Category Archives: Astronomy

Proxima Centauri b May Have Oceans

Proxima Centauri b, the Earth-like planet orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri may have oceans, scientists say. The planet was discovered in August 2016 and caused excitement because it’s in the habitable zone of its star, and it’s rocky. And it’s in the Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to us!
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Scale of the Solar System (and the first flybys of planets)

Previously I posted two articles titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System“, and “A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning“. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, these articles provide an amazing way to understand how big actually our Solar System is.

Now, I decided to put the Solar System into scale as an infographic. You can see a scaled Solar System below, the planets’ distances from the Sun, and the first flybys over them. Plus some statistics about the planets and our home planet, the Earth.
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Proxima Centauri b: Did We Find Earth’s Cousin?

On august 24, 2016, a group of scientists led by Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escude at the Queen Mary University of London, announced the discovery of a terrestrial exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the nearest known star to the Sun. Proxima Centauri is a Latin idiom, meaning “nearest (star) of Centaurus(1)“. The new planet is named Proxima Centauri b and it is predicted to be orbiting within the habitable zone!
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Where Earth’s water came from?

Earth is a blue marble in the space: the water, gives our planet its blue color: about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered. There is roughly 326 million cubic miles (1.332 billion cubic kilometers) water on the Earth’s surface. Almost 97% of that water is salty (ocean water). But where all that water came from?
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Planet with Three Suns

On March 17, 1941, John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, asked Isaac Asimov that: “What, if people see the stars once in a thousand of years?” Campbell has had read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 essay “Nature” and Emerson was saying in the first chapter that “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!”
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A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning

We evolved here on Earth, and for thousands of years, we just thought the Earth is also the universe, or at least the most important and the biggest part of it. Our brains, our minds, has been adapted the life on Earth and the basic survival needs. So we can deal with the moderately sized objects which have moderate velocity, we can understand the small numbers like 1, 2, 50, we can conceptualize the small distances like two kilometers or the distance from our “cave” to the nearest river. But when the numbers and distances get bigger, I mean much bigger, like the distance from Earth to the Sun, it becomes incredibly difficult to conceptualize.
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Planet Nine – Where is it?

In January 2015, Caltech (California Institute of Technology) astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown published an article titled Evidence For A Distant Giant Planet In The Solar System, and announced calculation-based evidence of a massive ninth planet. Despite they have had started their research to demonstrate that there’s no ninth planet, they reached the exact opposite result: there must be a ninth planet beyond Pluto, and it’s probably 10 times the mass of Earth (for comparison, Neptune has 17 times as much mass compared to the Earth).
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Pale Blue Dot vol. 2 – The Tiny Earth

We are living on a tiny life-bearing rock, an oasis, in a large, very large and hostile desert called “Universe”. The universe is big, really big, in fact even our solar system is shockingly large compared to Earth. But again, our brains have problems dealing with the big numbers and the large objects.

Jacqui Frank of Business Insider has prepared video comparing our planet with large objects (and distances) in the Universe. These amazing to-scale visuals will help to recognize how small (and fragile) our planet is.
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