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Though Venus is only 38 million kilometers from earth, the planet's heavy atmosphere and sulfuric acid cloud cover make it a difficult place to explore. From 1961-1984, the Soviet Union led the exploration of Venus with the Venera program. Besides constructing and navigating a spacecraft that could fly within Venus' atmosphere, and being the first [...]

2017-09-09T10:29:46+00:00 Comments Off on Venus


Four and a half billion years ago, the solar system was taking shape as heat and light from the sun blasted outwards, burning away the gas, dust, and debris around the four terrestrial planets, while the four “gas giants” and “ice giants” formed farther away. The Earth was a mass of molten rock and [...]

2017-09-09T10:29:56+00:00 0 Comments


Of all the planets in the solar system, Mars seems to have captured our imaginations more than any other. From the martian attack in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Total Recall on a secret mission to the red planet, Mars has endured speculation that it [...]

2017-09-09T10:30:04+00:00 0 Comments


The sixth planet from the sun was first explored in the 1980’s, when Pioneer 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 returned images of the icy comets and frozen moons balanced within the gravitational field of this massive planet. The bright rings of Saturn make the planet the most recognizable in the solar system. They [...]

2017-09-15T06:16:36+00:00 0 Comments


Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and one of the most interesting to view. Its distance from the sun means that temperatures in the atmosphere of this “gas giant” are extremely cold. But heat from deep within Jupiter rises through layers of hydrogen and helium, resulting in temperature fluctuations [...]

2017-09-09T10:30:40+00:00 0 Comments

Ice Giants

The “ice giant” planets, Uranus and Neptune, have much in common. Their distance from earth makes them difficult to explore, but with a telescope or a sturdy pair of binoculars they can be seen orbiting across the ecliptic with the terrestrial and “gas giant” planets. For centuries, Uranus was thought to be [...]

2017-09-09T10:30:56+00:00 0 Comments


Getting and staying healthy is important as we age. Though we have little control over our genetic makeup or where we're from, we can choose the types of foods we eat while finding ways to exercise moderately. Taking a walk, enjoying a swim, or raking leaves and shoveling snow are activities [...]

2017-09-12T11:12:49+00:00 Comments Off on Health


As an infant develops in-vitro, cartilage slowly hardens into bone forming the axial and appendicular structures. At birth, we have close to 300 separate bones that continue to solidify into the 206 bones in the adult body. Growth hormones from the pituitary gland deep inside the brain prompt [...]

2017-09-10T14:24:49+00:00 0 Comments