Category Archives: Astronomy

No, Chicken Little, the Sky is Not Falling

My topic for discussion this week will attempt to answer the question: Why do astronomers believe that the debris that creates many isolated meteors comes from asteroids, whereas the debris that creates meteor showers is related to comets? But first, … Continue reading

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Blue and Green with Envy

In this week’s discussion topic, I attempt to answer the question “Why are Uranus and Neptune distinctly bluer than Jupiter and Saturn?” On Uranus and Neptune, the methane absorbs red, orange and yellow light, reflecting back the blue.  In contrast, … Continue reading

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Dark Seas and Bright Highlands

On the basis of lunar rocks brought back by the astronauts, explain why the maria are dark-colored, but the lunar highlands are light-colored? Regions of both the near side and far side of the Moon not covered by mare basalt … Continue reading

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Gas Giant Genesis

Which giant planet formed first? Short answer:  Jupiter Long answer:  Still Jupiter, but let’s dive in and take a more detailed look. Birth of a Gas Giant A long time ago in a solar system very near you, just 1 … Continue reading

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Foci and Mirrors

This week’s discussion topic will attempt to answer the question: Suppose your Newtonian reflector has a mirror with a diameter of 20 cm and a focal length of 2 m. What magnification do you get with eyepieces whose focal lengths … Continue reading

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Newton and Neptune

My second post in my series of weekly discussion topics for my Introduction to Astronomy online class.  Last week I got up close and personal with the many sides of the Moon.  This week I take a closer look at … Continue reading

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Lunar Yin Yang

Another semester is upon me and my continuing pursuit of a degree.  This fall I’m seeking my science lab course credit so I decided to enroll in something I can easily get excited about:  Astronomy The following post begins a … Continue reading

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