From yesterday’s quiz:
- Nix and Hydra are two of Pluto’s four moons. Charon is the big, close one we’ve known about for a long time. Nix and Hydra are smaller and further out, and Hubble has just spotted P4 in between them.
- WIMP’s are weakly interacting massive particles. They are a hypothetical solution to the problem of dark matter – most of the matter that there should be in the universe, we can’t find. WIMPs would be difficult to find because they don’t interact with normal matter, which cuts out our detection instruments.
- Nope, no dark side! The moon has a far side, which is the side turned away from the earth that we don’t see. However it still rotates on its axis and has a day and night. We see this as the phases of the moon.
- The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds were thought to be our two closest galactic neighbours until the recent discovery of some closer dwarf galaxies. They are now small and irregular, but show signs that they were barred spiral galaxies that were distorted by the pull of our own Milky Way.
- The photo is The Emu in the Sky, an Australian Aboriginal constellation. To Europeans, the head is known as the Coalsack and the Southern Cross is adjacent. I’ve just realised I will be able to see this from my deck, I’ll have to look for it tonight!
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