Why there are (and should be) eight planets in the Solar System

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to … Read moreWhy there are (and should be) eight planets in the Solar System

Where do Rogue Planets come from?

“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” –Edward Burtynsky It’s really a romantic notion when you think about it: the heavens, the … Read moreWhere do Rogue Planets come from?

The Universe is Alive

“Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery When you look out into the Universe, what is it that you typically think of? Do you think of reliable, fixed stars and constellations? The … Read moreThe Universe is Alive

How Many Planets Are In The Universe?

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” –Ray Bradbury It wasn’t all that long ago — back when I was a boy — that the only planets we knew of were the ones in … Read moreHow Many Planets Are In The Universe?

There's Water on Mercury, and EVERY World Like it!

“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” –Edwin Louis Cole Our Solar System is — at least from our perspective — the most well-studied system of planets, moons, asteroids and comets in the entire Universe. And in this system, the closest planet to our Sun, Mercury, was also one … Read moreThere's Water on Mercury, and EVERY World Like it!

Whose world is it, anyway?

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” –Mark Twain So, you’ve been around a while, seen all sorts of things, and learned an awful lot about the world, solar system and Universe that we live in. But how well do you know it, … Read moreWhose world is it, anyway?

Centripetal vs. Centrifugal force, & the Solar System

One of the worst teaching tools physicists use (and they almost all do it) is to tell students, There’s no such thing as centrifugal force. What can you do when the top physics education website says, “It is important to note that the centrifugal force does not actually exist. We feel it, because we are … Read moreCentripetal vs. Centrifugal force, & the Solar System