Tag: solar system

The Transit of Venus

I’m writing this on June 4, the eve of one of the rarest events in the solar system: the transit of Venus. In astronomical jargon, a “transit” is what happens when a smaller body passes in front of a larger one relative to an observer…in this case, us. The Sun, Venus and Earth actually line …

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R.I.P.: the girl who named Pluto

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/upLoads//2009/05/the-girl-who-named-pluto-rip.mp3[/podcast] Three years ago I wrote a column about someone I was astonished I’d never heard of until that week: Venetia Phair (née Burney), at the time an 87-year-old retired schoolteacher in Epsom, England. At the age of 11 Venetia suggested the name Pluto for what was then (and for many decades after) considered the …

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Does a hidden ocean of liquid water lurk beneath Titan’s surface?

Maybe. And if so, it could harbor life.

Mars…

…as art. Gorgeous! (Via Instapundit.)

New flag for a remade planet

Popular Science ran a contest and has come up with New Glory: A Flag for a Terraformed Mars. It’s red, of course…although, if it’s for a terraformed Mars, shouldn’t it have at least a little blue and green in it?

A comet 6,000 times brighter than Hale-Bopp is on its way

Trouble is, it probably won’t show up for about a billion years.

Amazing video of a solar flare…

…here. It was captured by Japan’s Hinode spacecraft in January: “I managed to stay in my seat,” says solar physicist John Davis of the Marshall Space Flight Center, “but just barely.” Davis is NASA’s project scientist for Hinode, Japanese for Sunrise. The spacecraft was launched in Sept. 2006 from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan …

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There’s a storm a-comin’…

…from the sun. The next Solar Maximum is expected to be a doozy, the biggest since we entered a fully electronic age and ringed our world with satellites. It will be… interesting…to see what effect it has on modern technology.

Vast caverns on Mars…

…if they exist, would be a great place to look for life and water. Now some researchers think they may have spotted them.

Robert A. Heinlein’s legacy lives on:

This NASA story, about how the Moon bears witness to the early history of the solar system, and could tell us whether “extinction events” caused by heavy bombardments from outer space really recur every 26 million years on Earth as some have hypothesized, is headlined “The Moon is a harsh witness.” Somebody there has read …

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Huge water reservoirs hidden beneath the Martian surface?

The possibility has suddenly become far more likely. If…if…it pans out, a round trip to Mars just become both much more appealing and much easier. And the likelihood of life on the fourth planet much greater. (As an aside, note that the Mars atmosphere expert quoted at the end of the story is named David …

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The Viking probes 30 years ago may have found life on Mars..

…and then promptly killed it.

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