planet

awesome hard core science planet - 7939411968
By Unknown
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Made up of rock and iron, this planet is thought to be tidally locked to it's parent star (meaning one side always faces the star), it is also much closer to it's host star than the Earth is to the Sun. This means that the "day" side of the planet is always molten, and that's just awesome.

wtf discovery star funny planet - 7879407360
By Unknown
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A new planet was discovered that is similar to Earth in size and composition, meaning it has a rocky surface and an iron core. But that is where similarities end. This twin, named Kepler-78b, has an orbit so close to its parent star, that the surface is about 2,000 degrees hotter than Earth's. The planet's orbit around the star takes only 8.5 hours, instead Earth's 12 month orbit. Located 400 light years away from Earth in the constellation Cyngus, this hellish Earth shouldn't exist. For a planet only 20% larger than Earth with such a small orbit, astronomers can't figure out how it was formed.
pluto flyby space planet - 8536709888
Via The Verge
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It took nine years and 3 billion miles, but at 7:49 a.m. EST the New Horizons spacecraft passed what was once the furthest planet in our solar system.

Traveling at a speed of 30,800 miles per hour, New Horizons zoomed by Pluto a scant 7,800 miles away. This is the closest we have ever got to Pluto and it will send back some of the best images of the maligned dwarf planet we have ever seen. Maybe this will convince those scientists to let it back into the club and give us the nine planets that we deserve.

But we've learned a lot so far. For instance, now we know how big the dang thing is.

This morning, NASA announced that Pluto is 2,370km (about 1,473 miles) in diameter, give or take 20m. That makes it ever so slightly bigger than Eris, a much darker and denser object that lives farther out in the Kuiper Belt. (Eris measures 2,336km in diameter.) Measurements of Pluto's size before today were estimates at best, their accuracy skewed by the dwarf planet's hazy atmosphere.



We've also learned that Pluto has a pretty big ice cap, filled with lots of nitrogen and frozen methane. (I could've told you the place was cold nine years ago.)

Since this mission happened billions of miles away and it takes four hours for the radio waves New Horizon sends us to be uploaded, we shouldn't expect to see any pictures filled with happy, waving aliens until tonight.

Also, by the way, the download speed on that information is 1 Kb/s. Dialup hell.



Here's a video explaining the delicacy and scale of this Pluto flyby:



As we got closer to the dwarf planet, however, all anyone could see was the image of Mickey Mouse's dog, carefully hidden within the terrain.