Tag Archives: astronomy (field of study)

Light: Crash Course Astronomy #24

Hey, Phil Plait here and this is Crash Course Astronomy. In last week’s episode, I mentioned that nearly all the information we have about the Universe comes in the form of light. But how does that light get made? What can it tell us about these astronomical objects? And honestly, what is light? Here’s a… Read More »

Kepler’s Third Law of Motion (Astronomy)

Kepler’s First and Second Laws of planetary motion appeared in their earliest form in 1609, in the book Astronomia Nova. They state that: 1) Planets move in elliptical orbits about the Sun, which sits at one focus. and 2) a planet’s orbital velocity varies over the course of one revolution such that a line drawn… Read More »

Asteroids: Crash Course Astronomy #20

When you look at a diagram of the solar system, you’ll see a big gap between Mars and Jupiter. A few centuries ago, that gap bugged astronomers; they really wanted there to be a planet in there. On the first day of the 19th century—January 1, 1801—they got their wish. Kinda. Italian astronomer Giuseppi Piazzi… Read More »

Mapping the Galaxy with Radio Astronomy

[intro music] Behold, a photograph of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, in all of its glory. Just look at those spiral arms. But how was this photo taken? Down here on earth we’re stuck within the plane of our galaxy’s disk. This is why the Milky Way appears as a band in the night… Read More »

John Bochanski: “Data-Driven Discovery: Astronomy in the Era of Large Surveys” | Talks at Google

JUSTIN: I wanted to introduce John. We have a great astronomy focused talk today. John Bochanski, a professor of physics at Rider University is joining us. He’ll discuss how large digital surveys of the night sky have revolutionized how astronomy is done. He will also explore the motivation behind large surveys, detail some of his… Read More »

High Mass Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #31

Stars are in a constant struggle between gravity trying to collapse them and their internal heat trying to inflate them. For most of a star’s life, these two forces are at an uneasy truce. For a star like the Sun, the balance tips in its twilight years. For a brief glorious moment it expands… but… Read More »

Gamma-Ray Bursts: Crash Course Astronomy #40

Sometimes in science, the story of HOW we learned something is just as cool as what we learned. In the case of gamma-ray bursts, it’s kinda hard to beat the awesomeness of what they are. But of all the plotlines in astronomy, their origin story comes the closest. It begins, quite literally, in the grip… Read More »

Star Clusters: Crash Course Astronomy #35

In the last episode, I talked about stars that are orbiting one another. When it’s two stars it’s called a binary. Three stars would be a trinary system, and so on. But what happens if you have ten stars? A thousand? A MILLION? What do you call it when stars CLUSTER together? It’s likely that… Read More »

Dark Matter: Crash Course Astronomy #41

A lot of people have noted that astronomy is a humbling enterprise to pursue. After all, every time we make a new discovery, we find ourselves further removed from importance. The Earth is but one planet among many, orbiting a Sun that is one star among hundreds of billions, out in the suburbs of a… Read More »

White Dwarfs & Planetary Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #30

Hey folks, Phil Plait here. In the last episode of Crash Course Astronomy, I talked about the eventual fate of the Sun, and other low mass stars like it. After a series of expansions and contractions, they blow off their outer layers, become white dwarfs, and fade away over billions of years. The end. Except… Read More »