Planet Reference Libraries

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Extrasolar Planet
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Extrasolar Planet -- An extrasolar planet is a planet orbiting around a star other than the Sun. Extrasolar planets were first discovered in the 1990s as a result of improved telescope technology, CCD and computer-based image processing which allowed far more accurate measurements of stellar motions. The first extrasolar planets were reported by the astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan in 1993,...

Extraterrestrial Life
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Extraterrestrial Life -- Extraterrestrial life is life beyond planet Earth (apart from humans travelling in space, and living organisms they bring along or send). There are many questions about extraterrestrial life, including: -- Does it exist? -- Where? -- What kind? -- Could there be non-carbon based life forms, e.g. life forms based on other elements like silicon (See Carbon...

Solar System
2012-10-22 06:09:41

The Solar System refers to the area in space that is dominated by our own Sun. It is comprised of the Sun and its associated astronomical objects that are held in its gravitational orbit. The Solar System was formed as a result of the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The mass of this system is located almost entirely in the Sun. Apart from the Sun, a high...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Quaoar -- Quaoar ("kwah-oh-ahr", /kwA o Ar/) is a Trans-Neptunian object circling the Sun in the Kuiper belt, discovered in 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Mike Brown at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Quaoar is estimated to have a diameter of about 1,280 kilometres, which would make it the largest Solar System object discovered since Pluto and, indeed,...

Asteroid Belt
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Asteroid Belt -- The Asteroid belt is a region of the solar system falling roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter where the greatest concentration of asteroid orbits can be found. It is believed that, during the first million years of the solar system history, planets formed by accretion of planetesimals. Ripetute collisions led to the familiar rocky planets and to the gas giant's...

Plutos Moon Charon
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Charon -- Charon is the only known satellite of Pluto. Charon was discovered by astronomer James Christy in 1978 using photographic plates which showed a bulge moving around Pluto. Christy named it after the Greek mythological figure Charon but pronounced it differently. The "ch" at the beginning of the moon's name is soft so it sounds like "Sharon," after the astronomer's wife...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Pluto -- Pluto is the ninth and smallest planet of our solar system. It was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona on February 18, 1930 (although the body was first photographed on March 19, 1915). Tombaugh was searching for a "Planet X" to explain the orbit of Neptune; further analysis, with seven decades more data about Neptune's position,...

Neptunes Moon Larissa
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Larissa -- Larissa is the fifth of Neptune's known moons. It was discovered by Harold Reitsema based on ground-based stellar occultation observations, and was photographed by Voyager 2 in 1989. Larissa is irregular (non-spherical) in shape and appears to be heavily cratered, with no sign of any geological modification. Little else is known about it. Since its orbit is below...

Neptunes Moon Despina
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Despina -- Despina is the third known moon of Neptune. It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2, and very little is known about it. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up into a planetary ring or impact on Neptune's...

Neptunes Moon Thalassa
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Thalassa -- Thalassa is the second moon of Neptune. Thalassa was named after a daughter of Aether and Hemera from Greek mythology. "Thalassa" is also the Greek word for "sea". It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to...

Word of the Day
  • The practice of two or more parties jointly purchasing all or part of a butchered cow and dividing the meat between them.
The word 'cowpooling' was formed on the model of 'carpooling'.