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Articles on Solar system

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Where do the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the earth’s water come from? NASA Goddard/Flickr

Why is there water on Earth?

A recent study shows that the Earth's water could come directly from the oxygen and hydrogen present in the rocks that formed it, and not from a late supply by asteroids.
The 2020 winter solstice night will be accompanied by another cosmic event known as ‘the great conjunction,’ when Saturn and Jupiter will appear right next to each other. Andrew Doughty/EyeEm via Getty Images and Jeff Dai/Stocktrek via Getty Images

What you need to know about this year’s winter solstice and the great conjunction

The 2020 winter solstice is also when Saturn and Jupiter appear closest to each other for 60 years, Here's what you need to know about both the events.
This artist’s rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending toward asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system's origin.
Asteroid 2018 VP1 itself is too small and far away to see clearly, so here’s an artist’s impression of a near-Earth object. NASA / JPL-Caltech

Asteroid 2018 VP₁ may be heading for Earth. But there’s no need to worry

A small asteroid will cross Earth's orbit on November 2. Scientists aren't sure if the two will collide – but even if they do, there's still no cause for alarm.
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.

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