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Interesting facts about space.
In a mysterious region beyond the orbit of the beautiful, banded, blue ice-giant planet Neptune--the most distant of the eight major planets from our Sun--there is a dark and frigid domain called the Kuiper Belt. Within this remote region, where our Sun shines with only a weak fire, and appears to be merely a particularly large star suspended in the black sky, a multitude of strange, icy worldlets tumble around our Star. Pluto, a large icy denizen inhabiting the Kuiper Belt, was originally classified as the ninth major planet from our Sun after its discovery in 1930. However, with the realization that this frozen "oddball" is really only one of several large, icy inhabitants of the Kuiper Belt, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) found it necessary to formally define "planet" in 2006--and poor Pluto was unceremoniously ousted from the pantheon of major planets. Pluto, now freshly reclassified as a dwarf planet, nonetheless remains a small world of great interest, debate, and affection. Scientists will soon learn much more about this beloved, distant, ice-ball so far away, when, after a treacherous nine-year journey of three million miles through interplanetary space, NASA's hearty New Horizons spacecraft arrives at Pluto on July 14, 2015.
and here is another
The truth is that Pluto's large moon Charon is a freak. Pluto and Charon do not behave like a "normal" planet-and-moon duo. In fact, the system is unique in our Solar System because the two small, icy worlds face each other and spin together around a fixed point. For this reason, many planetary scientists have suggested that Pluto and Charon actually form a binary system--rather than that of a moon and planet pair. The new research shows that the chaotic movements of Pluto's smaller moons are caused by this weird Pluto-Charon relationship.
Kepler-22b sports an orbital period of approximately 200 days. Its inclination is about 90 degrees, and it transits in front of the face of its star as observed by Earth-based astronomers. The shape of Kepler-22b's orbit is unknown, but it is known that its average orbital distance is well within its parent star's habitable zone. Many extrasolar planets are known to sport highly elliptical (football-shaped) orbits, and if Kepler-22b also travels along such a path around its star, it would only spend a tiny fraction of its time within this Goldilocks zone. This would cause the planet to undergo such extreme variations in temperature that it would not be a pleasant place for delicate living things to evolve and flourish. Kepler-22b is approximately 2.4 times the radius of Earth.
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Our Moon is Earth's only permanent natural satellite. It is also the largest moon in our Solar System relative to the size of its host planet. Second only to Jupiter's volcanic Galilean moon, Io, our Moon is the densiest natural satellite among those whose densities have been determined.
Planetary scientists usually calculate the Moon's age by using the radioactive decay of elements like uranium, explained Dr. John Chambers in the April 2, 2014 National Geographic News. Dr. Chambers is a planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. By studying an element with a recognized decay rate, and knowing its concentration in Moon rocks or the Earth's surface, scientists are able to calculate back in time to when the material first formed. However, there are numerous and varying radioactive materials that can provide differing timelines, added Dr. Chambers, who was not involved in the study.
This later-forming time line for lunar birth is reasonable, Dr. William Hartmann noted in the April 2, 2014 National Geographic News. Dr. Hartmann, a researcher at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, was one of the first to propose the giant impact theory of lunar formation. However, he added that the new study might depend too much on the idea of using the last giant impact as a marker for when such events occurred in the history of our planet.