Blog 8 – Life on Enceladus?

Several Jovian moons are candidates for extraterrestrial life.  One of these is Enceladus, a medium-sized moon of Saturn.  Like Europa, there is strong evidence for a subsurface ocean, which is likely 30-40 kilometers below the moon’s surface, and then extends down another 30 kilometers.  Due to the suspected ocean’s thickness, it is more likely that […]

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Blog 5 – Comet Composition

Comets are the relatively small, icy objects that orbit a star.  They are classified as “small solar system bodies”, as are asteroids.  Along with ice, they contain rocky dust and other complex chemicals, leading them to be described as “dirty snowballs.”  Spectra can be used to determine the composition of comets.  From them, we know […]

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Blog 2 – Occam’s Razor

For my second blog, I thought I’d discuss the idea of simplicity in astronomy; specifically, the idea of Occam’s Razor.  One of the hallmarks of science is the progression of creation and testing of models of nature that explain scientific observations as simply as possible.  This idea, that scientists should prefer the simpler of two […]

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