Author Archives: revanth111

Martian Aurora?

Source: National Geographic NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft has recently detected a strange aurora in the lower atmosphere of Mars. Dubbed “Christmas lights” by scientists, the mysterious phenomenon occurred for five days in December, following a solar electron storm. On Earth, auroras are formed when these particles slam into atmospheric atoms, but on Mars, the lack of […] Continue reading

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Exoplanet in Four Star System

Source: Discovery News Astronomers recently discovered the second exoplanet known to be part of a four star system. To find a planet in such a system is rare because the gravitational interaction between the stars are likely to remove planets from any sort of stable orbit. Four star systems are fairly rare themselves, making up […] Continue reading

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Beta Pictoris

Source: The formation of our solar system is still an event that deserves further study, and other areas and stars in the Milky Way offer a glimpse into the processes that hold the answers. Beta Pictoris, a young star that is 63 million light years away from us, may be such a star. Beta Pictoris […] Continue reading

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“Y” in the Atmosphere of Venus

Source: For decades, scientists have been discussing the origins of a Y shaped feature in Venus’ atmosphere. The strange feature is shown above in a picture from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter in 1979. A recent theory is that the Y shape is formed by differences in the wind speed in the atmosphere. The theory states […] Continue reading

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The Potsdam Gravity Potato

Source: Universe Today The above picture is a rendering of the Earth’s gravitational field produced by the German Research Center for Geophysics’ Helmholtz’s Center in Potsdam, Germany. Known as the “Gravity Potato,” it shows that the Earth’s gravity is not as uniform as one would think. In fact, the gravitational force is a dynamic surface that […] Continue reading

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Earth in Infrared

Source: Two of NASA’s geosynchronous satellites, GOES 13 and GOES 15, have captured infrared light emitted from the Earth, and a University of Victoria graduate student recently used this data to put together a video that shows the behavior of this light over a two month period. Infrared light is generated by heat from the […] Continue reading

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The Scale of the Universe

(Source) After watching the Powers of Ten video and viewing the interactive Scale of the Universe website, it seems to me that Earth is like a speck of dust floating among countless others. In fact, the Powers of Ten video expands our perspective to 100 million light years into the emptiness of space where galaxies […] Continue reading

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Astronomy 201 Intro Post

This is a picture of the cruise ship I was on over Winter Break 2014. I loved being able to see the stars at night; being out on the water away from the lights of the city made the night sky way more vivid and detailed than I am used to.
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