Ninth Planet May Exist

 

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An artist’s impression of a possible ninth planet. It would be quite large — at least as big as Earth — with a thick atmosphere around a rocky core. CreditCalifornia Institute of Techonology

 

 Caltech scientists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown make the case for Planet Nine, a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system.

Earth as a Marble – the First Timelapse of the Solar System to Scale

solar system size comparison

When we see depictions of the solar system, we often see an inaccurate representation of its size and scale.  Some of the planets are often enlarged, other planets are minimized to a degree, while the orbital paths are shrunken down to be closer to the sun.  This is done because, when viewing the entire solar system, you want to see everything that is there.  Not only is there an enormous amount of space between the planets–especially between the rocky inner planets and the outer gas giants–but the scale between the inner and outter planets are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  After all, you can fit over a thousand Earths inside Jupiter.
Giving an accurate depiction of the solar system’s scale is a very difficult task.  It is a task that was recently tackled by filmmakers Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet, using the “Earth as a marble” concept.

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The Mountains and Makeup of Pluto

mountains of pluto

July 15th was a historic occasion as it marked the first time we were able to see close-up pictures of Pluto’s surface.  Traveling at over 30,000 mph, New Horizons snapped some very interesting pictures of the dwarf planet’s surface as it came within 47 thousand miles of it, beaming back to us details never before seen.  What New Horizons captured for us was a first glimpse at mountain ranges and deposits of methane & nitrogen ice.

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Amazing Photos of How Clouds Cast Thousand-Mile Shadows Into Space

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While on board the International Space Station, geophysicist Alexander Gerst spent a lot of time looking back down to Earth from 205 miles above.  In his tenure aboard the ISS he took loads of photographs, documenting hurricanes, floods, dust storms, and oil fields.  One of his favorite things, however, was taking pictures of how clouds cast shadows.  The results can be quite dramatic.

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Catch the Total Lunar Eclipse on April 4th

TLE

This April 4th, 2015, most of North America, South America, Asia, and parts of Australia will be able to view a Total Lunar Eclipse.  The moon will be eclipsed in totality for about 5 minutes.  The entire event will take place, from beginning to end, for 3 hours and 29 minutes.

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Ten Facts About Our Solar System’s Moons

10 Face about our moons

Today, Oct. 23rd, most of the United States and Canada will be able to view the partial solar eclipse that will start at about 6pm EST.  An eclipse, of course, is when an astronomical body is obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or having another body pass between it and the viewer .  To mark the occasion I thought it would be interesting if we looked at some other moons in our solar system.  So here are ten quick facts about all those moons that orbit the planets.

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A Rare Sight: You Can See Venus During The Day This Week

venus in the sky at day

Besides the Sun and Moon, Venus is the brightest celestial body.  It’s so bright that you can even see it during the daytime.  Tomorrow morning, and the rest of the week, you can see Venus in the morning sky just before sunrise.  That is, if it is a clear sky when you go out.  Depending on where you are, Venus is about two fists above the horizon.

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