Tag Archives: orbits

Gravity holds the universe together

Gravitational force, why planets have orbits, and how we know that black holes exist When you think of gravity, you might think of the force that makes apples fall on people’s heads (talking about you, Newton!). But it’s also why planets have orbits! Any two objects in space have a gravitational force between them. Kepler’s […] Continue reading

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Planet Past Pluto?

In the image above, the red oval represents the suggested path of an elusive planet called Planet X. Astronomers have been observing the orbits of objects in our Solar System and have decided there’s a strong possibility a ninth planet, almost the size of Neptune, is orbiting our Sun. Although Planet X has yet to… Continue reading Planet Past Pluto? Continue reading

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Blog #3: PSR J1719-1438 b

PSR J1719-1438 b is a really cool planet. It’s small and massive, and oh yeah, it’s made of diamonds.   PSR J1719-1438 b orbits around star PSR J1719-1438, which is a neutron star and a pulsar. Basically, because the star’s magnetic field is so great, it sends off waves of radiation. The relationship between the star … Continue reading Blog #3: PSR J1719-1438 b Continue reading

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Blog #2: HAT-P-2’s Heart

A very appropriate post for Valentine’s Day. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a unique quality of a star and its orbiting planet that are some 370 light years away. The gravitational interaction between the two cause some vibrations in HAT-P-2 when its orbiting planet HAT-P-2b gets close. HAT-P-2b is a planet with a mass … Continue reading Blog #2: HAT-P-2’s Heart Continue reading

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The Mystery of “Hot Jupiters”

Over the last decade, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets, many of which have gone against our current understanding of planet formation. Most of these exoplanets orbit very close to their star, as these are the easiest to discover since they block out more light from their respective stars than planets orbiting farther out do. […] Continue reading

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Seasons on Earth

  Unless you live near the equator, you have experienced how much the temperature outside varies by season (or by day in TN). Many people assume this has something to do with Earth’s orbit being an imperfect circle, but they are wrong. As pictured above, it is actually Earth’s tilt that causes seasons to change; […] Continue reading

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