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A planet-forming disk made from rock and gas surrounds a young star. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

Even planets have their (size) limits

Why isn't there an endless variety of planets in the universe? An astrophysicist explains why planets only come in two flavors.
In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Planetary confusion – why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

Many people are still upset that Pluto was demoted from being a planet. But definitions of various celestial objects are fairly fluid. So whether it is an asteroid or moon or planet is up for debate.
The good thing about space is that – even though it has lots of dangerous stuff floating in it, and lots of exploding stars – it’s so big and empty that it almost doesn’t matter. NASA/CXC/U.Texas

Curious Kids: If a star explodes, will it destroy Earth?

Are there stars other than the Sun that might explode soon close to us? Yes, there are! As long as by 'soon' we mean within a million years.
The other galaxies are there, but they are hiding a very long way away. www.shutterstock.com

Curious Kids: Where are all the other galaxies hidden?

We are in the Milky Way. If you travelled on an extremely fast spaceship for more than two million years, you would reach our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy. All other galaxies are even further away.
Lasers being shone from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. These lasers help remove the twinkles in the night sky and help astronomers see stars clearer on Earth than ever before. F. Kamphues/ESO

Curious Kids: Why do stars twinkle?

How exactly do the stars twinkle in the night sky? As it turns out, the answer is full of hot air... and cold air.

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