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Week 24


Special Topic: “Small Bodies” in Culture and Literature

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JUNE 7, 2013: A team led by Dutch astronomer Nienke van der Marel announces their discovery of a planet-forming – and comet-forming – disk of material surrounding the young star Oph-IRS 48 in the constellation Ophiuchus, using data obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile. An ALMA image of this disk …

Perihelion: 2022 December 19.67, q = 1.797 AU  I’ve hinted in some of the earlier presentations of “Ice and Stone 2020” that, for the past few years, we have been in a slow period when it comes to bright comets. Indeed, for “Great Comets” – discussed in a previous “Special Topics” presentation – the most …

Although they may not be as big a presence in our overall human culture and literature as the moon and the other planets of our solar system are, the “small bodies” of our solar system are nevertheless present. There a number of misperceptions about them, perhaps more so than there are for the planets.  Consider, …