Frozen Time Capsules From Afar

Frozen-Time-Capsules-From-Afar

Comets are delicate and shortlived. They are frozen wanderers that originated in the outer fringes of our Solar System, but were infortunately evicted from their dimly-lit frigid home. As a result, these outcast celestial snowballs have come sweeping into Earth’s inner region of our Solar System, that is very far from their cold shadowy cradles …

Hyperactive Comets

Hyperactive-Comets

Where did Earth’s water come from? The origin of water on Earth, or the reason why there is more liquid water on Earth than on the other rocky planets in our Solar System, is unknown. There are numerous more or less mutually compatible solutions to the mystery of how water may have pooled on Earth’s …

Strange Ice

Strange-Ice

“While the icy spectral fingerprint we uncovered was entirely reasonable, especially as this combination of ices can be created in the lab, pinpointing this specific wavelength in infrared light on another world is unprecedented,” commented Dr. Stephen C. Tegler in a May 22, 2019 Gemini Press Release. Dr. Tegler, of Northern Arizona University’s Astrophysical Materials Laboratory, led the …

Bewitching Moon

Triton and Pluto sport similar bulk compositions and densities. The duo also show similar atmospheres. In addition, both remote frozen worlds travel in unusual orbits. Pluto sports a highly eccentric orbit that sometimes carries it closer to the Sun than Neptune. Also, Pluto orbits in the opposite direction around our Sun than do the other major planets …

A Distant Moon World

In the outer Solar System, far from our Sun’s brilliant golden light and intense heat, there is a beautiful banded blue planet that is orbited by a bizarre moon. The sapphire-blue ice-giant Neptune is both the farthest major planet from our Sun, as well as the smallest of the quartet of outer gaseous giant planets–the …

Supernova Explode

Brilliant and powerful supernova blasts usually herald the explosive “death” of a massive star that has burned up its necessary supply of nuclear-fusing fuel, and has collapsed either into a dense stellar corpse called a neutron star or–in the case of the most massive stars of all–into a stellar mass black hole. However, relatively small, solitary stars like our …