Lowell Observatory

Molly Baker

A decade ago Flagstaff suffered a blow when Pluto was “demoted” to a dwarf planet. It was discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff in 1930 and is a source of pride for the city. But astronomers voted on the definition of a planet and Pluto didn’t make the cut. Now, planetary scientists say that definition is both overly complicated and incomplete.  They’ve suggested a different one. Melissa Sevigny from the Arizona Science Desk spoke with two Lowell scientists about the definition, Will Grundy and Gerard van Belle.   


Caltech/R.Hunt(IPAC)

The public can now join the hunt for the elusive Planet Nine, a massive planet astronomers believe might be hidden beyond Neptune.

NASA

Six months from today a total solar eclipse will cross the nation from coast to coast. The last time that happened was nearly a century ago. From the Arizona Science Desk, Melissa Sevigny reports on how Arizona astronomers are gearing up for the “Great American Eclipse.”


Getty Images

Bach and Mozart have one. ZZ Top has one. And of course all of The Beatles have them. They are asteroids.


Brocken Imaglory

Southwest deserts are a good place to see atmospheric phenomena called mirages. They occur where distinct layers of warm and cooler air form. When hot air is trapped below cooler air, entering light is inverted and bent upwards – forming an inferior mirage below the real object.


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