The Roundest Identified Space Object

From years of observation, scientists confirm the distant star Kepler 11145123 as the roundest natural object studied in the observable universe.  Most toy solar system sets represent the planets as perfectly rounded, all orbiting an equally circular sun. Aside from the completely inaccurate sizing of the planets relative to the …

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The Last Year of Cassini

After over 12 years studying Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins its intrepid finale: a yearlong two-part mission. Before we reach the end of Cassini’s voyage in September 2017, the spacecraft is scheduled to complete two missions: The F-ring orbits and the Grand Finale. The F Ring Orbits  Cassini will venture …

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Oxygen May Not Always Lead to Life

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The search for alien worlds has expanded into its own branch of astronomical research.  The prospect of finding “Earth Proxima” or Earth 2.0 not only excites the imagination, but also represents a tangible possibility in what could be the near future.  According the NASA’s Exoplanet Archive, as of August 18th, …

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Inside Our Solar System: Planet Mercury

Planet Mercury. Image credit and copyright: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Surface:  The first planet from the Sun, Mercury’s small size (4,879 kilometers in diameter- the smallest planet in the Solar System) deceptively hides its extreme nature.  Surface temperatures can reach a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius) during the day, only to drop 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to a nighttime …

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