In Rendezvous with Rama (by Arthur C. Clarke), a mysterious object is discovered passing through the Solar System. The object has a strange shape — it’s a giant cylinder. It was discovered by the Spaceguard survey, designed to find objects that might impact Earth (so-called near-Earth objects). Spoiler alert: the cylinder is a spaceship sent … More A cigar from another star
The asteroids may be cosmic refugees, ejected from their homes to wander the Solar System, eventually settling in the asteroid belt. … More The asteroid belt: a cosmic refugee camp?
Imagine a dry Earth. No waterfalls. No oceans. No beer (or people to drink it). A sad place. Water is pretty important stuff. In this post we will go deep into how Earth got its water (much deeper than in this post from a while back). And since it’s connected with how Earth formed, our … More Where did Earth’s (and the asteroid belt’s) water come from?
Systems of super-Earths may form as long resonant chains, most of which go unstable. … More Super-Earths: breaking the (resonant) chains!
Wake up now people, I’ve got some big news! You won’t want to miss this. You don’t want to snooze. We just found some planets while we were stargazing Gather ’round, listen up. These ones are amazing! And it’s not just one new planet. There are seven! All orbiting one star up there in the … More Ode to 7 orbs
At a Solar System party, in a room full of planets, the asteroid belt is full of angst. And it should be. It’s out of place. It’s wearing a clown outfit but it’s not a costume party. What makes the asteroid belt so different? Well, for one, it’s not just one object like each individual … More The chaotic teenage Solar System
This planet and star, now, you really should know ‘em.
And that’s why I’m bothering writing this poem. … More Is our closest neighbor an Eyeball planet? A Proxima poem
This post could also be titled: How blogging and social media help make science happen. Here is the story. Planet Nine was conjectured in late January 2016. In February 2016 I started to think about where Planet Nine may have come from. This led to 3 blog posts, each exploring a different origins story for … More Planet Nine from Outer Space!
It is hard to know where things come from. If I drink a Belgian-style beer brewed in Colorado using hops from Washington state and I live in France, where did the beer actually come from? And what does that mean anyway? The cosmic situation is just as confusing. We know where the planets are right … More Did the Solar System form inside-out?
We are discussing the origins of Planet Nine. In part 1 we explored whether it could have been produced during an orbital instability in the early Solar System. In part 2 we showed that Planet Nine could have been captured from another star. Here we will explore another plausible idea that is a little less … More Planet Nine: Solar System renegade?