Today I have a question for any science geeks out there and readers who love learning about the universe.
First, though, let me say that if you're a writer, don't put your heroes and heroines on Jupiter or Saturn. Why? Well, the answer might surprise some of you...they're not planets.
Jupiter and Saturn are nothing more than big balls of gas. Saturn's rings are made up of particles and gases. As for poor li'l Pluto out there, it was taken off the planet list a few years ago and dubbed a moon, but recently I learned that it's now on a list for small planets.
So my question is this: why are Jupiter and Saturn considered planets if they're nothing but gases? If it's due to their sizes, I think that's a lame reason. Why is Pluto on a small planet list if it's a moon? Neither one makes any sense to me.
Writers, if you plan on writing sci-fi or sci-fi romance, plan your universe and planets carefully. If your readers can't suspend their beliefs, you're book's in trouble.
Monday, July 2, 2012
When you look up at the night sky, can you figure out which light is a star and which one is a planet? Here’s a hint:
Twinkle-twinkle little star…
Yup, you guessed it. A star does twinkle, so one that is a solid, unmoving light is a planet. However, planets don’t shine. Take Venus for example. It’s commonly known as the evening star, but if you really pay attention, Venus is just a brilliant pinpoint in the twilight. It glows and shines like that because the sun is shining on it.
Do you know how to tell if a star is close to Earth or if it’s going away from us?
Well, if you can’t it’s similar to the Doppler Effect (No, not Sheldon in his Halloween costume!). A star moving away from Earth will have a red glow about it, and a star moving toward us will have a blue tone.
If you’re a writer, watch the stars for inspiration. If you’re a reader, just imagine the worlds out there waiting to be discovered.