The Expansion of the Universe

Since the dawn of humanity, we have thought that the heavens are huge, but of constant size. We first knew that the stars move around, then that it is actually the Earth rotating on its axis. In the 18th century, the French astronomer Messier observed fuzzy objects that he didn’t know were galaxies. Only inContinue reading “The Expansion of the Universe”

Breakthrough Starshot

Overview The Starshot mission is tasked with reaching Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to Earth at 4.37 light years from the Sun. With current technology it would take 73,000 years to travel there, assuming travel at the speed of the Voyager (NASA). This project wants to use very small nano-probes attached to lightsails, whichContinue reading “Breakthrough Starshot”

The Formation of the Solar System

The solar system formed from a cloud of interstellar gas around 4.6 billion years ago. At some point, this cloud collapsed under gravity and the sun formed. The pressure in the center became so high that hydrogen atoms began fusing into helium, and the nuclear reactions that power stars begun. A solar nebula of gasContinue reading “The Formation of the Solar System”

Cosmic Microwave Background

Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) is the leftover radiation from the Big Bang and serves as a source of evidence for it actually happening. It is extremely cold at just 2.725 Kelvin, so emits blackbody wavelengths in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It was discovered in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson,Continue reading “Cosmic Microwave Background”

Hawking Radiation

Black holes are regions of space with such a strong gravitational field that nothing, even light, can’t escape. They were a theoretical construct from the theory of general relativity, and only observed in April 2019. In the 1970s, questions arose if black holes had entropy and a temperature. The results of Bekenstein, Starobinsky, Hawking andContinue reading “Hawking Radiation”