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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

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WRITER FUEL: All About Uranus

Uranus - Deposit Photos

Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope. It is an odd world that tilts over on one side, with thin rings and dozens of moons. In 2022, Uranus was selected by planetary scientists as a top target in the solar system for exploration, and NASA … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Want to Really Cool Off This Summer? Here Are the Coldest Places in the Solar System

solar system - pixabay

Space is very, very cold. The baseline temperature of outer space is 2.7 kelvins — minus 454.81 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 270.45 degrees Celsius — meaning it is barely above absolute zero, the point at which molecular motion stops. But this temperature is not constant throughout the solar system. So-called “empty” space — though it … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: All About the Sun

Sun - Pixabay

The sun is a yellow dwarf star in the center of the solar system, and it is the largest, brightest and most massive object in the system. The sun formed around 4.5 billion years ago. At that time, the area of the Milky Way galaxy that would become the solar system consisted of a dense … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: How Many Planets Could We Pack Into the Solar System?

solar system - pixabay

The solar system contains eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, all of which circle the sun due to its intense gravitational pull. But is this the maximum number of planets that can orbit the sun? Or is there room for more? Compared with other known planetary systems, the solar system … Read more