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Large stars and planets in space have intense gravity. The gravity of these large celestial bodies is so strong, that they actually warp the empty space around them. Also, in space, time progresses differently when near celestial bodies. Because of these effects on space and time, space is regarded as a space-time…

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Our understanding of astrophysics states that we should be seeing co-orbiting planets when astronomers look through their telescopes. Co-orbiting planets are planets of roughly similar size that have overlapping orbits around their host star. These two planets orbit so closely to each other that they influence the…

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51 Pegasi b is a roughly jupiter-sized planet around a star pretty similar to our sun. This planet has been part of astronomy conversations before, as it is a huge planet with a really small orbit; this planet orbits around its star only every 4 days. For comparison, Earth orbits the sun every 365 days. One way of…

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At the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, there is a supermassive black hole. This is normal — at the center of almost every galaxy there is a black hole that is millions or billions times heavier than our sun. As galaxies move through the universe, they occasionally collide (the Milky Way is currently colliding with…

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Galaxies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many galaxies are in the shape of spirals, including our own Milky Way Galaxy. The movement and evolution of these spirals is not well understood in astrophysics. There are a few hypotheses. Originally, these spiral arms were thought to be rigid arms attached to the…

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Stars and planets are most often categorized by their mass. In astronomy, the “initial mass function” is used for this categorization. The initial mass function catalogues the number of planets and stars of a certain mass, and creates a diagram of the stars and planets ordered by their size. This initial mass…

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Have you ever tried to hang your coat over the corner of table? Unless it snags, it seems to always fall off. This question inspired two scientists in Chicago to do an analysis on the subject. To represent the coat, they used a string with two identical weights on each end, with the string laying over the table, and…

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Tabby’s Star, located 1,276 light years from Earth and named for its discoverer Tabetha S. Boyajian, created quite a buzz among astronomers when it was found in 2009 by the Kepler Space Observatory. It glowed a yellowish white and had temperature of around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit! However, scientists wondered…

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Disagreements in how we use words can cause major confusion. Sometimes, someone uses the word “far” to mean 50 miles, and other times people use the word far to mean “the tv remote is too far” when it’s a mere 3 ft away. This can lead to lots of issues between people no matter their trade. This happens…