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Filtering by Tag: Solar System

Shrinking Mercury all it's cracked up to be

Alan Duffy

Amidst the exciting news of landing on comets and SpaceX plans to get to Mars, NASA released astounding findings that the smallest planet Mercury actually has tectonic activity just like Earth. Such a small world should be geologically dead and yet it has features that appear unweathered by bombardments from meteors meaning that they are no older than a few million years. It means Mercury joins Earth as the only rocky planet to have tectonic activity, and also means it may have Earthquakes (or should that be Mercury-quakes?)

I wrote about it in theconversation and chatted to ABC Breakfast News TV as well as ABC 702 radio.

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Potential Ninth Planet - ABC News 24 TV (2016/01/21)

Alan Duffy

Caltech researchers led by Prof Mike Brown who formerly demoted Pluto have published tentative results of a ninth planet in our Solar System, and at ten times the mass of Earth it’s in no danger of not qualifying for planet status if real. Fainter than a lightbulb on the Moon and moving each second on the sky about a human hair’s width held at 100km it will be challenging to find against the 100 million stars of the Milk Way behind it’s approximate area.

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