Curiosity: Update 7 – Fingerprinting Martian Materials

Curiosity: Update 7 – Fingerprinting Martian Materials

The latest of Curiosity’s analyses show that the Martian minerals is similar to “weathered basaltic salts of volcanic origin in Hawaii.”  Curiosity’s CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) instrument refines and identifies minerals in X-ray diffraction analysis on Mars. X-ray diffraction records hows minerals’ internal structures’ crystals react with X-rays. Identifying minerals in rocks and soil is … Continue reading

The “Zombie” Planet Rises

The “Zombie” Planet Rises

World War Z? Certainly looks like it. A planet though to be buried has come back alive… undead, some might say. Coincidentally, the analysis of Hubble Space Telescope’s observations came  right before Halloween. The massive alien zombie planet, called the Fomalhaut b (the name even sounds creepy, if you ask me), orbits the star Fomalhaut, … Continue reading

The 8 Planets – Part 5: Jupiter

The 8 Planets – Part 5: Jupiter

NEXT STOP: JUPITER! The giant of planets and quite a monstrosity of swirling gases, Jupiter is the king of the planets. Through the asteroid belt, we arrive at Jupiter, fifth planet from the Sun. With bands of red and white falling and rising gases, Jupiter seems like a huge marble on a racetrack. Named for … Continue reading

Orionid Meteor Shower This Weekend

Orionid Meteor Shower This Weekend

This weekend, from Saturday night into Sunday morning (10/21-10/22), you may observe the annual Orionid meteor showers streaking across the sky. Dozens of meteors will scorch the sky every hour.(Of course, the sky must be clear and dark, which, unfortunately, is not for me.) Fortunately, the moon is only in its crescent phase, so its … Continue reading

Curiosity: Update 6 – Jake Matijevic, the Martian Rock

Curiosity: Update 6 – Jake Matijevic, the Martian Rock

Curiosity first discovered “Jake Matijevic,” the pyramid rock on Mars, on September 19, 2012, but on October 11, 2012, NASA released a report on the chemical composition of this unusual rock. The rock’s composition was more varied than expected and even resembled some rocks in Earth’s interior. The pyramid rock resembles the common igneous rock … Continue reading

Temperature of the Universe

Temperature of the Universe

What is the universe’s temperature? How has it changed and evolved? What causes the temperature to change? How is the temperature estimated? Is it continuously cooling or constant? –Pcelsus 13.75 billion years ago, the Universe was much smaller and hotter. In the 1960s, Robert Dicke predicted a remnant “glow” from the Big Bang. In 1965 … Continue reading