Issues of 2006
This page lists the home pages for this web site for the year 2006. These pages constitute
volume 3 of The Astrophysics Spectator.
- Issue 3.20, November 22
In this issue of the web site, two pages are added to the “Stars”
topical path that describe what a neutron star is and why it is so small.
- Issue 3.19, November 8
This issue adds a page about degenerate dwarf stars—white dwarfs—to
the “Stars” topic path.
- Issue 3.18, October 18
Two new pages are added to the “Stars” path that discuss red giant stars.
The first page gives a general description of red giants and points out several
examples visible to the eye. The second page discusses the evolution of a red
- Issue 3.17, October 4
This issue completes for the time being the discussion of compact binary stars with
a description of the variety of cataclysmic variables and x-ray binaries we see.
- Issue 3.16, September 20
This issue adds a page that describes the evolution of cataclysmic variables, binary
star systems containing a degenerate dwarf and a main-sequence star. The issue notes
the naming of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon.
- Issue 3.15
The number of planets in our Solar System has dropped to eight. This issue of the
web site discusses this change.
- Issue 3.14, August 16
This issue continues the theme of compact binary stars with two pages on the consequences
of a star overflowing onto its companion and on the evolution of x-ray binaries.
The commentary for the issue discusses how the appropriateness of a topic for scholarly
study depends on the philosophy behind the scholarship.
- Issue 3.13, August 2
Two pages are added this issue: an overview of compact binary stars, and a commentary
on Professor Stanley Fish's New York Times essay on academic freedom and the University
- Issue 3.12, July 19
This week the discussion turns to black hole candidates in x-ray binary systems. Several
of these systems are known to contain compact objects that are too massive to be neutron stars.
These systems provide the best opportunity to study black holes.
- Issue 3.11, June 7
This issue adds a page to the “General Relativity” survey path that
discusses black holes as the engine that drives power generation in galaxies with
active nuclei. A commentary is added this issue that explains why theorists are at
times right to disregard observations that conflict with their theories.
- Issue 3.10, May 24
This issue of The Astrophysics Spectator adds two new pages to the web site.
The first is a page on the black hole candidate at the center of our galaxy; this
page has been added to the “General Relativity” topic path. The second
is a commentary on the forces that discourage scientists from adopting new theories.
- Issue 3.09, May 10
Two new pages are added to the web site in this issue. The first page, which is on
the “Stars” topical path, describes the thermonuclear detonation of
a degenerate dwarf star to create a supernova. The second page, which is on the
“General Relativity” topical path, describes where we must look to find
- Issue 3.08, April 26
A discussion of why stars collapse is added to the “Stars” path in this
issue of The Astrophysics Spectator. Stars collapse, but planets do not.
The new pages explains why this is so and why we expect large objects to collapse
to black holes.
- Issue 3.07, April 12
This long-delayed issue of The Astrophysics Spectator adds the Schwarzschild
Lens Simulator to the web site. This simulator shows how a black hole of zero angular
momentum creates around itself multiple annular images of the sky.
- Issue 3.06, March 15
This issue, a single page is added to the “General Relativity” path that
describes the Kerr black hole, the black hole that “spins.”
- Issue 3.05, March 1
This fortnight's issue of The Astrophysics Spectator turns its attention
to black holes. Three pages are added to the “General Relativity” topic
path that give an introduction to black holes, a description of their properties when
they carry no angular momentum, and the experience of falling through a black hole's
- Issue 3.04, February 15
This issue of the web site adds a page about galaxies to the “The Structure of
Our Universe” survey path, a commentary on the insistence of theorists to create
models to describe poorly-studied astronomical phenomena, and a review of the book
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy by James Evans.
- Issue 3.03, February 1
Two more pages are added to “The Structure of Our Universe” topic path.
The first page describes the structure of our Galaxy, and the second describes the
structure of our universe beyond our Galaxy.
- Issue 3.02, January 18
The second issue of 2006 of The Astrophysics Spectator adds two new pages to the
topic path “The Structure of Our Universe”. The first page introduces the
planets, while the second page introduces the stars. Both pages discuss the sizes of
these objects relative to the size of the Earth. The Planets pages includes
a discussion of brown dwarfs. The Stars page describes the brightest and
the nearest stars in the sky.
- Issue 3.01, January 4
The first issue of 2006 finds The Astrophysics Spectator with a new look
and a new organization. The pages on this site have been gathered together as topics,
with a single link from the top of each page to the index of topics. A second link
has been added to the top of each page that leads to an index of all simulators on
the web site. These improvements should make this site easier to navigate.