Tag Archives: Kepler-11

NASA Space Place Digest For March, 2018

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science!

The following four articles were sent to Space Place partners and subscribers, provided in a format that offers discussions of topics of astronomical interest. As these posts are graphics-intensive, only the intro snippet is provided here with links to the full article provided for each.

All About Exoplanets

All of the planets in our solar system orbit around the sun. Planets that orbit around other stars are called exoplanets. Exoplanets are very hard to see directly with telescopes. They are hidden by the bright glare of the stars they orbit.

An artist’s representation of Kepler-11, a small, cool star around which six planets orbit. Credit: NASA/Tim Pyle

So, astronomers use other ways to detect and study these distant planets. They search for exoplanets by looking at the effects these planets have on the stars they orbit.

Read the full article…

How Do We Weigh Planets?

In real life, we can’t pick up a planet and put it on a scale. However, scientists do have ways to figure out how much a planet weighs. They can calculate how hard the planet pulls on other things. The heavier the planet, the stronger it tugs on nearby objects—like moons or visiting spacecraft. That tug is what we call gravitational pull.

Your weight is different on other planets due to gravity. However, your mass is the same everywhere!

Read the full article…

What Is a Volcano?

A volcano is an opening on the surface of a planet or moon that allows material warmer than its surroundings to escape from its interior. When this material escapes, it causes an eruption. An eruption can be explosive, sending material high into the sky. Or it can be calmer, with gentle flows of material.

Lava fountain at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai`i. Credit: J.D Griggs, USGS

These volcanic areas usually form mountains built from the many layers of rock, ash or other material that collect around them. Volcanoes can be active, dormant, or extinct. Active volcanoes are volcanoes that have had recent eruptions or are expected to have eruptions in the near future. Dormant volcanoes no longer produce eruptions, but might again sometime in the future. Extinct volcanoes will likely never erupt again.

Read the full article…

What’s It Like Inside Jupiter?

It’s really hot inside Jupiter! No one knows exactly how hot, but scientists think it could be about 43,000°F (24,000°C) near Jupiter’s center, or core.
So, astronomers use other ways to detect and study these distant planets. They search for exoplanets by looking at the effects these planets have on the stars they orbit.

The reddish brown and white stripes of Jupiter are made up of swirling clouds. The well-known Red Spot is a huge, long-lasting storm. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Jupiter is made up almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. On the surface of Jupiter–and on Earth–those elements are gases. However inside Jupiter, hydrogen can be a liquid, or even a kind of metal.

These changes happen because of the tremendous temperatures and pressures found at the core.
Read the full article…

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