Meet Ceres, The Dwarf Planet With Giant Surprises

Meet the dwarf planet, Ceres. Its categorization has less to do with Snow White’s tiny friends and more with its gravitational impact on surrounding celestial bodies. This means that Ceres has the mass of a planet, but it hasn’t become gravitationally dominant. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

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The Strangest Exoplanets We Have Ever Discovered

By definition, an exoplanet simply refers to a planet which orbits a star other than our Sun. This means that many of the trillions of trillions of planets that probably exist classify as exoplanets. One notable exception is rogue planets – planets that don’t orbit stars, instead directly orbiting the galaxies themselves.

Despite there likely being an absolutely huge number of planets in the Universe, we’ve only discovered about 1800 so far. That’s because spotting a planet is a lot harder than spotting a star – they are much smaller and much dimmer. Even the techniques we use to track down new planets like transit photometry and radial velocity work best at finding gas giants like Jupiter, not small rocky planets like Earth. Despite all of these obstacles, we have enjoyed great success when it comes to uncovering our galactic neighbors and, just like in your own neighborhood, some of them are a little peculiar.

1. Kepler-186f

Strangest Exoplanets Kepler

Source: UPR

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The Shape Of The Milky Way’s Magnetic Field

Milky Way Magnetic Field

According to the European Space Agency, this Planck spacecraft-captured image reveals the shape of the Milky Way’s magnetic field. And, we might add, it looks oddly reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.

The Andromeda Galaxy Reminds Us How Small We Are

There are moments when it seems as if the world truly does revolve around us. Yet when we step back and put life in perspective, our smallness quickly becomes evident; we are merely a fraction of a speck in an infinite picture. At this year’s meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, NASA released the world’s largest photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. Though the image can hardly do justice to the star system’s gargantuan size and scope, it offers us a breathtaking peek at the complexity of our universe.

World's Largest Image of Andromeda Galaxy

A much smaller version of the massive image. Source: Astro Bob

Massive Galaxy Up Close

A zoomed-in view of the Andromeda Galaxy image. Source: Hyperallergic

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