Some people like to call Jupiter and Saturn the “architects” of the Solar system, as though they had a clear plan for how our system should turn out. Not us. We think of the gas giants as bullies that pushed Earth around and made a lot of decisions for us. … More Behold Jupiter and Saturn, the bullies of our Solar System
Ceres is Queen of the belt. She’s the best-a.
Her husband is Pallas. Court jester is Vesta.
She makes up a third of the belt on her own
She’s cratered and icy and sits on her throne. … More Asteroids — the poem
Have you ever been lost in the desert?
Stumbling along the sand dunes, the Sun beating down on you, your mouth sticky and dry. All you can think about is water… … More Second chance planets 3: cosmic rain on dried-out worlds
To start things off, a limerick: My dear old friend ‘Oumuamua I asked her — What’s up? What is new-ah? “I’ve been thinking of That guy Borisov The interstellar number Two-ah!” Figuring out what’s up with a new population of astronomical objects is like going to a party without knowing the dress code. Here’s what’s … More How Borisov found Borisov (the second interstellar object)
Imagine this. You’re drinking your morning coffee. A small blob zooms at top speed through the kitchen, into the hall and out an open window. You only catch a quick fuzzy glimpse before it’s gone. What was that thing? What’s your first guess? A neighborhood cat? A squirrel? Maybe something more exotic like a raccoon … More ‘Oumuamua: was it aliens? (spoiler: no)
A space mission to intercept an Oort cloud comet — or, if we’re lucky, an interstellar object like ‘Oumuamua. … More Comet Interceptor!
Where would we be without the occasional asteroid crashing into the Earth? … More How planets die: pulverized in a deluge of asteroids and comets!
Planets orbit stars. Moons orbit planets. But no moons have their own moons (let’s call them submoons). Why is that? … More Can moons have moons?
Short answer: Well sort of, but it’s more useful to think of it as being built from the same stuff as comets. Like an Uncle of the comets. Read on for an explanation. Earlier this week my wife mentioned a headline she saw. “Pluto is a giant comet? Whoa!” It was all over the place: … More Is Pluto a mega-comet?
One fine week in May, well, I needed some peace
I packed up my bags and I headed to Nice… … More The MOJO videos