Been reading my lecture notes... and here are some things that strikes me as really wondrous... i didn't know all these before!
- in about 4 billion years, our Milky Way galaxy and Andromeda galaxy will collide! This will happen even before the sun dies.
- Jovian planets - Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Saturn does not have solid surface! They are huge balls of gasses. Pluto is so unlike its Jovian neighbours and well, its one of the reasons it was taken out as a planet
- The Oort cloud is a postulated spherical cloud of comets situated about 2000 times the distance from the Sun to Pluto... wow! the orbits of these comets are so huge and elliptical!
- Pluto could develop a tail like comets, if it was placed near the sun!
- We might see a supernova soon in our part of the galaxy. The last supernova observed in our galaxy was by Tycho in 1572 and Kepler in 1604. In a galaxy like our Milky Way, a supernova should occur every 100 years or so and it would even outshine Venus (brightest object after the Sun and Moon). I want to see a supernova :(
- Eris, the largest known dwarf planet is even bigger than Pluto... another reason about Pluto's demotion.
- Asteroid Ida even has a tiny moon called Dactyl! Haha :D
- Comet Mcnaught's magnificent dust tail stretched for about 1 A.U. = distance from Earth to Sun - 150 million km!
and some fun with the names we have given to the celestial bodies!
- Percial Lowell calculated the supposed location of the 9th planet - PLuto. Notice the 1st 2 letters of Pluto is the initial of Percivial Lowel. And Pluto's astrological symbol as well...
- Nix and Hydra are the names of 2 out of 3 moons of Pluto. They share the initial with the Pluto-bound spacecraft New Horizons
- Eris, the largest dwarf planet stirred up a great deal of trouble which led to meeting of IAU in Prague. Eris in greek mythology is the goddess of war and strife and she created envy and jealousy among men.
- comet derives from the greek word kome meaning hair