Powerful New Method for Distances

Ask an astronomer what the hardest thing to do is in astronomy, and chances are they will say ‘measuring distance accurately.’  It is surprisingly difficult to take the light from stars we see and match them to a correct distance.  In the past we have used several different methods depending on how close a star is to us.  For the nearest stars we use parallax, which looks at the change in a star’s position as the Earth is on opposite sides of it’s orbit. All other methods rely on what we call the standard candle approach.  Let’s say you had...

Distances in Astronomy

How do we determine the size of the Universe? How do we know how far away the planets and stars are? How can we measure it without ever being there? The answer, as it always is in Astronomy, is light! More Photons = More Science! Here’s my video explaining the concepts of Parallax, spectroscopic parallax, and type 1a supernovae!   Space is big, and although we can figure out how big it is, its another challenge all together to understand and comprehend its sheer size.