A Brief Overview of Recent Discoveries (1.5)

21 May

And now for Part 2 of the first episode of the Nerd Next Door (because I made it waaaaaay too long…)

You can find links to all the cool stuff I used if you click the actual link and go to YouTube.  Other than that, I’ll see you next Tuesday!  🙂

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7 Responses to “A Brief Overview of Recent Discoveries (1.5)”

  1. abilynn May 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    1) I ❤ your blog.
    2) How come Haumea is shaped like crooked egg?

    • Loren Riley May 23, 2013 at 7:48 am #

      1) Thanks! I love being hearted!
      2) Haumea is shaped like an egg because even though it’s achieved hydrostatic equilibrium (a snooty way of saying it’s massive enough that gravity should have pulled it into the shape of ’round’) it’s spinning so fast that it stretches out. That’s actually a pretty common phenomenon for any large space body that is also spinning (to flatten at the poles, and lengthen at the equator). Earth does it too, it’s just so small we don’t notice it – but if you walked around the Earth starting at the North Pole walking in a straight meridian line, you’d walk about 40 miles less than if you walked around the Earth along the equator.

      Haumea is doing the same thing, elongating at the equator, just in a much higher, and more obvious, way. I hope this wasn’t the most convoluted answer ever! 😀

  2. deecrowseer May 22, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    I was still going by the basic “astronomy” I picked up at school, where the solar system was just made up of nine planets and a couple of moons, so this is all news to me! It’s way more crowded up there than I thought…

    • Loren Riley May 22, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      It’s ridiculous! My favorite representation of the Solar System comes from the Minor Planet Center:

      That’s just the inner Solar System… but look at all those bodies! It’s awesome. 🙂

      • deecrowseer May 22, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

        Yep! Although I was a little disappointed to read that they almost called one of the dwarf planets “Xena”, before settling on Eris instead. Spoilsports. 😦

        • Loren Riley May 23, 2013 at 7:34 am #

          Yeah. The IAU wouldn’t let Mike Brown and his team name Eris ‘Xena’ and its moon ‘Gabriella’. However, they named Eris’s moon Dysnomia which is the goddess of lawlessness, as an shout-out to Lucy Lawless. The IAU didn’t catch that… 😀

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