Earth and its solar system compatriots all have nearly circular orbits, but many exoplanets orbit their stars on wildly eccentric paths. Is our home system strange? Or is our sense of the data skewed?
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/25 04:30 CDT
Learn about the formation and origin of the Solar System and go beyond our neighborhood to investigate exoplanets (planets around other stars) in this video of class 11 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.
How did planets originate? This is a question that has puzzled scientists for centuries, but one which they have been able to tackle directly only in the last few decades, thanks to two major developments: breakthroughs in telescope technology and ever-increasing computing power.
2012 VP113 is a new world that has been discovered on a Sedna-like orbit. What does that mean? It could imply the existence of a planet X, but doesn't prove it. It does suggest that a lot more Sednas are waiting to be discovered.
Our own Dr. Bruce Betts is once again teaching his Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy college course online. Come join him.
Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 9: The Lives of the Stars
In which we are star stuff
This episode highlights the other big idea in Cosmos: that we are profoundly connected with the universe around us. Our constituent parts are forged in the bellies of massive stars; we exist through their deaths.
The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.
This very accessible textbook begins at the beginning, explaining how all the things in the solar system were made from star stuff.
The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.
A summary of just one talk from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting, by Lindy Elkins-Tanton, which provided a neat explanation for how asteroids can be melted and layered on the inside yet have a primitive-looking exterior.