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A Probe’s Journey to the Sun

  After a successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket, its passenger, NASA’s Parker Probe, is now on its way to rendezvous with the sun. Onlookers cheerfully watched as lift off occurred at 3:31am EDT from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft, which is roughly the size of…

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Interstellar Dust From Our Solar System’s Birth

    Interstellar Dust From Our Solar System’s Birth By Judith E Braffman-Miller Our Sun formed from the jumbled leftovers of the nuclear-fusing furnaces of earlier generations of stars–and like other stars, it was born within a dense, frigid blob cradled within one of the giant, dark, interstellar molecular clouds that float through our Milky Way Galaxy in huge numbers….

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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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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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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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