Category Archives: Jovians

includes Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Identifying Jupiter and Mars

Last night, I was looking up at the night sky while walking to dinner. I noticed a few constellations, as well as two brighter points of light that I was pretty sure were Mars and Jupiter. Normally, I can identify them, but for some reason Mars didn’t look as red to me as it normally […] Continue reading

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What I’ve learned

Walking into astronomy class in late January, I was not even sure if I would be able to name the eight planets in our solar system. It is safe to say that I’ve learned a lot. I think the most important thing I learned is how big our universe really is and how everything explains […] Continue reading

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Growing up, I grew to recognize Jupiter’s distinctive birthmark, but I never attempted to understand it. I figured their were clever astronomers out there who knew what was going on and I’d end up absorbing what they know from a TED talk at 1.5x speed. After looking into it though, it turns out the Great […] Continue reading

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Hot Jupiters: Migration and Orbital Changes

Hot Jupiters are gas giants that have orbital periods that are very close to their stars; often less than 10 days. Usually this means they are less than 0.1AU away from their stars which is one tenth the distance between earth and the sun. While scientists originally did not think giant planets could exist this […] Continue reading

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Enceladus: Alien Life in Our Own Solar System?

Enceladus is an icy moon of Saturn, and is fairly small (or medium-sized, for a moon) with a diameter of about 500 km. For reference, the Moon has a diameter of about 3,475 km. Despite its size, however, Enceladus has been rated as among the most probable sources of life in our own solar system […] Continue reading

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Findings of The Cassini Spacecraft

On October 15th, 1997, the rocket carrying the Cassini Spacecraft and its Huygens probe took off from Cape Canaveral. It was sent to the outer solar system to study Saturn, as well as its moons. The Huygens probe was deployed to one of these moons, Titan, recording images and data. In 2017, after running out […] Continue reading

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The Different Atmospheres in our Solar System

An atmosphere consists of the gases surrounding a planet. Atmospheres are created by volcanism (outgassing of volcanoes involves eruptions that take gasses from the earth’s interior and put them into the atmosphere), evaporation (of compounds such as water), and life (outgassing of carbon dioxide and oxygen). Life is an interesting component of an atmosphere as […] Continue reading

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solar system superlatives: Saturn

Welcome back to solar system superlatives! Last time, we learned about Mars and the breathtaking enormity of Olympus Mons, the largest mountain in our solar system. Now, let’s take a look at my personal favorite of the giants: Saturn. Needless to say, Saturn wins the prize of “coolest rings in the solar system.” Just takeContinue reading “solar system superlatives: Saturn” Continue reading

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Saturn’s Hexagon

Scientists at Harvard are trying to learn more about Saturn’s hexagonal storm on its north pole. While storms on Earth tend to be round or spiral in shape, this feature on Saturn is distinctly a hexagon, and we don’t fully know why! As of now, Harvard has created computer simulations that have indicated how polygonalContinue reading “Saturn’s Hexagon” Continue reading

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The Cassini Spacecraft and Huygens Probe

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft, launched in 1997, flew by Venus and Earth’s Moon, through the Asteroid belt, and near Jupiter until it settled in the Saturn Planetary System for thirteen years. This was a historical mission for multiple reasons. Not only was it the first to orbit Saturn, but the Huygens Probe it carried was theContinue reading “The Cassini Spacecraft and Huygens Probe” Continue reading

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