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solar system

NASA HQ PHOTO / Flickr

Sky watchers will get a rare holiday gift this year.

On Monday evening, Jupiter and Saturn will appear to be nearly on top of each other as the two largest planets in our solar system reach their closest point to each other in nearly 800 years.

The “Great Conjunction,” as astronomers call it, will coincide with the winter solstice.

Gerdes likened finding DeeDee and objects like it to looking for a really small needle in a very, very large haystack.
flickr user Eurpoean Southern Observatory / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


We're learning a lot about our tiny corner of the cosmos these days. That's thanks to improving technology and the increasing number of probes we're sending into the solar system.

But as much as we learned so far, there’s still a lot about space that we don't know.

Recently, researchers have been trying to track down a theoretical Planet Nine. (That's the title formerly held by Pluto. Sorry, Pluto.)

University of Michigan astronomers recently came across a planetary surprise that might get us closer to that discovery. And it turns out Pluto might have a friend out there after all.

Solar flares
Flickr user Jason Major / Flickr

Robert Alexander works to give the sun a voice. As a sonification specialist at the University of Michigan, Alexander turns data from the sun into music.