My mother was asking me a bunch of questions about life and the universe the other day - how life got started, how organic molecules first developed, how the universe got started, how big the universe is, how stars form, where elements come from, how many solar systems there are, how planets form, etc. [more inside]
My wife and I just watched the seventh episode of Cosmos called "The Clean Room" which tells us (among other things) about how Clair Patterson determined the age of the Earth. The episode explains Patterson used meteorite fragments, such as those from the Canyon Diablo crater, because they were assumed to be leftovers from the creation of the solar system. My question is one of clarification; specifically, how they could be sure that assumption was correct? [more inside]
I want to build a solar system with a decent amount of verisimilitude, and the math and physics are killing me. [more inside]
Voyager 1 just left the solar system. I know we're unable to control trajectory at this point, but I'm curious what the next body it will encounter will be, and when, on its present course.
A world with binary suns and multiple satellites that can still be livable by a diverse (even lush) assortment of life forms - true or not? [more inside]
If all non-solar-system stars ceased to exist, how would things look different to us on earth? Would anything change? [more inside]
Historians of science and/or religion: My cousin wants to know "when various Protestant denominations began to accept the Copernican model of the solar system. ... Was there any particular denomination that was in the vanguard on that? What about Jews?"
Please help me fact-check the following claims about the solar system. [more inside]
What is this faintly-remembered book, if not "Diary of a Spaceperson"? It was a book of illustrations of a future tourist trip of the great sights of the (fanciful future) solar system. Like "Diary", it was similar to the Terran Trade Authority books. More clues inside... [more inside]
What are some of the best non-fiction books out there written by legitimate scientific authors (not psuedo-science) that discuss other galaxies, and specifically, solar/planetary systems outside of our own solar system? [more inside]
Given our current state of technology and the world's nuclear armaments, I ask the question that the world needs an answer to: Could we destroy Mars? [more inside]