Size – Solar System

The American National Optical Astronomy Observatory has provided a model that can be used to visualize the size of the Solar System. Various objects are used to represent the Sun and planets, such as a ball for the Sun and … Continue reading

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