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Tag Space & astronomy

Curiosities: Why is Pluto not considered a planet?

November 15, 2010

Until 2006, astronomers had not carefully defined “planet,” says James Lattis, director of the UW Space Place. Asteroids were not considered planets because…

Curiosities: Why do some planets have rings?

October 18, 2010

Saturn imaged by the Cassini Orbiter. Image: courtesy Jet Propulsion Lab Planetary ring systems are complicated, notes UW Space Place…

Scientists hope to mimic nature’s dynamos

October 9, 2009

In the cosmos, all celestial objects - planets, stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies - have magnetic fields. On Earth, the magnetic field of our home planet is most easily observed in a compass where the needle points north.

Curiosities: How big is space?

August 17, 2009

Space is probably infinite, but we can see only the part that contains stars or galaxies whose light has been able to reach us, says…

Curiosities: How many galaxies have humans discovered?

August 3, 2009

“We don’t know,” says Ed Churchwell, professor of astronomy. “We know it’s a very large number.” It’s in the hundreds of billions, Churchwell…

Planet Trek offers chance to bike or walk through scaled-down solar system

May 1, 2009

Dane County residents have a new way to appreciate the solar system, thanks to Planet Trek Dane County, which offers pedestrians and bikers a chance to discover the 11 biggest objects in the solar system at the correct scale of size and distance.