Daily Archives: April 7, 2016

Where did all the dinosaurs go?

I think one of the more fascinating topics in Earth’s past is the mystery of the dinosaurs. They were here 65 million years ago (for a shockingly long time—if you remember, they were here for almost a week in the “calendar” of the universe!) and then suddenly disappeared. So, what happened to them? It is […] Continue reading

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“Hot” Jupiters

Last unit, we learned about the formation of our own solar system, in which small, rocky planets formed close to the Sun, and large, gas giants formed far from the Sun (past the frost line). This is due to the fact that during planetary formation, the area closest to the Sun was extremely hot, and […] Continue reading

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So Extra…

Extrasolar planets are very important to our study of the universe. The idea that there are planets that orbit other stars the way we orbit the Sun changes our entire perspective of how the universe operates. There are many challenges with detecting extrasolar planets, but once they are found they can provide us with a … Continue reading “So Extra…” Continue reading

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Charon: The Major Key to Pluto

Up until very recently, Pluto was considered the ninth planet of our solar system. That all changed when the definition of a planet was revised, and Pluto just became another Kuiper belt object albeit the most famous one. We know significantly more about Pluto than any other Kuiper belt object simply because it was discovered … Continue reading “Charon: The Major Key to Pluto” Continue reading

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Io is Jupiter’s third largest moon. What is notable about Io is that it is the most geologically active body in the entire Solar System. It is extremely volcanic, and is the only body other than Earth that we  have observed with active volcanism. The volcanic activity occurs because Io is greatly affected by tides […] Continue reading

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The Dwarf Planet Sedna

According to Inuit mythology, Sedna was the name of a mortal woman who became a goddess of the ocean and the underworld. One version of the myth holds that Sedna was a young woman who consented to marry a hunter, only to find, once she had left home with him, that he was in fact […] Continue reading

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