Blog Archives

Dwarf Planets and New Planets, Oh My!

Just about the time that one NASA spacecraft is closing in on Ceres (formerly known as an asteroid, now semi-officially designated as a dwarf planet) and another nears its encounter with Pluto, a group of astronomers has suggested that there

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The formation of our solar system, with multiple planets and other bodies of varying sizes and compositions—this was not a simple process. The more planetary systems we discover around other stars, the more we confirm the truth of this. Scientists

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Astronomy in 2011

(This post has been edited slightly from the original to include the MESSENGER mission to Mercury and to correct a misstatement about galactic black holes.) As the end of calendar year 2011 approaches, I thought my readers might enjoy a look

Posted in Cosmology, Planets, Solar System, Spacecraft, Stars Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Pluto Has A New Moon

…which now makes four and counting. The new discovery comes via an eight-minute exposure (long in this context) of Pluto and its environs with the Hubble Space Telescope. Here is an image that may be a little different from what

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Ceres, Vesta and Dawn

On the very first day of the nineteenth century, January 1, 1801, a moving star-like object was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi in Sicily. Initially thought to be a comet and then a new planet, Ceres was eventually recognized as the

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