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Category Archives: Solar System
After traveling 94 million miles into deep space, the journey of NASA’s Kepler space telescope was finally completed in October of 2018. Operational since 2009, the telescope was able to detect a total of 2,681 exoplanets before running out of fuel. The archival data retrieved by Kepler will have immense value as it is continuedContinue reading “Kepler-1649c” Continue reading → Continue reading
Extremophiles are organisms on Earth that thrive in extreme environment that most other organisms wouldn’t be able to survive in. They are found in places that at a glance, seem unlivable, places like inside volcanoes, or deep in the ocean under extreme pressures. So why do these extremophiles matter when thinking about space? The ideaContinue reading “Extremophiles, and What They Mean For Life in Space” Continue reading → Continue reading
A comet is made of a nucleus (inner core), coma (cloudy envelope around the nucleus), and then a tail. Where exactly do these beautiful, fast-moving cosmic snowballs come from? Scientists are able to trace comets that we see in the inner solar system by retracing their orbits. Through this, scientists believe that comets come fromContinue reading “Comets: where do they come from?” Continue reading → Continue reading
Could human beings inhabit Titan, one of Saturn’s moons? Titan is one of the least hostile places for humans in the outer solar system. Titan has liquid methane lakes and oceans on its surface, and even has weather. Titan’s atmosphere is very dense – 95% nitrogen and 5% methane. The gravity on Titan is slightlyContinue reading “Living on Titan?” Continue reading → Continue reading
If you’ve been scrolling through random news articles over the past few weeks, you may have come across an article about a large asteroid that may end human civilization if it strikes the Earth. Just to be clear, this asteroid will not hit Earth and will barely have any effect on civilization. NASA is currentlyContinue reading “Large Asteroid Flyby on April 29th” Continue reading → Continue reading
The giants of our solar system, other than the Sun of course, are quite different from the terrestrial planets whether it comes to the atmospheres, the surfaces, size, or other planetary features. One key difference is the interior of these giant planets. Terrestrial planets, for context, have a very dense core followed by a rockyContinue reading “The Interiors of the Giants of the Solar System” Continue reading → Continue reading
The lectures from this unit, especially chapter 11 about the Jovian planets, reminded me of one of my favorite books; Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. The novel is a comical science fiction story that chronicles the origin of Malachi Constant, a profit predestined to be sent into space and return to start a newContinue reading “Sirens of Titan” Continue reading → Continue reading
When I learned the order of the planets in elementary school, Pluto was still considered a planet. About 14 years ago, it was demoted to a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union has three criteria in determining planetary status. It is in an orbit around the sun, it has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium,Continue reading “Could Pluto Become a Planet Again?” Continue reading → Continue reading
It’s pretty perplexing as to why Saturn’s moon, Titan, has such a thick atmosphere but a planet like Mars does not. Since the most widely accepted explanation of why Mars has such a thin atmosphere is it losing its magnetosphere as its core cooled and does not contain nearly as much metallic iron has theContinue reading “Why Does Titan Have an Atmosphere?” Continue reading → Continue reading