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Meet Dr. Universe

Hi, there. I’m Dr. Universe. Wendy Sue Universe, that is.

Ever since I was a kitten, I’ve been digging in the dirt, gazing at the stars, exploring new places, and searching for answers to all kinds of questions about our world.

Still, some people are surprised when they discover I’m a scientist. After all, it’s not every day you meet a cat in a lab coat.

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Be sure to subscribe to weekly Cat Mail from Dr. Wendy Sue Universe and friends at Washington State University. She’s always cookin’ up fresh science stories.

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Q&A: What is the smallest insect on Earth?

When I saw your question, I set out to explore with my bug net and a magnifying glass. I was searching all around for tiny insects when I ran into my friend Laura Lavine, a Washington State University scientist who studies bugs.

She said there are nearly a million different kinds of insects on Earth. The smallest of all the known ones are called fairyflies.

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Is Pluto a planet again? 

“Pluto is now classified as minor planet 134340,” said my friend Jessica Jones at the Washington State University Planetarium. “It was a sad day for Pluto-lovers.”

Pluto lies on the edge of our solar system, out in a region of icy objects called the Kuiper Belt. Part of the reason scientists decided to change Pluto’s classification is because it looks and behaves like other icy objects that aren’t considered planets.

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What is the Kuiper Belt? 

You might say the Kuiper Belt is the frozen frontier of our solar system. Out beyond Neptune’s chilly orbit, this saucer-shaped region is home to Pluto, billions of comets, and other icy worlds.

“The Kuiper Belt is really the edge of knowledge,” said my friend and astronomy professor Guy Worthey when we met up in the Washington State University planetarium.

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