Tag Archives: blog5

A Dwarf Planet is Still Cool!

On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union changed Pluto’s status from planet to dwarf planet.  This caused an outrage amongst the public.  Memes were created and shared expressing Pluto’s sadness at its “demotion” from planetary status.  Textbooks had to be changed and the general public was oddly passionate over an object in space’s official title.  Nevertheless, people wereContinue reading “A Dwarf Planet is Still Cool!” Continue reading

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Blog 5: Is there life on Europa?

The moon Europa orbits Jupiter alongside three other unique satellites described as “Jupiter’s Galilean moons”; these moons although similar in size to our moon (especially Io and Europa) display geological activity very different from what is observed on our own. Europa in particular, after telescope observation and satellite missions such as Voyager 1 and 2,Continue reading “Blog 5: Is there life on Europa?” Continue reading

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Halley in History

Halley’s comet is one thought to have been noted in history millennia before it was ever realized that it was the same comet passing Earth every 75 years. The first official record of the comet’s passing was 239 BCE by Chinese astronomers, but it’s thought that it might have been recorded by the Ancient GreeksContinue reading “Halley in History” Continue reading

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Living on Titan

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is an icy world with an atmosphere thicker and denser than Earth’s (1.5 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth) that has clouds of smog that coat it in a large, cloudy golden haze. So how could scientists think it could be a habitable substitute for Earth forContinue reading “Living on Titan” Continue reading

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The Depths of Europa

The smallest of Jupiter’s four Galilean Moons, Europa hides a world of fascination below its unassuming icy surface. Europa existed unbeknownst to mankind up until the early seventeenth century when the famous astronomer, Galileo Galilei, was first able to resolve Europa through his telescope at the University of Padua. It wasn’t for another three andContinue reading “The Depths of Europa” Continue reading

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The Oort Cloud

The Oort Cloud is a collection of comets that orbit the Sun far outside our solar system. One estimation of the number of comets in the Oort Cloud is one TRILLION. Unlike the Kuiper Belt, which lies outside the orbit of Neptune, the Oort Cloud neither lies on the same plane as the bodies orbitingContinue reading “The Oort Cloud” Continue reading

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Europa, and the Possibility of Life

When we discussed the sub-surface oceans of some of the large moon-worlds, I was particularly excited about the idea that these places could potentially contain life, for what could be more exciting than the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe? As such, for my blog post, I wanted to dive into one potential homeContinue reading “Europa, and the Possibility of Life” Continue reading

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Fomalhaut b: The Planet that Disappeared

What’s more interesting than the story of a planet that disappeared? Fans of Fomalhaut b would argue that nothing tops the tragic story of this exoplanet. What was initially thought to be a large world sitting only 25 light years away was later found out to be nothing but a dispersing cloud of dust. FomalhautContinue reading “Fomalhaut b: The Planet that Disappeared” Continue reading

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What Is A Dwarf Planet, Anyway?

Given all our discussions of Pluto and the other “dwarf planets” of our solar system, you may be interested in just how astronomers differentiate a dwarf planet from a “regular” planet. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia (not being sarcastic, Wikipedia is generally very trustworthy these days!), there are three characteristics that define a dwarf planet. … Continue reading What Is A Dwarf Planet, Anyway? Continue reading

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The Great Dark Spot

We have all heard about the Great Red Spot, the constant, giant storm that could hold multiple Earths with unbelievable winds. However, what if I was to say that Jupiter was not the only planet with a mind-blowing storm. Enter the incredible storm of Neptune: the Great Dark Spot. The Great Dark Spot (GDS) isContinue reading “The Great Dark Spot” Continue reading

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