Daily Archives: April 8, 2018

Orbital Decay and China’s Space Station

  All satellites in low Earth orbit will eventual fall victim to orbital decay.  Over time, a satellite will lose orbital energy through drag caused by friction with the atmosphere. Many large satellites, such as the ISS, employ small thrust to counter out the effects of orbital decay. However, as shown by China’s space station, … Continue reading Orbital Decay and China’s Space Station Continue reading

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Europa And The Search For Life

    While the search for life on Mars is still ongoing, another planet may be the first world to where extraterrestrial life is found: Europa. Europa is a rocky moon of Jupiter, and it is known to have vast oceans of liquid water under thick sheets of water ice. Given it’s substantial size, it … Continue reading Europa And The Search For Life Continue reading

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Milky Way Center Home to Thousands of Black Holes

Astrophysicists at Columbia University have discovered a dozen black holes surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that lies at the center of the Milky Way. The prevailing theory rests that there are supposed to be tens of thousands of black holes filling areas just light-years wide, detectable only from X-ray bursts that originate as … Continue reading Milky Way Center Home to Thousands of Black Holes Continue reading

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Interesting Pluto Facts

The “dwarf planet” we know and love got a whole lot more interesting after the New Horizons mission unveiled some interstellar gold on Pluto. Orbiting 3,117,640,853 miles from the sun, Pluto is a complex world with massive glaciers, mountain ranges as high as the Rockies, blue skies and red snow. Regardless of its size, Pluto has 5 … Continue reading Interesting Pluto Facts Continue reading

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James Webb Space Telescope

In 1995, one of the most famous photos in astronomy was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Robert Williams instructed his team to point the lens at nothing in particular in the sky – only 0.9 arc seconds of the night sky. Over 10 consecutive days, Hubble took over 342 exposures and combined them … Continue reading James Webb Space Telescope Continue reading

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The End of the World?

There are so many objects in the solar system that coexist with Earth in this universe. These objects range range from other planets, moons, asteroids and comets. But what would happen if they stopped playing nice with each other and ended up colliding? Specifically, what would happen if a comet hit the Earth? Well, that … Continue reading The End of the World? Continue reading

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Hubble Space Telescope Images the Most Distant Star Ever Observed

Last week, a group of astronomers announced in Nature Astronomy that they had discovered the furthest star ever seen: a blue supergiant named Icarus that shone nearly 10 billion years ago, and located more than halfway across the universe. The astronomers were able to do this with the Hubble, and gravitational lensing. Per the lead author of … Continue reading Hubble Space Telescope Images the Most Distant Star Ever Observed Continue reading

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Aurora Footprint of Jupiter’s Moons

We all are familiar with the Galilean Moons; those 4 largest moons orbiting Jupiter which Galileo discovered with his telescope, and which were subsequently named after his lovers. Three of these moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede) have created auroral bursts in Jupiter’s atmosphere, but Callisto had only yielded two potential footprints … until last month! We know how … Continue reading Aurora Footprint of Jupiter’s Moons Continue reading

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Odd One Out

  Neptune’s moon Triton is a peculiar world in the Solar System. It just doesn’t fit with any solar system formation theory and the mysteries still remain. Why does the moon orbit backwards? Why is the surface so smooth? Is there a subsurface ocean? If a collision caused the backwards orbit, why does Triton still … Continue reading Odd One Out Continue reading

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