Why day and night aren't equal length on an equinox

Winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere are both coming to an end. That means the days and nights are becoming roughly equal in length, and the path the sun traces across the sky is changing.

Winter solstice: The astronomy of Christmas

From the Neolithic to present times, the amount of sunlight we see in a day has had a profound impact on human culture. We are fast approaching the winter solstice for the Northern hemisphere, which takes place on December ...

There could be snow on Mars – here's how that's possible

Given that there are ambitious plans to colonise Mars in the near future, it is surprising how much we still have to learn about what it would be like to actually live on the planet. Take the weather, for instance. We know ...

Ice in Ceres' shadowed craters linked to tilt history

Dwarf planet Ceres may be hundreds of millions of miles from Jupiter, and even farther from Saturn, but the tremendous influence of gravity from these gas giants has an appreciable effect on Ceres' orientation. In a new study, ...

What is the coldest planet of the solar system?

The solar system is pretty huge place, extending from our sun at the center all the way out to the Kuiper Cliff – a boundary within the Kuiper Belt that is located 50 AU from the sun. As a rule, the farther one ventures ...

Ancient Pluto may have had lakes and rivers of nitrogen

The New Horizons probe revealed the surface features of Pluto in rich detail when it reached the dwarf planet in July 2015. Some of the features look like snapshots of rivers and lakes that are locked firmly in place by Pluto's ...

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