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Earth’s Moist And Mysterious Moon

    Earth’s Moist And Mysterious Moon By Judith E Braffman-Miller Earth’s Moon is our planet’s closest neighbor in space, but it is remarkable how even neighbors can keep secrets from each other. For years, astronomers thought that Earth’s Moon was barren of water and other volatile compounds, but this notion began to change in 2008, when a team of…

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Mysterious Moon-Birth Within A Primordial Cloud

    Mysterious Moon-Birth Within A Primordial Cloud By Judith E Braffman-Miller Bewitching, beguiling, and bewildering, Earth’s Moon gleams like a light-reflecting mirror as it glistens high above us–the largest object in our sky on clear dark nights. Even though our Moon is Earth’s closest companion in space–and the only world beyond Earth that we have walked upon–it still has…

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The Rover “Opportunity” Reaches Its 5,000th Martian Dawn

    The Rover “Opportunity” Reaches Its 5,000th Martian Dawn By Judith E Braffman-Miller No other major planet in our Solar System has captured the collective imagination of our species more than the Red Planet Mars. This is because it has traditionally been considered the most likely abode of life beyond our Earth–where “little green men” frolic on a rust-red…

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The Moon Is Distancing Itself From Earth

    The Moon Is Distancing Itself From Earth By Judith E Braffman-Miller Long ago, when our Solar System was still forming, our lovely lunar companion was much closer to Earth than it is now. Today, Earth’s Moon is the largest object suspended in our sky after sunset, and for eons it has captivated humans with its reflected silver-golden glow…

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Asteroid 2002 AJ129 to Fly Safely Past Earth Super Bowl Sunday

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will make a close approach to Earth on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. PST. At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. 2002 AJ129 is an intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid, somewhere between 0.3 miles and 0.75 miles across. It was…

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Mercury Helps Reveal Our Middle-Aged Sun’s Secrets

    Mercury Helps Reveal Our Middle-Aged Sun’s Secrets By Judith E Braffman-Miller About 4.56 billion years ago, our Solar System was born from the relic, shredded fragments left behind by the long-dead, nuclear-fusing furnaces of previous generations of ancient stars. Today, our Sun is a lonely sphere of roiling, glaring, mostly hydrogen gas, but it probably was not always…

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Hot Jupiter Planets: Any Way The Wind Blows

    Hot Jupiter Planets: Any Way The Wind Blows By Judith E Braffman-Miller A generation ago, planet-hunting astronomers discovered the first exoplanets in orbit around distant stars beyond our own Sun–and these new discoveries have since provided a treasure chest filled with remarkable brave new worlds for scientists to ponder. Some of these remote planets show an almost eerie…

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How Our Solar System Formed: The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind

    How Our Solar System Formed: The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind By Judith E Braffman-Miller Our solitary Sun blasts our daytime sky with its shimmering fires, sending both welcoming warmth and light to Earth. Our Sun, and its familiar family of planets, moons, and smaller objects, emerged about 4.56 billion years ago from jumbled relics left over…

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