Hello Dr. Universe: I was wondering, how does an eclipse happen? - Susan, 13, San Francisco, CArcwebber
It just so happens the Great American Eclipse is coming up on Aug. 21, 2017. This solar eclipse will be the only one visible from across the lower 48 states in nearly a hundred years. When it happens, parts of the country will experience darkness for a couple minutes during the day.Read More ...
How many suns are in the universe? -Kristen, 8, Pullman, WArcwebber
Our sun is really one big star. And there are billions and billions of stars in our universe.Read More ...
Dr. Universe: How do lunar rovers work? -Pedro, 10rcwebber
When I got your question, I started to imagine what it would be like to drive a rover on the moon. As we bounced along craters, we could kick up moon dust and stop to gather samples of moon rock.Read More ...
What is the Kuiper Belt? -Zaara A., 7, Deep Bay, Australiarcwebber
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.
“Out there it’s a little dim,” Worthey said. “We are pretty far from the Sun.”
In fact, it’s about 3 billion miles away. Even at the speed of a jet airplane, it would take more than 680 years to travel from Earth … » More …Read More ...
Dear Dr. Universe, Why do we age? -Logan, 12, Pullman, WArcwebber
It’s usually later in life that we see the more dramatic signs of aging, like gray hair, wrinkles, and lots of birthday candles on our cake. But we really start growing older from the time we are born.Read More ...
Dr. Universe: We read that it is very cold in space. Why is that? -Tri-County Second Graders, Minnesotarcwebber
Dear Tri-County Second Graders,
You heard right. It is very cold in space, but it wasn’t always that way.Read More ...
Dr. Universe: Are aliens real? -Lily, 10, New York City, NY Is there life on other planets? -Heidi, Cincinnati, OHrcwebber
Dear Lily and Heidi,
Well, we don’t know for certain. Looking up to the stars at night, I’ve often wondered if alien cats are out chasing alien mice or taking naps on other planets.
My imagination aside, your questions are like those scientists are asking, too. And it’s no wonder we are so curious.
With billions of planets in our galaxy, including small Earth-like worlds, the possibility of life out there is an exciting thought to many people. So, humans have set out to look for planets that might support life.
In fact, this month scientists announced the Kepler spacecraft’s discovery of … » More …Read More ...
Dr. Universe, Is Pluto a planet again or not? :) -Heidi, Cincinnati, OHrcwebber
It’s a big week for Pluto as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft gets a close-up look at the distant, icy world. But first, the answer to your question: Pluto is not a planet.Read More ...
Dr. Universe: How did the first drop of water ever happen on Earth -Ash, 6, SeaTac, WArcwebber
We’ve learned a lot about how water supports life on the blue planet, but the first drop is a bit mysterious. Scientists have a few theories about how it happened.Read More ...
Why do stars blink? -Xitan, Philippinesrcwebber
Look up to the twinkly stars and you’ll witness starlight traveling from deep space to your eyeballs. That twinkling you see is the light taking lots and lots of detours.Read More ...