Blog Posts

This section of the website will be updated biweekly with a new fascinating astronomical topic.

Cataclysmic Variable Stars

Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. As the passage of times proceeds onwards—and more and more people get vaccinated and follow guidelines for COVID—the number of cases and concurrent deaths continue to decrease. This news serves as the light at the end of the tunnel for several people trapped in circumstances by the onset of COVID; we can now have hope that the world will return to normal as soon as can be expected. In light of this new—well, light—I thought we’d discuss today something equally eruptive and bright in the universe: cataclysmic variable stars. These exciting objects routinely light up the night sky with a flare that illuminates telescopes and the naked eye alike. But what are they? All in good time! For...

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Mercury

Welcome back! I apologize for the extended hiatus from writing; it’s been an incredibly tumultuous time for me in terms of change. After 12 years of schooling, I have finally graduated, and am proud to be attending Yale University this fall where I hope to study physics along with computer science and economics (combining my love for the universe with my love for interdisciplinarity!) With decision-making, graduation, and so much more, my days have been filled with activity, and to say that I was busy would be an understatement. But regardless, we are back. This blog lives on y’all’s support, and I am so grateful for it. SkySimplified is a community effort, and it is through the foundation that you all create that I am able to publish my...

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Black Holes Redux

Welcome back! I am immensely happy to announce that this is the 50th blog post published on this website!!! It’s incredibly exciting to have come this far with y’all, and I couldn’t have done it without the incessant support, feedback, and optimism. I’m so grateful that you are all willing to simplify the skies as much as I am! Given that it is such a momentous occasion for this site, I felt that it was fitting to go back to the origin. I began this blog writing about black holes, and to black holes we return! In today’s article, we’ll explore some of the more exciting nuances that black holes have to offer, as well as some of the theoretical explorations of the intricacies of these fascinating objects. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the...

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The James Webb Space Telescope: Part II

Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. As the COVID climate of the country continually changes, it is essential to maintain safety. Especially during an especially virulent outbreak, our safety is in our hands, in the precautions that we take and the measures we use to constrain the spread of the virus. In such uncertain times—where certainty is forged by our actions!—it is often a fitting escape to look to the incredible science occurring in the heavens. Not just in the powerful phenomena that the universe undergoes, but in the incredible instrumentation that we are creating on Earth to explore these phenomena. Last time, we began our discussion of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) by exploring the ways that it...

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The James Webb Space Telescope: Part I

  Hi all! Welcome back after a longer break!! It’s great to see you all here, my dear readers, as we explore the intricacies of the cosmos and the vehicles to explore it into a new year. And on that note, Happy New Year! Here’s to a better 2022 than the past two years have been. To start off the new year, we’re going to be discussing a recent launch that excited astronomers and astrophysicists across the world. Move over, Hubble; it’s time for the James Webb Space Telescope to take flight. The James Webb Space Telescope (or JWST) is a $10 billion NASA initiative to create a next-level research observatory in the universe. With an immense folding mirror and infrared capabilities, the JWST will be able to peer back farther in the heavens...

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The Space Shuttle: Part IV

NOTE: All picture credits to NASA. Welcome back! I hope that you are all safe and doing well. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. The whirlpool of application season has finally lulled, and I’m so excited to jump back into where we left off with our journey to low-Earth orbit in the Space Shuttle. We are now in our final stages of discussion regarding this amazing piece of engineering that shaped human spaceflight in the late 20th century. But today’s discussion takes us into the new millennium. We will take the journey of the Space Shuttle through the 21st century, from tragedy to success to triumphant conclusion. So, without further ado, let’s begin! … The orbiter Columbia lifted off on a frosty morning in January 2003,...

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The Space Shuttle: Part III

NOTE: All image credits go to NASA Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. It’s been a while since we last met. The world has continued to turn, and COVID continues its sporadic grasp around the globe. Case numbers that were optimistically declining have begun to increase once more with the advent of the Delta variant of the virus. With the increased spread of the virus, it is important to continue masking up and taking necessary precautions.  In today’s post, we’ll be continuing our discussion of the Space Shuttle, moving forwards into the last decade of the first millennium of the common era. We’ll talk about the various advances that the Shuttle was able to achieve, as well as the important science that they were able to...

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The Space Shuttle: Part II

NOTE: All image credits go to NASA. Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. The world continues to roil with international geopolitical events and the growing spread of the Delta variant of the pandemic. In times like these, hanging onto optimism—even a sliver of hope, the tiniest glitter of buoyancy—is essential.  In today’s blog post, we will be discussing the next leg of the Space Shuttle missions, ranging from the 1980s to the early 1990s. This post will contain a terrible tragedy. But it will also contain a story of resilience. A story of perseverance. A story of people maintaining the motivation to forge a new tomorrow in the memory of martyrs. Today’s post is about hope. … The Space Shuttle program had a much smoother...

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The Space Shuttle: Part I

NOTE: All image credits go to NASA Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. Optimism seems to be dissolving at the edges slightly as the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus surfaces around the world, causing case numbers in unvaccinated areas to increase. People are starting to worry about increasing levels of the pandemic once more. It is important in the face of these new developments to prioritize safety. Even vaccinated people should maintain mask-wearing when around other people—especially indoors. Unvaccinated people especially should continue to wear masks, as they are at a higher danger level. Despite all of these fears, continuing what we have been doing so far is the best strategy to combat the pandemic. Keep...

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Project Apollo: Part IV

NOTE: All image credits go to NASA Welcome back! I hope you are all safe and doing well. We have finally arrived at the end of our journey through the Apollo missions. It’s been quite the voyage; through tragic starts, to smooth continuations, transitioning into choppy waters. However, land is finally in sight. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing the last few Apollo missions (including everyone’s favorite interplanetary vehicle, the moon buggy), as well as the legacy that Apollo had, not just for NASA and the American space program, but on a worldwide geopolitical level. So, without further ado, let’s begin! … The tenacity of the astronauts in Apollo 13 was praised highly when they returned safely to the Earth. Further, the dedication...

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