Blog

Finding other “Earths”

“Within the next 6 to 12 months, I suspect we’ll be able to detect and verify and announce planets that at least have the size of our own Earth.” –Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, University of California Berkeley “This changes our understanding of our role in the universe. We, in some sense, are not alone in terms […]

Continue reading

How can you tell what’s in the atmosphere of a planet that’s over one billion miles from Earth?

Use a VERY long sampling straw?  Nope. Use a spectrometer? Yup.  (Explore how this works in our “Is there life outside of Earth?” investigation.) Scientists at NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency collaborated to send the Cassini spacecraft to Saturn to get closer looks at the planet, its rings, and its […]

Continue reading

How much does a star weigh?

Scientists may soon find out. Orbiting objects exert a gravitational pull on each other.   This gravitational pull is what gives objects their weights; it’s the reason that you weigh 83% less on Earth’s moon than on Earth, without losing any of your mass. Scientists are currently using measurements of objects’ gravitational pulls to find new […]

Continue reading