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Milky Way’s Mystery Objects Look Like Gas Clouds, But Behave Like Stars

    Milky Way’s Mystery Objects Look Like Gas Clouds, But Behave Like Stars By Judith E Braffman-Miller It has been said, with a great deal of truth, that the longer we know someone the weirder that person gets. The Universe is like that; keeping its weird secrets to itself, only revealing them reluctantly to those curious observers who find…

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When Dead Stars Collide

    When Dead Stars Collide By Judith E Braffman-Miller Before the first stars were born, the Universe was an expanse of featureless darkness–devoid of light and life. The first generation of stars to shatter this swath of blackness, with their fierce stellar fires, were not like the stars we see today, because they were not born the same way….

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Distant Stars, Diamond Dust, And A Mysterious Microwave Light

    Distant Stars, Diamond Dust, And A Mysterious Microwave Light By Judith E Braffman-Miller Sparkling newborn sun-like stars are born surrounded by a swirling, whirling disk of gas and dust that astronomers call protoplanetary accretion disks, and these encircling disks contain the precious ingredients from which the baby star’s family of planets and other objects ultimately emerge. Indeed, a…

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Spacetime Ripples Herald A Black Hole’s Birth

    Spacetime Ripples Herald A Black Hole’s Birth By Judith E Braffman-Miller Imagine ripples propagating through a small pond in mid-summer, spreading through the glistening sunlit water from where a little boy has just tossed a pebble into the pond. The gravitational ripples that propagate through the fabric of Spacetime are similar to those ripples spreading through the Sun-warmed…

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Pluto: The Magnificent And Gigantic Comet

    Pluto: The Magnificent And Gigantic Comet By Judith E Braffman-Miller Ephemeral and fragile, comets that come streaking inward towards the melting heat and light of our Star are the wandering refugees from a distant twilight region of ice. There, in our Solar System’s deep freeze, myriad comet nuclei dance around our Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune–the outermost…

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Snowball Planets

    Snowball Planets By Judith E Braffman-Miller Today, Earth is located comfortably within the inner edge of our Star’s habitable zone, where conditions are favorable for the emergence and evolution of life as we know it. However, this has not always been the case. Indeed, some astronomers propose that in the early days of our Solar System, our planet…

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Europa: Everything Old Is New Again

    Europa: Everything Old Is New Again By Judith E Braffman-Miller In the cold twilight of our Solar System’s outer limits, the banded behemoth Jupiter reigns supreme. Jupiter is by far the largest of our Sun’s planetary offspring–and it is an enormous world that may well have become a binary stellar companion to our Sun, making life on Earth…

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An Asteroid “Weirdo” In The Kuiper Belt

    An Asteroid “Weirdo” In The Kuiper Belt By Judith E Braffman-Miller Asteroids and their comet-cousins are the relics of a bygone era when our Sun and its familiar family of objects were still in the process of forming. During this very ancient time, our Solar System was a “cosmic shooting gallery”, where relatively small and primitive primordial bodies–called…

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