Category Archives: Space

Heavy Metals in the Cosmos

The recent discovery of gravitational waves from the neutron star merger designated GW170817 is said to prove that heavy metals like gold are produced in this extreme environment and not in supernovae, as was long thought. The teams that discovered … Continue reading

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Gravitational Waves Found at Last

One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity. It was a radical new idea that overturned Newton’s theory of gravity and said things got much more complicated when you were near a massive object. Strange as … Continue reading

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Planet 9 Follow-Up

Where it is, where it came from, and why there’s a chance it’s not there at all. Last week, I wrote about the not-quite-discovery of a ninth planet in our Solar System (and I don’t mean Pluto), way, way beyond … Continue reading

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Planet 9: A New Planet in Our Solar System?

“In my day, Pluto was a Planet!” said everyone over the age of…15 or so. Pluto was demoted from planet status ten years ago (a decision I do agree with–see here), and now we only have eight planets–or do we? … Continue reading

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The Wild Chemistry, Geology, and Everything Else of Pluto

I just got back from the American Astronomical Society’s winter conference, and let me tell you, there was a lot of great science going on there, but I wanted to focus particularly on the latest findings about Pluto. Pluto’s geology … Continue reading

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Planet or Not? How About “Planetoid”?

I’ve argued that Pluto shouldn’t be a planet, and I’ve also argued that we don’t know enough to rigorously define the word “planet”. Now, I want to take a closer look at how and why we divide our own Solar … Continue reading

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NASA Discovers the First “Earth-Like” Planet for the Third Time

There’s been buzz in the news about the latest planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, Kepler-452b. It’s being hailed as a major discovery. It’s the first ever Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a…boy, this sounds familiar, … Continue reading

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