November 24, 2017

Review: Miss Leavitt’s Stars by George Johnson.

An outstanding read!

Sometimes, the greatest discoveries in astronomy can come from those willing to interpret the data in a new way. Just such a paradigm shifting discovery was the result of the diligent work of one Henrietta Swan Leavitt, the subject of a biography by George Johnson which in turn is the topic of this weeks’ review, Miss Leavitt’s Stars out from Norton/Atlas Books. [Read more...]

How Far? Measuring Astronomical Distances.

But a nearby stepping stone; our humble moon. (Photo by Author).

   You hear it at every star party. It’s probably the next biggest question right behind “is there life out there,” and “can you really see the flag the astronauts left on the moon with that thing?” Just how do we know how far away things are in the universe? After all, men have never ventured beyond the Moon; and it has only been in the past half century that we have sent embassaries on trajectories that will escape our solar system… just how do we measure these enormous distances with any confidence?
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08.02.11: A Standard Candle Re-tweak?

The size of a proton. The definition of a planet. The Periodic Table. One of the hallmarks of science is the ability to alter and modify what we know as new information comes to light. Of course, this is much to the chagrin of the man on the street, who likes his science bit-sized, tweet-able, and unchanging…

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