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Articles on Planets

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New research suggests that Venus’ crust is broken into large blocks – the dark reddish–purple areas – that are surrounded by belts of tectonic structures shown in lighter yellow–red. Paul K. Byrne/NASA/USGS

The surface of Venus is cracked and moves like ice floating on the ocean – likely due to tectonic activity

Researchers used decades-old radar data and found that some low-lying areas of Venus’ crust are moving and jostling. This evidence is some of the strongest yet of tectonic activity on Venus.
It can stretch your mind to ponder what’s really out there. Stijn Dijkstra/EyeEm via Getty Images

Does outer space end – or go on forever?

Astronomers know a lot about what’s in outer space – and think it’s possible it never ends.
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.
A starchart by Alexander Jamieson from 1822 showing the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster. Cetus is located in the region of the sky known as the Water, along with other watery constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Exoplanets are still out there – a new model tells astronomers where to look for more using 4 simple variables

New mathematical technique enables astronomers to predict the whereabouts of missing worlds around nearby stars.
With the proper equipment, you can enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Allexxandar via iStock/GettyImages

5 ways families can enjoy astronomy during the pandemic

COVID-19 may have messed up school and shut down a lot of entertainment venues. But you can still brighten things up by doing a little stargazing at night, an astronomer says.
Unlike Earth’s atmosphere, Jupiter’s ‘sky’ hosts magnificent shades of orange, white, brown and blue. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt

Curious Kids: is the sky blue on other planets?

Atmospheres can be all different colours, depending on what’s in them.
Saturn is one of a few planets in our solar system surrounded by rings. Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Curious Kids: why are some planets surrounded by rings?

We’re not sure how the rings work or how they formed, but there are a few theories.
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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