Monthly Archives: June 2014
While we all remember some facts about the solar system —that there are nine planets, for example (at least until scientists changed their minds) — there are many lesser -known tidbits that many people do not know. Listed below are 5 interesting things about our solar system, and the planets located within it.
If there’s one thing scientists love discussing more than the beginning of the universe, it’s the end. There are literally hundreds of known stellar events that could obliterate the life on our planet before we even knew what hit us. The end of everything else though, is a little bit more difficult to predict. Here are another 5 popular theories on how the universe might end.
Astronomers announced that they have discovered a new type of planet – a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn’t form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered “super-Earths,” making it a “mega-Earth.”
Although it is the closest celestial body to us, the moon still harbors secrets aplenty. “Closest,” of course, is a relative term: The great gray and white orb in our sky never veers much nearer than 225,000 miles (362,000 kilometers), and getting there is no easy feat, especially in the case of manned missions. No human has left boot prints in the lunar regolith since 1972. So, the Moon is a mystery that is definitely worth a closer look.
There’s no doubt that we’ve figured out a lot about the cosmos, especially in the last century. But from black holes to pulsars, everything we find seems to bring just as many questions as answers. Astronomers don’t yet have all the answers, and every day heralds the arrival of a new discovery and a new cosmic mystery.
If you lived in the medieval ages and someone told you that there were not one but many universes, you would probably laugh it off, or maybe get the guy burnt on a stake. Till recently, the concept of parallel universes or multiverse was the stuff of science fiction. The universe was considered to be one big entity that contained everything that there is.
Like its jovian sibling IO, Europa is experiencing many changes, but it’s devoid of fire. The satellite is only slightly smaller than our Moon, and water ice coats its surface. Deep down, though, it is not as cold as it looks: Europa is not frozen solid.