Category Archives: Astronomy

Q: How hard would it be to keep the Moon from drifting away?

Physicist: Almost prohibitively! Ever since the Moon entered the scene 4.5 billion years ago, it’s been slowly drifting away.  Initially it was around 15 times closer and bigger across in the sky.  The effects that push it away decrease rapidly … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Engineering, Physics | 7 Comments

There’s something new under the Sun!

Physicist: Good news! On October 19th, for the first time in history, we detected an object inside of our solar system that originated somewhere else.  It’s a rock the size of a stadium that passed inside of Mercury’s orbit and … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy | 7 Comments

Q: If time is relative, then how can we talk about how old the universe is?

Physicist: One of the most profound insights ever made by peoplekind is that time is relative.  This isn’t some abstract idea, mistake, or mathematical artifact.  If you have two identically functioning clocks, you can start them together, move them to … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics, Relativity | 24 Comments

Q: Where is the middle of nowhere?

The original question was: Is there any location in intergalactic space which is so far away from anyplace that it would be impossible to see anything with normal naked eye vision?  No stars, but no galaxies, no nothing — just … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Physics | 13 Comments

Proxima B!

Physicist: Good news!  There’s an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, a star so named because it’s the closest star to Earth and it’s in the constellation Centarus.  This isn’t a question anyone asked, but I thought … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics | 14 Comments

Q: Is there anything unique about our solar system?

Physicist: Maybe. As far as stars go, ours is a dull as dishwater, middle of the road, dime a dozen, main sequence star.  You can’t spit in space without hitting a Sun-like star.  So this question is really about the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Philosophical | 7 Comments