Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Cosmology

Cosmic Rays Intensify

Spaceweather.com and “Earth to Sky Calculus” students used helium balloons to monitor the level of cosmic rays in the stratosphere over California. Cosmic rays have increased 13% in one year.

Infrared's Yellow Balls

The Spitzer Space Telescope has been scanning the sky in infrared images. Weird “yellow balls” were in the images.

Supernovas and Planet Formation

Supernovas occur when large planets throw off their outer shell in a tremendous explosion. Gas and dust scatter in every direction.

Bigger Than Saturn's Rings

A large exoplanet (a planet outside of our solar system) was discovered 434 light-years from Earth. It’s like Saturn, with about 30 rings surrounding it.

Earth-Size Exoplanet Found

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered an Earth-sized planet, or exoplanet, orbiting in the habitable zone in the solar system of a star in Cygnus (the Swan), about 500 light years away.

Magellanic Stream

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has been used by astronomers to study the source of the Magellanic Stream.

Planck Reveal Universe

European Space Agency’s Planck Space Telescope collected data for 15.5 months and constructed a map of the oldest light in the universe, when the universe was only 380,000 years old.

Smallest Exoplanet

NASA’s Kepler scientists have detected the smallest exoplanet ever found.

WISE Sees Blazars

Blazars are supermassive black holes in the center of huge galaxies that emit jets aimed toward Earth and are found throughout the universe.

Bubbles in the Milky Way

Over 35,000 volunteers of an online project have been studying observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and have discovered over 5,000 bubbles in the disk of the Milky Way galaxy.

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