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

Solar System

Trojan Asteroids

An asteroid is a piece of rock in space. A trojan asteroid is a minor body, like an asteroid, moon, or minor planet, that shares the orbit of a planet.

Haumea Has a Ring

The dwarf planet Haumea is located in the Kuiper Belt and named after a Hawaiian goddess. It’s quite far away and little is known about it. Some interesting facts have been discovered recently.

Raining Diamonds

Researchers have simulated the conditions on Uranus and Neptune and have proven their point: it does rain solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune!

Solar Flares & Electrons

The Sun is always ejecting a solar wind out in all directions.

Distant Dwarf Planet?

There may be a new dwarf planet discovered in the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt. It’s the second most distant object with a confirmed orbit in our solar system.

Earth Gives Moon Oxygen

The solar wind is a stream of electrically charged particles called ions flowing outward from the Sun in all directions. When it reaches Earth, certain things can happen.

Ceres' Spots Identified

The dwarf planet Ceres, located in the asteroid belt, was discovered to have a patchwork of bright spots inside the Occator Crater.

New Dwarf Planet

NASA’s repurposed planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and archival data from ESA and NASA’s Infrared Herschel Space Observatory were instrumental in data-gathering for 2007 OR10.

Titan's Toxic Polar Clouds

Two toxic clouds of ice, one at each pole, have been discovered in Titan’s stratosphere by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Titan is a medium-sized moon orbiting Saturn.

Comet Effects on Mars

Comet Siding Spring passed within 87,000 miles of Mars on October 18th. That’s less than half the distance between Earth and the moon.

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