This blog is written mostly by three Science Olympians as a crash course in Division C Astronomy/Division B Reach for the Stars, but it can also be for anyone who wants to read of the good word we bring about astronomy or satisfy that daily need of astronomy-related awesomeness. (However, for the Science Olympians out there, we make no guarantees of medals or anything fancy like that.) Feel free to contact/correct us if there are mistakes or other inaccuracies. While we make every attempt to fact-check what we write, we’re nowhere near perfect. You can also contact us just to tell us how the blog is, requests, tips/discussions, etc.
The posting dates will essentially be two posts a week (Sunday/Monday at midnight and Thursday at noon) for the summer, and during the school year we will go to one post per week generally. We are still making changes, so some of this could all be due to change.
The blog name, “onward to the edge”, comes from a quote by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Our tentative list of topics (which may change according to our whims and our knowledge/lack thereof):
HISTORY — geocentrism/heliocentrism, Kepler’s laws, 1600 to 1800, 1800 to 1900, 1900 to today and modern astronomy problems, the Great Debate, relativity and E=mc^2, the Big Bang
GENERAL — Light and matter, redshift, Doppler effect, what exactly are stars, fusion reactions, spectra, spectral classes, blackbody radiation, apparent/absolute magnitude and B-V index, light curves, H-R diagram, star populations, galactic coordinates and motions, Julian date and keeping time
STELLAR EVOLUTION — star formation and nebulae, life of a sun-sized star, massive stars/type II supernovae, variable stars, binary stars, white dwarfs and planetary nebulae/type Ia supernovae, neutron stars/pulsars, black holes, star clusters
DISTANCE LADDER — use of radar signals and the speed of light, parallax, main-sequence cluster fitting, Cepheid/RR Lyrae variables, type Ia supernovae as standard candles, Tully-Fisher and Faber-Jackson relations, Hubble’s constant, the distance modulus, other methods
GALAXIES — types of galaxies, starburst galaxies, galaxy interactions, AGNs/quasars, dark matter/dark energy, cosmology
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, contact us at: