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
Mars is a weirdo. (Well, as far as planets go). Why is it so small (just 11% as massive as Earth)? … More Mars’ growth stunted!
I once ordered a beer then straight away spilled it all over the bar. There was just a tiny sip left in the glass. Frowny face.
Remember ‘Oumuamua, the weird-shaped rock flying through the Solar System? Just like my sip of beer, it might only be a small piece of what it once was. … More ‘Oumuamua: a shred of its former self
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!
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 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!