Almost a century later, the discovery would go to a 24-year old working his first job in the field: junior astronomer Clyde Tombaugh with the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. (It was given its name by an even younger space enthusiast: 11-year old Venetia Burney of Oxford, England.) The astronomical body had been observed before, but Tombaugh was the first to posit that it could be a planet. … [Read more...] about Our Closest Look Ever at Pluto’s Weird, Beautiful Surface
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Breaking in a new vehicle is really about the engine. The break-in — or mechanical run-in — period is designed to begin to wear the engine evenly and smoothly with low, consistent pressure, normal operating temperature and smoothly flowing oil. The goal is to get the engine's piston rings, which expand, contract and flex, to seat properly on the cylinder walls. If there are imperfections in the pistons or the cylinder walls from the manufacturing process, working the engine too hard and too soon can wear down those imperfections too quickly. That leads to "hot spots" within the engine's cylinders, which can cause problems in the years to come. … [Read more...] about Do You Have to ‘Break In’ a New Car?
"For longitude on the Earth, we arbitrarily assigned Greenwich, England as the Prime Meridian," Palma says. "The Prime Meridian for the right ascension system is called 'The First Point of Aries,' and it is defined as the position of the Sun on the sky as it moves from south to north along the Ecliptic" — an imaginary line that denotes the path of the Sun — "and passes through the celestial equator. When the Sun is at that location, it is the vernal (or March) equinox on Earth. Right ascension increases to the East from there. So, a star on the sky that is exactly halfway around the sky from the Sun on the vernal equinox would have a right ascension of 180 degrees." … [Read more...] about How Do We Find Things in the Blackness of Space?