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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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A Bevy Of Black Holes In Our Galaxy’s Secretive Heart

    A Bevy Of Black Holes In Our Galaxy’s Secretive Heart By Judith E Braffman-Miller Our Milky Way Galaxy has a secretive heart of darkness, enshrouded in mystery, and well-hidden from our sight. Within this strange region, there resides a powerful gravitational beast–a supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A–or Sgr A (pronounced saj-a-star) for short, that weighs millions of…

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Picturing An Evil Star In The Wreckage Of Its Stellar Companion

    Picturing An Evil Star In The Wreckage Of Its Stellar Companion By Judith E Braffman-Miller Supernovae are the most powerful of all known stellar explosions, and they can be detected all the way to the very edge of the visible Universe. Indeed, for one brief shining moment, the fireworks display performed by these exploding stars can out-dazzle their…

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The Mystery Of The Missing Magnetic Monopoles

    The Mystery Of The Missing Magnetic Monopoles By Judith E Braffman-Miller The night sky above Earth blazes with the distant fierce fires of countless stars, and when we stare up at this magnificent spectacle of stellar fireworks, we cannot help but wonder how this show came to be. What scientists know now, or at least what they think…

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Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Hidden Siblings

    Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Hidden Siblings By Judith E Braffman-Miller Strange, sinister, and hungry, supermassive black holes lurk in the secretive hearts of perhaps every large galaxy in the visible Universe. Our own Milky Way Galaxy’s resident dark heart is named Sagittarius A (pronounced Sagittarius-a-star), or Sgr A, for short. It is a peaceful, elderly gravitational…

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