Researchers may have discovered direct evidence of a former sister planet that resided in our Solar System, but was obliterated during an unknown cataclysm that occurred billions of years ago. It is theorized that the Solar System may have had as many as ten such lost planets early in its history, but this new evidence takes such theories and brings them that much closer to reality.
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The Chinese space station, Tiangong-1, re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on April 1, breaking up over a stretch of the South Pacific roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Tahiti, according to the China National Space Administration. This was confirmed by the United States Air Force 18th Space Control Squadron, an organization tasked with tracking artificial objects in orbit. Due to CNSA’s inability to control the timing of Tiangong-1’s reentry, there were concerns over damage or injuries that might be caused by debris that might have survived reentry; however, none have been reported.
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In a few months, the orbit of a star deep in the core of the Milky Way will cause it to pass within 18.4 billion kilometers (11.4 billion miles) of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, Sagittarius A*. This event is of particular interest to physicists, as the plummeting star, S0-2, will speed up to 3 percent of the speed of light as it slingshots around its supermassive parent–a prime opportunity to test Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
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A newly-discovered asteroid, designated 2018 DU, made a close pass to the Earth over the weekend, coming within 280,000 kilometers (174,000 miles) of the planet on February 25. The ten-meter (33-foot) rock is the 17th known asteroid to have passed within the Moon’s orbit this year.

2018 DU wasn’t spotted until February 23, two days before its close approach, due to its small size–less than half of the size of the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. It was first spotted by the Virtual Telescope Project (VTP), through the Rome-based organization’s Tenagra III telescope in Arizona. Although VTP made the 10-meter size estimate, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center says that 2018 DU could be as small as 4 meters (13 feet).
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