Solar System

Mercury Shrinking: the First Rock from the Sun Contracted More than Once Thought

by Jason Major March 16, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Whatever Mercury’s did to trim down its waistline has worked better than anyone thought — the innermost planet in our Solar System has reduced its radius* by about 7 kilometers (4.4 miles), over double the amount once estimated by scientists. Of […]

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If the Moon Were Only One Pixel: a Scale Model of the Solar System

by Jason Major March 6, 2014

One of my favorite pet peeves is the inability of conventional models to accurately convey the gigantic scale of the Solar System. Most of us grew up with models of the planets made of wood or plastic or spray painted styrofoam balls impaled on bent wire hangers (don’t tell Mommy), or, more commonly, illustrations on […]

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NEOWISE Spots a “Weirdo” Comet

by Jason Major February 28, 2014

NASA’s NEOWISE mission — formerly known as just WISE — has identified the first comet of its new near-Earth object hunting career… and, according to mission scientists, it’s a “weirdo.” Remove this ad Jason Major on Google+

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Playing Marbles With The Planets

by Jason Major February 26, 2014

We’ve all seen charts showing the relative sizes of planets and moons compared to each other, which are cool to look at but don’t really give a sense of the comparative masses of the various worlds in our Solar System. It’s one thing to say the Earth is four times larger than the Moon, it’s […]

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Why Europa?

by Fraser Cain February 19, 2014

Forget Mars, the place we really want to go looking for life is Jupiter’s moon Europa. Dr. Mike Brown, a professor of planetary science at Caltech, explains what he finds so fascinating about this icy moon, and the potential we might find life swimming in its vast oceans. Remove this ad Fraser Cain on Google+

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