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Writer Fuel: Why Aren’t All Orbits Circular?

orbits - deposit photos

Many maps of the solar system make it look as though everything in space moves in perfect, concentric circles. Planets orbit the sun, and moons orbit the planets. So that must be the case for everything in space, right? Not quite. Orbits form all sorts of shapes. “Planets and other bodies rarely go around in … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Scientists Narrow In On Location of Possible “Planet Nine”

Planet Nine - deposit photos

Scientists have narrowed down the likely hiding place of the elusive “Planet Nine,” after ruling out more than three-quarters of the hypothetical world’s suspected orbital pathway. In a new study, the researchers — who have been looking for the planet for almost a decade — said they believe they could find the elusive world in … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Will We Ever Lose the Moon?

the moon in red over a sea of clouds at night - deposit photos

The moon’s orbit around Earth appears so regular that civilizations have based the month on lunar motion for thousands of years. However, the moon is actually creeping slowly away from Earth. So will Earth lose its moon at some point? Scientists determined the rate at which the moon is drifting away from Earth with help … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Could There Be an Alien Mothership Lurking in Our Neighborhood?

Mothership - deposit photos

Could an alien mothership be hovering around the solar system, sending out tiny probes to explore planets? According to a Harvard scientist and a Pentagon official, it’s possible. In a draft paper, the pair said it is feasible an extraterrestrial spaceship could be in our galactic neighborhood, exploring the region by the means of “dandelion … Read more

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Writer Fuel” How We Might Find Planet Nine (If It Exists)

Planet Nine - deposit photos

The elusive “Planet Nine,” which may or may not lurk in the outer reaches of the solar system, could be surrounded by a small swarm of potential moons, a new study reveals. What’s more, these moons could be the key to finding the missing planet. Planet Nine, if it exists, lurks beyond the orbit of … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Astronomers Discover “Impossible” Ring Around a Dwarf Planet

Quaoar

Astronomers have discovered an entirely new ring system within the solar system, and it’s located at such a great distance from its dwarf planet parent that it should be impossible. The ring surrounds Quaoar, which is around half the size of Pluto and located beyond Neptune. It is only the third ring to be found … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Does a Reversal of the Sun’s Magnetic Field Cause Solar Wind?

solar wind - pixabay

Scientists have captured the first direct evidence of the sun’s magnetic field quickly switching directions, which could help explain the mysterious force that flings particles across our solar system. The researchers observed the phenomenon using the Solar Orbiter probe, which was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and is jointly run with NASA. The … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Could Earth Ever Depart the Solar System?

sun earth - pixabay

In Liu Cixin’s short story “The Wandering Earth (opens in new tab)” (first published in Chinese magazine Science Fiction World in July 2000), Cixin portrays a scenario in which the planet’s leaders agree to propel Earth out of the solar system to escape an imminent solar flare that is expected to decimate all of the … Read more

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Writer Fuel: All About Mercury

Mercury - Pixabay

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest planet in our solar system. With a diameter of about 3,032 miles (4,880 kilometers), the planet is less than half the size of Earth, which is about 7,926 miles (12,756 km) in diameter. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: All About Venus

Venus - Pixabay

Venus is a hot and hellish world and the second planet from the sun. The Earth-size planet could be considered our twin if not for its thick, toxic atmosphere and surface temperatures that are hot enough to melt lead. Despite such extremes, researchers have long wondered if organisms could exist in the upper cloud layers … Read more