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Space

How to view the upcoming Mercury transit

On Monday the 9th of May, the planet Mercury will make a rare transit of our Sun. The event is a precious opportunity to observe firsthand the ordinarily hidden celestial mechanics that govern our solar system. A tortured ball of rock less than half the size of Earth, Mercury represents the innermost planet in our Solar System, orbiting a mere 36 million miles from our Sun.Read More

Space

The cosmos created from cinnamon, spice and ... cat hair?

For most of us, spilling some sugar or cinnamon on the glass of our scanner would be an accident. For photographer Navid Barraty, it's art. Barraty uses ordinary food, kitchen staples and other odd bits and pieces along with his Epson scanner to create enchanting cosmic worlds. Pancakes become planets, potatoes become asteroids and cat fur – yes cat fur – helps create a striking nebula. Have a look at this new series and see if you can guess what the images are comprised of – before you read the captions. Read More

Space

Cassini orbit not influenced by phantom planet

NASA has released a statement casting doubt on a theory put forward by French astronomers that analyzed anomalies in the trajectory of the Cassini spacecraft in order to determine the general location of the unconfirmed solar system body "Planet Nine."Read More

Space

Is this what Planet 9 looks like?

In January, Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin claimed to have found evidence of a ninth planet in the outer Solar System. But if it's there, what is it like and why hasn't it been spotted yet? A possible answer comes from a pair of astrophysicists at the University of Bern, who used models developed for studying exoplanets to determine the structure of the hypothetical Planet 9.Read More

Space

The Solar System may really have nine planets

There's good news for those who were annoyed when Pluto was knocked off the list of planets. According to a pair of scientists at Caltech, there may actually be nine planets in the Solar System after all. Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown say that a planet ten times the mass of Earth may be circling the Sun in a highly elliptical orbit 20 times the distance of Neptune or 36 billion mi (60 billion km), with a year of 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years.Read More

Space

Unexplained ripples streaking away from neighboring star could hold clues to planet formation

Astronomers have been left puzzled after images from the ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile revealed mysterious wave-shaped structures around a nearby star, the likes of which have never been seen before. The features were observed in the disc of dust surrounding the young star AU Microscopii (AU Mic), and could lead to a new understanding of how planets form inside such discs. Read More

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