Guest Post—Collision of Science and Belief

Emma’s Blog, For The Love Of Facts, is a very new one and yet it’s not. Emma was blogging under the name of Perse before on Far Beyond The Stars. For a long time she has been writing amazing guest posts for me and I’m thrilled to witness her new journey with her new blog. I am really excited that Emma will continue to write posts for me on occasion and that I can feature one of her great posts today. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did…

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Trees: A Shocking New Population Count

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger on a regular base. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing your insights with us! Please check out her amazing blog as well…

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We all love trees, right? They keep our planet alive. Our forests breathe carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, making the air safe to breathe for humans and animals. And even if we don’t realize the impact of trees on the habitability of the biosphere, most of us enjoy trees as yard decorations. And a great many of us abandon the odd practice of stunting the growth of the branches and growing trees as hedges, and instead let the trees spread their leaves to their full, majestic height and girth. No matter how we think of trees, they are a huge part of our lives.

But just how many trees are there on the surface of the Earth? Continue reading

Guest Post – Politics and Spaceflight: Get Out of My Way!

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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NASA was established by a president of the United States—Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958. NASA has long been pushed along by both George W. Bush and the current president of the United States, Barrack Obama. And John F. Kennedy was one of the most famous presidential advocates for the space race, back in 1961. Because NASA is a publicly funded program that thrives on both public and government support, it has to continually adjust its goals to match public opinion and presidential aims.

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Guest Post – More on Black Holes: From Where the Universe Came

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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Imagine that for your entire life, you have been chained to the wall of a dark cavern. Behind you lies a flame, and between you and the flame parade objects that cast shadows onto a wall in your field of view. This is all you can see of your world: the two-dimensional shadows of objects you only dream of seeing. It is your only reality. Your shackles prevent you from seeing the true world, a realm with one additional dimension to the world you know, a dimension complex and very capable of explaining all that you see.

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Guest Post – Can We Mine a Black Hole?

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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How about a dose of theoretical astrophysics to brighten our day? Or, should I say, darken? For what I’m about to tell you revolves entirely around the physics of black holes, and they aren’t called “black holes” for nothing. Nothing, not even light, can escape their immense gravitational pull. More frightening is the discovery that a monstrous black hole lies at the center of every large galaxy, including ours, the Milky Way.

But what if a light-devouring monster such as a black hole could be used to benefit humankind? After all, the reason black holes are undetectable is that no form of radiation can escape their event horizon. That means that no form of radiation we can see by reaches our eyes and telescopic instruments. But it also means that the radiation gets trapped in the black hole. And radiation means not only light, but also heat.

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Guest Post – Pluto: Pioneer of the New Era

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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Though many Pluto fans would beg to differ, Pluto is no longer a planet. It has been classified as a dwarf planet in the farthest reaches of our solar system. It is one of a group of similarly icy worlds called Kuiper Belt objects, from where comets are thought to originate. Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter are also thought to have captured their rings and moons from this belt of objects. The Kuiper Belt is analogous to an asteroid belt, but it’s not full of asteroids. Its objects are more like dirty snowballs, like a snowball compacted together from such a thin layer of ground snow that some dirt gets mixed in as well. On Earth, you might end up with twigs and leaves in your snowball. In the Kuiper Belt, you’re more likely to find stone and iron. You better not get caught in a snowball fight out there!

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Guest Post – Hubble: Still Chugging Along

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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The Hubble Space Telescope is the sort of telescope that is never forgotten. Astronomers and astrophysicists move onto other projects. New Mars rovers are built, new space probes are launched, different light is analyzed, new ideas are formulated. But when you ask a non-astronomer what they know of astronomy, immediately they reply, “Like those images from—what’s it’s name—Hubble, right?”

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Guest Post – Light Pollution: Where Careers Collide

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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To a physicist, a lightbulb is a revolutionary science, and Thomas Edison is a hero. LEDs are especially revolutionary. Until recently, scientists only knew how to manufacture red and green LEDs. Red and green are cool colors and all, especially since they’re common holiday colors, but what scientists really wanted was white light. You get white light, and you can do anything with it. White light is composed of every single color (excepting brown—a pigment, and black—the absence of light), so if you have white light and a method of bending it to separate it into the individual colors, you can get every color of the rainbow and still more. The invention of a white LED would be an incredibly exciting discovery.

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Guest Post – Curiosity: The Little Rover that Could

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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In science, old stories become history, and the future becomes a new mystery. The Spirit and Opportunity rovers that were sent to traverse Mars’s landscape have faded out of mind. Spirit’s reign is over due to dust storms blocking its solar panels, and while Opportunity explores one side of Mars, our new focus, Curiosity, explores the other. The names of the rovers fit the progression of science, in a way. In the beginning it was just the spirit of discovery that spurred us on. Later opportunities presented themselves, and we grabbed them. In keeping with the metaphor, Spirit is long gone, and only her twin sister Opportunity remains. But now our motivation is Curiosity. And Curiosity itself seems to have a personality.

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Guest Post – Gluons: The Final Frontier

Perse is one of my regular guest bloggers. I feel really thrilled about the possibility to post one educating post of this great blogger once a month over the next couple of months. Thank you so much, Perse, for sharing these great posts with us! If you would like to check out the previous guest posts, this amazing blogger wrote for me, head over here.

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Space is the final frontier of astronomy. Space consists of material bodies so much larger than anything in our experience that we struggle to wrap our minds around the sheer size of their numbers. Floating through the yet undiscovered space of our universe are countless planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies, black holes, and many other things, including some that thus far remain undiscovered. But perhaps the greatest mysteries of astronomy lie not in the extraordinarily large, but in the extraordinarily small. If we are to learn how our universe originated and piece together the puzzle of how we got here, we must study matter—or “stuff”—at the very smallest level possible.

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