planet

hula hoop planet Saturn space - 6179965184
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Kids, don't hula hoop, or else giant gaseous planets will descend into our atmosphere and kill everyone. This has been your PSA for the day.

water science space planet - 7782395648
By Unknown
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A Japanese research team of astronomers and planetary scientists has focused their efforts on investigating the atmospheric features of one super-Earth, GJ 1214 b, which is located 40 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, northwest of the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
Death Mars science planet - 8265360640
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There once were two planets, new to the galaxy and inexperienced in life. Like fraternal twins, they were born at the same time, about four and a half billion years ago, and took roughly the same shape. Both were blistered with volcanoes and etched with watercourses; both circled the same yellow dwarf star—close enough to be warmed by it, but not so close as to be blasted to a cinder. Had an alien astronomer swivelled his telescope toward them in those days, he might have found them equally promising—nurseries in the making. They were large enough to hold their gases close, swaddling themselves in atmosphere; small enough to stay solid, never swelling into gaseous giants. They were "Goldilocks planets," our own astronomers would say: just right for life.
wobbly seasons science space planet - 8040322304
By Unknown
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Astronomers have discovered an alien planet that wobbles at such a dizzying rate that its seasons must fluctuate wildly.

Throughout all of the planet's fast-changing seasons, however, no forecast would be friendly to humans. The warm planet is a gassy super-Neptune that orbits too close to its two parent stars to be in its system's "habitable zone," the region where temperatures would allow liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it, to exist.
doctor who gallifrey science planet HD106906 g rated School of FAIL - 7946897664
By Unknown
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Want to make sure Doctor Who Is truly immortalized amongst the stars? Sign this petition!

However, unfortunately for us Doctor Who fans, the likelihood that a civilization of time lords lives there is slim-to-none. The newly discovered HD 106906 B is 11 times larger than Jupiter, and sits farther out from it's parent start than any planet we have yet to observe. Somewhere around 650 Astronomical Units (the average distance from the Earth to the Sun.)
Still there's always hope.

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.

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.

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This video explains the difference between a planet, like Earth, and a dwarf planet, like Pluto.