Category: Planets

A dying star’s magnetic racing stripes

I have an enduring affection for planetary nebulae, despite their rather gloomy origin: They are clouds of gas blown out when stars like the Sun die. The details are a bit complicated — aren’t they always — but when a star runs out of fuel in its core, the core contracts and heats up. The outer layers […]

Rogue Rocky Planet Found Adrift in the Milky Way

Not all planets orbit stars. Some are instead “free-floating” rogues adrift in interstellar space after being ejected from their home systems. For decades astronomers have sought to study such elusive outcasts, hoping to find patterns in their size and number that could reveal otherwise hidden details of how planetary systems emerge and evolve. Of the […]

Operating a Rover in Real-time From a Distance

There are instances other than pandemics when it is necessary to work remotely. Spacecraft operators are forced to do most of their work remotely while their charges travel throughout the solar system.  Sometimes those travels take place a little closer to home. Engineers at DLR, Germany’s space agency, recently got to take the concept of […]

Pluto’s snowcapped mountains are unlike any on Earth

<!– googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘post_link_unit’); }); –> Comparison of snowcapped mountains in Cthulhu Macula on Pluto (left) with the Alps on Earth (right). Image via NASA/ Johns Hopkins APL/ SWRI/ Thomas Pesquet/ ESA/ EurekAlert!. With their tall peaks reaching into the sky and and their snow glistening in the sun, snowcapped mountains on Earth are beautiful. […]

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