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Posts Tagged "Herschel"

Basic Space

We’re cosmic dust but you’re everything to me

On February 23rd 1987, the journey of some light that had been travelling for 168,000 years came to an end. Astronomer Ian Shelton at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile was observing the night sky as usual when he saw something out of the ordinary. Not long after Shelton reported the discovery, an astronomer in [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Water Erupts Across the Solar System

Europa erupts (Credit: NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI)

Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress. First, Saturn’s diminutive moon Enceladus continues to spew what we think are giant sprays of salty water from gnarled creases in its southern icy surface – captured in glorious imagery by the Cassini spacecraft over [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Andromeda mon amour

Andromeda (GALEX/NASA/JPL)

There is something beautiful yet ominous about our nearest large galactic neighbor. The Andromeda galaxy is a trillion star behemoth that spans some six times the diameter of the full Moon when seen through a telescope. At only 2.5 million light years away from the Milky Way it’s barely an intergalactic stone’s throw from us, [...]

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Observations

Hot and Cold: Dwarf Planet Makemake Could Have Extreme Temperatures Side by Side

Diagram of largest known trans-Neptunian Objects

NANTES, France—Makemake may well have the most exotic name of the dwarf planets, and it now looks to be just as unusual on its surface. One of five recognized dwarf planets in our solar system, Makemake (pronounced MAH-kee MAH-kee) was discovered in 2005 in a broad, elliptical orbit outside the realm of Neptune. Its location places [...]

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