Dark star

Aug. 13th, 2011 05:21 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
New exoplanet is the darkest ever discovered, reflecting only about 1% of its star's light (compared to 52% for Jupiter and 37% for Earth).

I wish to go live on this planet now. All I'll need is a lot of candles and a CD of Messiaen's organ works.

Aphelion

Jun. 7th, 2010 08:43 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
A new comet, discovered at the end of last year, may become visible to the naked eye in late June and early July.

The point at which any orbiting body is furthest from the Sun is its aphelion. Comets, with their hugely eccentric orbits, may pass far beyond the outer planets to spend their aphelion in the vast interstellar darkness beyond the Kuiper Belt. During this time they travel slowly; when they pass near planets, the gravitational pull will affect their speed; when they approach the Sun, they positively slingshot around it, tails streaming in the solar wind, picking up momentum for their long journey back into the outer dark.

(Earth itself will reach aphelion this year on 6 July. It seems strange that we'll be furthest from the Sun in the middle of summer, but that's where axial tilt will get you.)

If I haven't seen you in a while, blame celestial mechanics. It's very restful out here in the Oort Cloud.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Today's interesting-thing-stolen-from-MetaFilter:
The Rings of the Earth: What we'd see if the Earth had rings like Saturn. [YouTube]

Somewhere in a parallel universe, someone is making a video of all the stars they'd be able to see if their planet didn't have rings.
pallas_athena: (Default)
I finished the bias binding on my current corset! Whew. Eyelets tomorrow. planets today )
pallas_athena: (Default)
I think it's rather cool that we seem to have twelve planets now. What do you think? Are you homesick already for the classical nine?

The first group to use the word "pluton" in a song gets a prize. I bet it's They Might Be Giants.

Also, what O what will the astrologers do? "Er-- we knew that already, yeah, honest-- move along, nothing to see here" or "Ceres enters retrograde on the 24th, so expect thousands of fluffy bunnies to appear from nowhere. Or something."

Now, if only we can convince them to let UB313 keep the name "Xena"...

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