Solar System

Category archives for Solar System

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry W. Longfellow When you look at the meteors striking Earth today, as well as over the past 466 million years, you find something surprising: they don’t line up with the population…

“Bringing an asteroid back to Earth? What’s that have to do with space exploration? If we were moving outward from there, and an asteroid is a good stopping point, then fine. But now it’s turned into a whole planetary defense exercise at the cost of our outward exploration.” -Buzz Aldrin Between recent statements from NASA,…

“We are inside this plasma, and plasma is inside everything. It is incandescent in the sun, and I am curious to know if you are able to stop orbiting yourself around it even for a second.” -Marieta Maglas The phenomenon of solar flares has been understood qualitatively but not quantitatively for a long time. The…

Just as a Chihuahua is still a dog, these ice dwarfs are still planetary bodies. The misfit becomes the average. The Pluto-like objects are more typical in our solar system than the nearby planets we first knew.” -Alan Stern The Pluto story just gets better and better. Although the flyby of July 2015 lasted only…

“The new ALMA images show the disk in unprecedented detail, revealing a series of concentric dusty bright rings and dark gaps, including intriguing features that suggest a planet with an Earth-like orbit is forming there.” -Sean Andrews It takes a lot of work to make a solar system from the raw materials of an interstellar…

“From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’” -Edgar Mitchell, Apollo astronaut The full Moon of November 14th may be…

Supermoon: Fact Vs. Fiction (Synopsis)

“For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.” -Richard H. Baker This coming Monday, November 14th, 2016, a full Moon will occur extremely close — within 90 minutes — of…

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” -Albert Einstein When we first began looking for exoplanets, we were expecting that other solar systems would be like ours: with inner, small, rocky worlds and outer, large gas giants. What we…

Quiz: Mars or Earth? (Synopsis)

“This is the plan. Get your ass to Mars, and go to the Hilton Hotel and flash the fake Brubaker I.D. at the front desk, that’s all there is to it.” -Hauser, Total Recall There are many locations on Earth that look like they’d be right at home on another world. While from space, it’s…

“The pressure to compete, the fear somebody else will make the splash first, creates a frenzied environment in which a blizzard of information is presented and serious questions may not be raised.” -Carl Bernstein Why is our Moon so unlike every other moon in the Solar System? No other moon is such a large percent…