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Alien Object ‘Oumuama Was a Natural Body Visiting From Another Solar System – Queen’s University Scientists

Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua (circled) as seen by the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma. Background stars and galaxies appear as streaks due to the telescope following ‘Oumuamua as it moved across the sky.

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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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Tiny, Tiny Failed Star: How We Wonder What You Are

    Tiny, Tiny Failed Star: How We Wonder What You Are By Judith E Braffman-Miller Bewitching, bewildering brown dwarfs are genuine “oddballs”–and their existence in the Universe presents astronomers with an intriguing mystery to solve. This is because these stellar “failures” challenge the neat distinction between true stars and giant planets. Brown dwarfs are substellar objects that occupy a…

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A Dynamic Duo Of Alien “Oddballs” May Solve The Puffy Planet Puzzle

    A Dynamic Duo Of Alien “Oddballs” May Solve The Puffy Planet Puzzle By Judith E Braffman-Miller Hot Jupiters are wacky Wonder Worlds that cling closely to their parent-stars in incredibly speedy, roasting orbits. These bewitching behemoths are gas giant exoplanets with orbital periods that are less than 10 days long, and their extremely hot orbits around their roiling,…

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Our Future Sun

Our Future Sun By Judith E Braffman-Miller Our Sun was born about 4.56 billion years ago from the jumbled fragments, left as lingering relics, of earlier generations of stars that perished long ago–their nuclear-fusing fires extinguished after consuming their necessary supply of fuel. Stars of all sizes fuse increasingly heavier and heavier atomic elements out of lighter ones, and when…

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A Strange Wanderer From The Space Between Stars

A Strange Wanderer From The Space Between Stars By Judith E Braffman-Miller Interstellar comets and asteroids are alien wanderers that sometimes enter our Solar System after they have been ejected from the families of distant stars beyond our Sun. These orphaned objects are not bound to a parent-star, and they travel through the wilderness of the space between stars, lost…

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The Bizarre Case Of A Main Belt Comet

The Bizarre Case Of A Main Belt Comet By Judith E Braffman-Miller Some of the smaller denizens of our Solar System are playful little objects that refuse to be neatly categorized as one thing or another. Like small children with a wicked, teasing grin, some asteroids and comets seem to take a perverse pleasure in their obstinate game of hide…

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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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The Ancient Trappist-1 System

We live in a cosmic Wonderland filled with weird worlds that perform a fantastic celestial ballet within the distant systems of stars beyond our own Sun. Some of these strange worlds are exotic, unlike anything previously imagined, not even in the wildest dreams of astronomers–while others are eerily familiar–bizarre because they are so similar to the planets of our own Solar System.

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