Daily Archives: April 2, 2017

Ida and Dactyl

243 Ida is a 56 km long asteroid orbiting in the main asteroid belt with a number of notable features. Ida is an S-type asteroid, or stony asteroid, and is mostly composed of rock and iron from accretion during early solar system formation. Ida was a subject of study by the Galileo spacecraft in 1993, … Continue reading Ida and Dactyl Continue reading

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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

In 1994, one year after its discovery, the fragmented remains of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter’s upper atmosphere in a sequence of 23 large impacts, each releasing the energy equivalent of 25,000 megatons of TNT, more than one million times as much energy as released by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Orbital analysis … Continue reading Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Continue reading

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Ballooning on Venus

After their launch in 1984, the identical spacecraft Vega 1 and Vega 2 launched from a Russian Proton Rocket for their double mission of flying through the tail of Halley’s Comet and landing scientific payloads on the surface of Venus. In addition to a regular parachuted lander, the Vega spacecraft each carried a 22-kilogram balloon … Continue reading Ballooning on Venus Continue reading

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Pluto is a Planet Again!

April fools! I know I am a day late with this, but I was surprised to find that this was a common thread appearing on my Facebook feed over the weekend. As is common when “news” appears on social media, an “article” was being passed around that seemingly few people even bothered to read. Instead, the headline […] Continue reading

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Nuclear Fusion Powering Earth

The core of the Sun is at such extreme temperature and pressure that in that core hydrogen atoms are constantly fusing into helium and giving off massive amounts of energy. The Sun fuses about 4.25 million metric tonnes of hydrogen every second, which provides a power generation of 3.8 x 10^26 watts. By contrast, the […] Continue reading

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Climate Change

Climate change is a known natural phenomena – for example, the Earth has gone through periods of extreme cold (the Ice Ages) and has always bounced back to the temperatures we know and love today. What isn’t a natural phenomenon is the rapid acceleration of climate change that has been taking place in recent history. […] Continue reading

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Blog #4: The Atmosphere of Venus

Out of all of planets, the one with the highest surface temperature is Venus clocking in at an average of 864 degrees F1. Despite being millions of miles further from the sun than Mercury, Venus still handily beats out Mercury who “only” averages 800 degrees. You probably already know why this is so, but this … Continue reading Blog #4: The Atmosphere of Venus Continue reading

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Life on Jupiter’s Moons?

We might not have to look beyond our solar system to find other life. Continue reading

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