Tag Archives: Bad Astronomy

Saturn: Crash Course Astronomy #18

This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by Squarespace. So now we’ve come to the last of the naked eye planets in the solar system: Saturn. It’s the second largest planet, but ironically the least dense. In fact, if you could find a bathtub big enough, Saturn would float in it! But it… Read More »

Comets: Crash Course Astronomy #21

Hey, Phil Plait here and this is Crash Course Astronomy. Since humans have been human we’ve looked to the skies for portents of the future. The Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars; they’ve all been used for prognostication. And so have comets. A fuzzy blob, moving slowly across the stars? How could soothsayers resist?… Read More »

Uranus & Neptune: Crash Course Astronomy #19

This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by Squarespace. You run us. YOU run us. You RAN us. You ran us. Ooo- Ooo ran ose. There are five planets in our solar system you can see without a telescope; well, six if you include the one you’re sitting on. But there are two… 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 »

Introduction to the Solar System: Crash Course Astronomy #9

The Solar System is the name we give to our local cosmic backyard. A better way to think of it is all the stuff held sway by the Sun’s gravity: The Sun itself, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, dust, and very thin gas. If you took a step back — well, a few trillion steps back… Read More »

Venus: Crash Course Astronomy #14

This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by SquareSpace Venus was the Roman goddess of love, and honestly, if you’ve ever seen it after sunset, hanging like a diamond in the twilight, the planet Venus is stunningly beautiful. The only problem? Venus is hell. Venus is the second rock from the Sun, closer… Read More »

Mars: Crash Course Astronomy #15

Hey folks, I’m Phil Plait and this is Crash Course Astronomy. You know, I can’t think of any object in the sky that’s captured our imagination like Mars has. The Red Planet was once thought to be the god of war, and in more modern times has been the setting for a zillion science fiction… Read More »

Jupiter’s Moons: Crash Course Astronomy #17

This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by Squarespace. As we saw in the last episode, Jupiter is by far the largest and most massive planet in the solar system. That means it has a very strong gravitational field, which also means it can hold on to a lot of moons. A lot.… Read More »

Jupiter: Crash Course Astronomy #16

As we take our grand tour of the solar system here on Crash Course Astronomy, we’re going to skip over the asteroids for now—we’ll get to ‘em, I promise—and instead pay a visit to the King of the Planets, the big guy, the top dog, the big cheese, the head honcho, the one and only:… Read More »

The Moon: Crash Course Astronomy #12

This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by Square Space. The Moon is pretty hard to miss when it’s up at night. It’s big and bright and really very pretty. Even cooler, it’s the closest astronomical object in the Universe to us, and arguably, the one we know best. I hate to break… Read More »