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Distant Icy Worlds: The Dancers And Their Dance

    Distant Icy Worlds: The Dancers And Their Dance By Judith E Braffman-Miller Performing their mysterious, mesmerizing dance in the alien gloom of a perpetually frigid twilight, trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) keep themselves well-hidden from the prying eyes of curious astronomers who seek to find them in our Solar System’s most secretive and remote corners. The first TNO to be…

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Triton: The Mystery Moon That May Be Neptune’s Ruthless Guest

    Triton: The Mystery Moon That May Be Neptune’s Ruthless Guest By Judith E Braffman-Miller Banded, beautiful, and a bewitching sapphire blue, the ice-giant planet Neptune is the most distant major planet from our Star–and it is also circled by a bizarre large moon that may not have been born a moon at all. Neptune’s moon, Triton, may really…

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In Our Solar System’s Dark Deep Freeze, Poor Pluto Is Much Too Cold

    In Our Solar System’s Dark Deep Freeze, Poor Pluto Is Much Too Cold By Judith E Braffman-Miller In the dark, distant, and mysterious outer fringe of our Solar System, the dwarf planet Pluto dwells with a multitude of others of its frozen kind–circling our Star in a domain of everlasting twilight. Astronomers are only now first beginning to…

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Ring Around Haumea: Pluto’s Peculiar Neighbor

Ring Around Haumea: Pluto’s Peculiar Neighbor By Judith E Braffman-Miller Far from our fiery Star, and well-hidden from our view in a distant region of perpetual twilight, there lies a belt composed of icy, frozen objects. Located beyond the orbit of the deep-blue, banded, ice-giant planet, Neptune–the most distant known major planet from our Sun–this myriad of strange objects, composed…

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Wandering Stars And Cosmic Disasters

Wandering Stars And Cosmic Disasters By Judith E Braffman-Miller Comets are delicate and transient visitors from our Solar System’s frigid, dark twilight regions beyond the orbit of the outermost major planet, Neptune. These dazzling objects come screaming into the warm and well-lit inner Solar System, close to the brilliant fires and melting heat of our Sun, with their sparkling thrashing…

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A Moon For A Small World

In our Solar System’s outer limits, far from the melting heat and warm, welcoming fires of our Sun, there is a mysterious swath of space situated in the frigid murkiness of a perpetual twilight. This is the Kuiper Belt, a remote region where a multitude of icy comet nuclei and other frozen objects orbit our distant Star. Here, in the deep freeze of our Solar System’s far suburbs, the ice dwarf planet Pluto and its quintet of moons do their strange distant dance along with a treasure trove of others of their frozen kind. Indeed, the Kuiper Belt is so far away that astronomers are only now first beginning to explore this shadowy region–unveiling, at last, many of its well-kept secrets. In May 2017, astronomers announced that they had uncovered yet another of this dimly lit domain’s many mysteries–there is a little frozen moon in orbit around 2007 OR10, which is the third-largest known dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt..

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