Galaxies Die from the Inside Out

When the first stars and galaxies started to form, it was like a spark of a massive chain reaction where the vast amounts of gas and dust that had clumped together were quickly converted into dense, luminous star clusters.  This was the beginning of the formation of the heavier elements that would eventually make up all that we see on the planet Earth.  But when did this massive tirade of star formation end? When we look at galaxies in the present epoch, most don’t form stars very rapidly at all, and giant elliptical galaxies are all but devoid of gas,...

Best Ever Image of a Cometary Globule: Also What is a Cometary Globule?

The best ever image of a Cometary Globule has been released by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the Atacama desert in Chile. It looks a lot like a nebula right? In actuality a cometary globule is a very specific type of nebula.  It’s very faint, and it’s formation is a matter of debate among the astronomical community.  A cometary globule is small, containing the mass of a few suns worth of material.  Compare this to a typical nebula, which has enough material to form thousands or even hundreds of thousands of stars. The...

Motivation Monday: The Secret of Working with Others

In the development of humanity, we naturally evolved to fear the unknown, to be wary of new people, those who were outside of our own stone age ‘tribe.’  But at the time, it was rare for someone new to appear, and if they did, it was probably with hostility as their intent. In today’s world, human being have naturally found themselves surrounded by new people on a daily basis.  Even from a young age, in school, we meet more new people than our ancestors would have in their entire lives.  I remember that through four years of high school, I...

Voyager has been Rocked by Interstellar Tsunamis!

Voyager 1, launched way back in 1977, is still giving us Science, far away beyond the influence of the Sun.  In the past few years, the spacecraft has passed the boundary between the Solar System and the Interstellar Medium, the so called Heliopause.  This has given scientists the first ever direct look at the Space between stars. Since then, Voyager has felt some interesting shock waves, which are being referred to as ‘Tsunami Waves.’ When the Sun emits a Coronal Mass Ejection, the charged particles travel through the Solar System as a pressure wave.  When this wave hits the Heliopause...