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Saturn is the second biggest planet in the…

Saturn is the second biggest planet in the Solar System and it is 95 times heavier than Earth. The volume of Saturn is 744 times that of Earth.

What were the Voyager Missions?

What were the Voyager Missions?
Imagine a journey that takes you a billion kilometres away from earth, to the edge of the solar system, from where you can look back over your shoulder and see our sun as just another star in the sky.We are not talking about a science fiction movie but the Voyager space mission. On August 20, 1977, the Voyager 2...

Dealing With the Potential Danger of a Meteor Hitting Earth

Deep crater seen from helicopter. Myvatn area in Iceland
Our solar system is like a busy traffic round-about. The sun is at the centre of this round-about which drives a large number of heavenly bodies, including planets, comets and large and small rocks around it.While the earth and the other planets chart fairly fixed paths around the sun, our smaller solar siblings, like rocks, do not believe in...

What does a Train Whistle tell us about the Universe?

What does a Train Whistle tell us about the Universe?
I remember my first visit to the railway station as a child of five. The excitement of the approaching train was an experience I have never quite forgotten. At first I heard a train whistle far away, low and distant. As the train got closer, the sound of the whistle not only increased, it became shriller, and difficult to...

Jupiter’s New Moon

Jupiter's New Moon
Does Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, have a 17th moon? Astronomers seem to think it does.Last year, astronomers at the University of Arizona and a Massachusets Observatory discovered what looked like a new moon around Jupiter. They had been scanning the skies for comets and asteroids as part of a spacewatch programme. In fact, when they...

How are Stars Named?

How are Stars Named?
Till now we have only seen roads, railway stations, airports, places etc. being named after famous people. But imagine paying money to get a star named after you. If that can happen, then anything is possible in this world!Well, there are organisations in different parts of the world that sell names for the stars in the sky. All you...

Planets! Planets! and more Planets!

Stars, planets and galaxy in a free space. 'Elements of this image furnished by NASA'.
Astronomers working at Berkeley and Geneva have found nine new planets circling nearby stars. With this discovery, we now know of 50 extra-solar planets, also called exoplanets. That is a big increase from 41 planets last known five years ago.All these individual planets move in an orbit around a star, which is called their parent star. The astronomers estimate...

Why do Meteorites Strike the Earth?

One of the world's best preserved meteorite impact site is in Northern Arizona, USA.
On a hot summer afternoon, I sat down with my elder brother to play carom. I took the first strike and pocketed two coins. Then I did a little war dance. Wow!Suddenly dada (Bengali for elder brother) had an idea. "How would it be if a fast-travelling object hit the earth? Quite like the way the striker hit the...

Teachers who Ticked Correct Answers Wrong

August 19: Do you know what a universal truth is? It is a truth that never changes, wherever in the world you might wish to test it.For example, we all know that the earth goes round the sun. It's a truth that will never change, at least not until the solar system lasts.Another universal truth we're told to believe...

The Dark Kingdom of Uranus

Named after the father of the Titans in Greek mythology, Uranus is the seventh planet in the solar system. It was first observed through a telescope by Sir William Herschel on March 13, 1781. Although Herschel wished to call the newly discovered planet Georgium Sidus (Georgian Star) for King George III of England, Johann Bode’s proposal of the name...

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