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The Difference Between Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets

Ceres was discovered in 1801 as the first asteroid. Pluto was discovered in 1930 as the ninth planet in the Solar System. But recently, it was reclassified as a “dwarf planet”. Let’s take a look at how the classification works for asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets: Asteroid – a mostly rocky object that is smaller […]

Objects in Space Beyond Neptune

Objects in Space Beyond Neptune

Pluto was once categorized as a planet, because we didn’t have a clear definition of what a planet is and because the objects we called planets were basically all the large objects we found orbiting the Sun. But then things changed. Around the year 2000, a team of astronomers headed by Mike Brown began discovering […]

Star Becomes Diamond Planet

A planet made of diamond – [manchester.ac.uk] A once-massive star that’s been transformed into a small planet made of diamond: that is what University of Manchester astronomers think they’ve found in the Milky Way. The discovery has been made by an international research team, led by Professor Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in […]

Kepler-11 Planets

The Kepler space telescope has discovered a planetary system that is fascinating astronomers. Tourist’s Guide to the New Alien Planet System Kepler-11 – [space.com] The new discovery of six alien planets orbiting a sunlike star may be only a small part of the data released today (Feb. 2) from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission, but it […]

1995 – 51 Peg

In the 1980s, searching for a planet orbiting another star seemed like an absurd effort to many astronomers. Then Geoffrey Marcy and Paul Butler developed a methodology for finding extrasolar planets. A planet orbiting a star causes a very small “wobble” in the rotation of the star. This wobble can be detected by measuring the […]