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Puzzling new planet is too big for its sun, challenging dominant theories of planet formation

It’s difficult to fathom how much bigger the Sun is than our little planet. Even though it’s just an average-sized star, you could squeeze 1.3 million Earths inside it. But planets in other solar systems don’t always have such a massive size difference, as detailed in an intriguing new report in the journal Science, which describes the discovery of a planet named LHS 3154b....

Originally posted on salon.com

Two giant planets collided and astronomers caught the explosion 1,800 light years away

It’s a bit mind-boggling to imagine something as big as the planet Neptune crashing into a similar-sized planet, but astronomers caught this exact scenario, as described in a recent study in the journal Nature. A pair of ice giants — or massive planets the size of Uranus and Neptune, but composed of elements that are heavier than hydrogen and helium — collided into each other as they passed in front of the star they orbit, ASASSN-21qj....

Originally posted on salon.com

Which planets – and planetary moons – could actually have life?

Science fiction is filled with stories of humans traveling to other planets — and, of course, quite often those planets are inhabited. Whether it’s explorers having romantic adventures in “Star Trek” or determined scientists trying to save humanity in “Interstellar,” people instinctively want to believe that our universe might allow us to casually planet-hop....

Originally posted on salon.com

Which planets – and planetary moons – could actually have life?

Science fiction is filled with stories of humans traveling to other planets — and, of course, quite often those planets are inhabited. Whether it’s explorers having romantic adventures in “Star Trek” or determined scientists trying to save humanity in “Interstellar,” people instinctively want to believe that our universe might allow us to casually planet-hop....

Originally posted on salon.com

Which planets – and planetary moons – could actually have life?

Science fiction is filled with stories of humans traveling to other planets — and, of course, quite often those planets are inhabited. Whether it’s explorers having romantic adventures in “Star Trek” or determined scientists trying to save humanity in “Interstellar,” people instinctively want to believe that our universe might allow us to casually planet-hop....

Originally posted on salon.com