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Big Dreams

In History by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

In the early 1970s, as the Apollo missions to the Moon were coming to a close, there were plans to explore even further into the Universe. Not simply to Mars, or even the outer solar system, but a mission to another star. It became known as Project Daedalus. Read More

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The Old Ones

In Life by Brian Koberlein3 Comments

After the Big Bang when the Universe was a dense fireball it began to cool. It now has an average temperature of about 3 K, but there was a time when it had a temperature of about 273 K and 373 K. In other words, the average temperature of the cosmos was just the right temperature for liquid water to exist. Since liquid water is necessary for life as we know it, this raises an interesting question. Could life have arisen in the early Universe? Read More

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Fading Star

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

Two thousand light years from Earth is a star known as Epsilon Aurigae. It’s a third magnitude star most of the time, but about every 27 years it dims to about half its brightness for nearly two years. The cause of the dimming is a bit of a mystery. Read More

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Size Matters Not

In Science Fiction by Brian Koberlein4 Comments

The new Star Wars movie Rogue One won’t arrive until December, but hype for the movie is already at a fever pitch. A new teaser poster has been released showing the Death Star looming over the horizon of an alien world. It makes for a foreboding shot, but could a Death Star really appear so large in the sky?Read More

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A Dwarf By Any Other Name

In Solar System by Brian Koberlein10 Comments

A new solar system body has been discovered recently. It currently has the not-so-memorable name 2015 RR245. From its orbit we know it is a member of the Kuiper belt. It’s estimated size is about 700 km in diameter, which would it in the category of a dwarf planet. Given what little we know about it, what would make this world a dwarf planet rather than a planet or large asteroid? Read More

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Bouncing Back

In Cosmology by Brian Koberlein19 Comments

The Universe began with a big bang. Not an explosion from a single point, but rather an early dense state. Of course an obvious question this raises is what came before the big bang? While it’s possible that the answer is “nothing,” that hasn’t stopped some theorists from postulating an earlier cause for the Universe. One of these ideas is known as the big bounce. Read More