Category Archives: astro2110

How Life Could Start and Exist on Europa

Although our understanding of the evolutionary process is deep, the exact time and process through which the first life forms on Earth arose is still not entirely clear. The panspermia hypothesis speculates that life exists throughout the universe and is distributed through asteroids, comets, and space dust, and that life on Earth was brought fromContinue reading “How Life Could Start and Exist on Europa” Continue reading Continue reading

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How Big Can a Planet Get?

Jupiter is big. Not only is it the biggest planet in our solar system, but it is large enough to fit all the other planets in the solar system inside of it. However, Jupiter is not as dense as Earth, and even though it can fit about 1,300 Earths inside of it, it is approximatelyContinue reading “How Big Can a Planet Get?” Continue reading Continue reading

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Life on Europa?

When considering the likeliest hosts for extraterrestrial life in our very own system, Europa surely is near the top of possible candidates. One of Jupiter’s 79 (!) moons, it possesses the smoothest surface of any celestial body in the solar system. Because of this and imaging from probes, scientists have hypothesized that Europa has aContinue reading “Life on Europa?” Continue reading Continue reading

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Why isn’t Pluto a planet?

Contrary to what Jerry Smith says in Rick and Morty, Pluto is not a planet. But why did Pluto lose this designation in 2006? The International Astronomical Union has 3 main criteria to determine what is a planet and what is not. These three criteria are: having an orbit around the sun, having sufficient massContinue reading “Why isn’t Pluto a planet?” Continue reading Continue reading

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Dwarf Perspective

There are many celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt. One notable object is a dwarf planet named Makemake. This dwarf planet was one of the objects NASA used to demote Pluto from its previous planet status down to dwarf planet status. NASA wasn’t aware of other bodies that looked like Pluto, and when they foundContinue reading “Dwarf Perspective” Continue reading Continue reading

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Plasma Bubble Around Uranus

On January 14, 1986, Voyager 2 captured a picture of Uranus, capturing the planet’s chilling-blue color. Although the giant planet was already known for being odd — spinning on its side and having an off-center magnetic field. However, it was also recently identified that the icy planet has a giant magnetic bubble around it madeContinue reading “Plasma Bubble Around Uranus” Continue reading Continue reading

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Would Landing on Europa Make Us Europeans?

As I commented in a previous blog post, one of the most fascinating questions that a person studying the solar system can ask is whether life exists outside of our Earthly home. Within this question lay an abundance of philosophical arguments, all counteracting one another and seeking to define the ‘correct’ answer to this question.Continue reading “Would Landing on Europa Make Us Europeans?” Continue reading Continue reading

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So Close, Yet From So Far ☄️

The above image is of Comet Atlas, which is a comet that has been getting closer and much, much brighter over the past few weeks. If it doesn’t fizzle out, Comet Atlas will be able to be seen by the naked eye in as little time as a couple of weeks, at places without much … Continue reading So Close, Yet From So Far ☄️ Continue reading Continue reading

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Solar Winds

Solar winds are arguably one of the most destructive forces in our solar system. As a kid, I never took these forces into account when thinking about space travel. In my mind, as long as you avoided flying your space ship directly into the sun (which I thought was on fire, of course), our starContinue reading “Solar Winds” Continue reading Continue reading

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How’s the Weather Up There? ⛅

On an especially brutally stormy day, you may have thought to yourself, “Why does it have to be this way? Why do we have to be so inconvenienced?” Well, if we colonize Mars or the Moon someday, your wish may come true. That’s because weather stems from the presence of an atmosphere! Weather is mostly … Continue reading How’s the Weather Up There? ⛅ Continue reading Continue reading

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