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Category Archives: planets
Jovian planets always interested me. The term “Jovian” is naturally everyone’s first guess – derived from the Latin root, Iovis, or Jovis. It’s a 3rd declension, genitive singular noun, so any classics nerds should know that it very specifically translates to OF Jupiter. I don’t know, I just find it interesting that an entire class … Continue reading Jovian Planets → Continue reading → Continue reading
I’d love to show you a whole bunch of videos that show planetary formation! Some showcase certain parts of formation better than others but they all are pretty awesome. Beginning of Solar System formation (from gas cloud to disk) from ESA (0:39) Why is the Solar System Flat? from Minute Physics (3:12) Planetary Formation – […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Have you ever wondered just how big the Solar System is? One helpful website to answer that question is Josh Worth’s “If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel” site. This beautiful website allows you to scroll through the Solar System, to-scale, as if the Moon were only 1 pixel (that is, teeny-tiny and barely visible … Continue reading Grasping the Scale of the Solar System (with help from Josh Worth) → Continue reading → Continue reading
The Observable Universe (Thus Far) I learned quite a bit this semester and it definitely changes the way in which I look at the universe. Coming into the course I could name the planets of our Solar System and that is about it, so I basically had no previous astronomical knowledge. For the most part … Continue reading Final Post (Reflection) → Continue reading → Continue reading
Kepler 22-b Extrasolar planets are planets that orbit a star other than our own. Being in another star system, these worlds are very hard to observe since they are so far away and the light they produce pales in comparison to that of the stars they orbit. Because of this, although their existence had already … Continue reading Extrasolar Planets and the Search for Life → Continue reading → Continue reading
Haumea is a recently discovered dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt that has some very unique features. The first thing many people notice is that Haumea is shaped more like a football than a sphere. This is due to the fact that Haumea spins around its axis roughly every four hours. This extreme rotation causes … Continue reading The Peculiar Dwarf Planet: Haumea → Continue reading → Continue reading
History was made on Sunday, April 1, 2018, as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has decided to reclassify Pluto as a planet. Pluto, discovered in 1930 as the ninth planet of the solar system, is a tiny world smaller than Earth’s moon. Pluto was stripped of its planetary status in 2006 and demoted […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Life: one of the most unique, hard to find things in the universe. We have so much life on Earth, but it’s often something we take for granted. In the 200,000 years humans have existed on Earth, we have not found any evidence of life outside of our planet. Considering how vast and […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Step 1: A Solar Nebula To build your very own solar system, you will need to start out with a solar nebula – a colossal cloud of “star stuff” recycled from dying stars. It should consist mostly of hydrogen, about 1% hydrogen compounds (“ice”), and less than 1% consisting of rock and metal. It should look something like […]Continue reading → Continue reading
Here upon Earth, it is known that the planet’s surface is constantly changing, due to weather, tectonic movements, erosion by water, wind, flora, fauna, etc., and various other natural phenomena. These forces cause geographic features such as mountains, valleys, and other characteristics of Earth’s surface. Although the terrestrial planets all share various characteristics, the other… Continue reading The Shape of The Terrestrial PlanetsContinue reading → Continue reading