The Real Discovery of Neptune

Have you ever read the story of the discovery of Neptune? It truly is a triumph of science and mathematics, and part of the reason it is my favourite planet (a hard choice to make).  The story goes like this: It all starts with the discovery of Uranus in 1781 by William Herschel.  This was the first ever discovery of a planet, as the Earth and the five visible planets have been known of since the dawn of history. Thanks to Isaac Newton working out the laws of gravitation and the mechanics of the solar system, mathematicians could easily calculate the properties...

Universe Radio on Repeat

Looking at the universe in radio waves is a fascinating sight.  For one, the radio sky is very weak; If you placed your cellphone on the Moon facing back at Earth, it would be brighter than all other radio sources in the entire sky by a factor of a million.  But as with every other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, it has scientific value in studying the sky.  Over the past decade, astronomers have been identifying several Fast Radio Bursts (FRB), short bursts of radio waves from different places in the universe that last for a few short seconds.  These are...

A New Theory of Life: Physics to Evolution

When Isaac Newton quantified gravity, his theory explained how everything in the world around us behaved in it’s presence.  It opened a door to an understanding of something fundamental, yet elusive in explanation.   Then Einstein came along and too a step back, finding a larger more comprehensive theory of gravity, one that explained the strange things that happen in the grand universe, and could even explain things that Newton’s gravity could not, such as the odd orbit of Mercury around the Sun.  The greatest part of Einstein’s theory is this: If you use it to describe every day objects, it...

The Mystery Spot of Ceres

Since the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft in March of 2015, we have seen tremendous views of the dwarf planet Ceres.  Lying within the asteroid belt, it is revealed to be a frozen world of ice and rock, with many interesting features.  None of these features had generated more intrigue than the famous bright spot in the bottom of what is now called the Occator crater. The icy spot has had astronomers guessing for months whether it is a cryovolcano, water ice, frozen carbon dioxide, or something even more strange and rare. As the Dawn spacecraft has moved into a...

A Full 360 on Pluto and Charon

As the results from Pluto and its system of moons continues to pour in, we are seeing a lot of scientists keeping busy in excitement as they interpret the data and work to understand the complexities of the recently illuminated dwarf planet.  The fascinating images that have returned have also been interpreted and manipulated in ways that show fascinating features and unexpected views.  A recent rendering shows a complete rotation of Pluto and Charon from images taken by New Horizons. Since it takes Pluto 6 days, 9 hours, and 36 minutes to rotate, New Horizons couldn’t take high resolution images...