Category Archives: SolarSystem

Pluto: New Horizon

Pluto, a dwarf planet farther out than Neptune in the Kuiper Belt, was once thought to be the ninth planet of our solar system. However, the discovery of Pluto’s moon, Charon, led to the revision of calculations on Pluto’s mass, and the redefinition of planets finally “kicked” Pluto out of the solar system planets since […] Continue reading

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Ganymede, Aurorae, and the Potential for Life Outside of Earth

Artist’s conception of Ganymede and Jupiter. Image by NASA Although by visible light and upon first glance Ganymede might seem like an unassuming satellite, further inspection and deeper exploration demonstrates that this view is both tired and untrue. Simply by size alone, Ganymede is a headliner. As the largest moon in our solar system, it […] Continue reading

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The Loneliness of Rovers

Throughout this semester in ASTR2110, I have been reminded about how small we are compared to the universe. While this can be both a deflating and motivating perspective on our approach to astronomical study, I think it is undeniable that the rovers on Mars are unimaginably lonely during their stints on the red planet. I […] Continue reading

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Halley’s Comet

Giotto Spacecraft Approaching Halley’s Comet Halley’s Comet has the ability to completely destroy a city. Until learning about this comet in a previous homework assignment I never realized the true devastation even a comet of this size could cause on the earth. Halley’s Comet most famous observation occurred in 1066 where it was said that […] Continue reading

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Space Potatoes!

(Diagram showing various asteroids, very potato shaped, you may notice) As Dr. G says, “When I say Asteroids, you say Space Potatoes!” But what exactly does that mean? The reason we liken asteroids to potatoes is because of their shape (unfortunately, they do not taste as good as those beautiful starchy tubers) (Side note: in […] Continue reading

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Bog 5 – Chelyabinsk Meteor

A relatively recent and frightening meteoric event occurred in the quaint city of Chelyabinsk in Russia on February 15, 2013. This incident is rather interesting since damage caused by the meteor was not due to impact, but rather violent shockwaves produced by the airborne-meteor’s explosion over the city. The explosion occurred when the meteor, roughly […] Continue reading

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Lightning on Jupiter

How fitting that mysterious lightning has been observed on the planet named after the god of sky and storms! Lightning on Jupiter has been reported multiple times over the years during multiple space missions: the 1979 Voyager mission, 1990s Galileo Jupiter mission, and again during the 2007 New Horizons mission. Now that we’ve got Juno […] Continue reading

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The Frozen World: Pluto

Pluto’s Icey Surface taken from the New Horizons Spacecraft Pluto is one of the most interesting “planets” in our solar system and for decades now has had constant debate surrounding it. Pluto has an extremely thin atmosphere, one that is a lot thinner than ours on earth that is made up of primarily nitrogen. Its […] Continue reading

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Post 6

Many people may remember the last total solar eclipse that was visible from North America. It occurred on August 21, 2017. The next total solar eclipse that covers North America, and the only one for the next 20 years, will occur on April 8, 2024—almost one year from today. Total solar eclipses are a fascinating […] Continue reading

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Why is Jupiter the way it is?

Have you ever wondered why Jupiter looks so colorful? Well look no further than Jupiter’s atmosphere, where you’ll find similar and yet different features from Earth’s own atmosphere. Jupiter’s atmosphere consists of the thermosphere, stratosphere, and the troposphere, much like Earth’s atmosphere, yet where they differ is what each layer consists of. Jupiter’s thermosphere is […] Continue reading

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