Orbit

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What is Pluto – a Star or a Comet?

What is Pluto – a Star or a Comet?

Which is the planet farthest from the sun? Pluto, of course. But, some recent findings suggest that Pluto is not a planet at all. It seems Pluto could actually be a comet, reports the National Geographic website – www.nationalgeographic.com Basically, it is Pluto’s small size that has got it into trouble. It has a diameter of approximately 1,420 miles or 2,280 kilometers. This makes it six times smaller than Earth. This fact irked scientists who always suspected that something so small could never belong to the hallowed club of planets....

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 saw the new moon, they thought it might be a comet or an asteroid. A comet is a small body of ice and dust that orbits the Sun....

Planets! Planets! and more Planets!

Planets! Planets! and more Planets!

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 that the Beta Pictoris star has a planet ten times the mass of Earth. It orbits at a distance of about 10....

Destination Mir

Destination Mir

Destination Mir [Illustration by Shiju George] August 19: Dennis Tito is a very excited man. This businessman-cum-space-enthusiast has won the first prize in a game show called Destination Mir. He is now all set to be the world’s first space tourist, and is training at Russia’s Star City space-base for his unusually long journey. Russia has launched a television game show to revive interest in its ageing space station, Mir. The winner of the show gets to shoot into space, straight to the Russian space station Mir, which has been in space for 14 years now....

A 'Big Bang' in Earth's Orbital Space

Where: Orbital Space around Earth February 15, 2009 : An American and a Russian satellite collided over Siberia, Russia, on February 10, 2009. Five days after the event, there were reports that burning fragments of the wreckage were spotted over several American cities. The American satellite, Iridium 33, was a civilian communications satellite launched in 1997, and the Russian one, Kosmos-2251, was a non-functioning military communications satellite, launched in 1993. Both satellites weighed over 450 kilograms....

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