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Latest Vulcanoid asteroid Stories

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2009-02-09 13:40:00

MESSENGER reaches its orbital perihelion today and passes within 0.31 astronomical units (AU) of the Sun (one AU is nearly 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles). The mission's imaging team is taking advantage of the probe's proximity to the fiery sphere to continue their search for vulcanoids "“ small, rocky asteroids that have been postulated to circle the Sun in stable orbits inside the orbit of Mercury. Vulcanoids are named after Vulcan, a planet once proposed to explain...

2008-01-14 09:40:09

Mercury is the smallest, densest and least explored planet around the sun. More than half of it is virtually unknown. Insights into this mysterious world of extremes could shed light on how planets were made in our solar system, astronomers say. NASA's MESSENGER probe will be the first spacecraft to image the whole planet, making its initial flyby of Mercury Jan. 14 as part of a long process to settle into orbit. "With MESSENGER, many of Mercury's secrets will now be...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'