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mars wobble

Mars is wobbling, and scientists have questions

January 7th, 2021

Using data collected over 18 years of observations, scientists now say that the planet Mars is wobbling. The planet’s wiggling results in its poles moving on a regular basis. Earth also has a wobble, but the Mars wobble is a bit more of a mystery than Earth’s since Mars has no oceans.  When you think …

asteroid flyby 2020

How did astronomers miss this asteroid that just almost hit Earth?

November 17th, 2020

A small asteroid made an extremely close pass of Earth recently and wasn’t detected until after it had already passed. The asteroid known as 2020 VT4 flew by Earth at a distance of just 240 miles. It was closer to Earth during its flyby than many manmade satellites and even the International Space Station. Our …

metal asteroid

This asteroid is worth more than you can possibly fathom

October 27th, 2020

An all-metal asteroid residing in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter called 16 Psych is worth an incredible amount of money. A new study revealed that the asteroid is likely entirely made of iron and nickel. Mining an asteroid isn’t yet possible, but that may change sooner rather than later. We don’t think about …

pluto snow

Pluto’s mountains are topped with frozen methane, not water ice

October 13th, 2020

Images from NASA’s New Horizons probe have revealed what appears to be snow-capped peaks on Pluto, but they’re not what they seem. Researchers suggest that the “snow” is actually methane that condensed and froze on the peaks, making it look like snow.  Pluto’s surface temperature is nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Ah, Pluto. The …

venus habitable

Life on Venus? Jupiter may have made Venus inhabitable

September 30th, 2020

New research suggests that Venus was once potentially habitable, but that likely changed when Jupiter swooped in and messed things up.  Venus once had a much more elliptical orbit, allowing its surface to cool off for extended periods of time.  When Jupiter pushed up closer to the Sun, it may have changed the orbit of …

pi planet

This ‘Pi Planet’ orbits is star every 3.14 days

September 22nd, 2020

Astronomers have spotted an exoplanet orbiting a cool star that completes a year in just 3.14 days. Nicknamed the “Pi Planet” or “Pi Earth,” the roughly Earth-sized world is extremely hot. Its surface temperature is around 350 degrees Fahrenheit… which is a great temperature for baking pie. You don’t have to be a total math …

rogue planets

Are rogue planets common? NASA hopes its new telescope will find out

August 24th, 2020

NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be able to detect rogue planets by spotting their gravitational lensing. The telescope, which is slated to launch in 2025, could spot hundreds of free-floating planets that don’t orbit stars. Understanding free-floating worlds could help us to better understand how planets of all types form. We tend to …