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Systemic - Characterizing Extrasolar Planetary Systems


10 Mar 2015, 17:06 UTC
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I was struck by the image that NASA released several days ago, just before the Dawn Spacecraft braided itself into orbit around Ceres.
From a graphic standpoint, the photograph is perfect. The black expanse relays that the asteroid belt, and by extension the solar system, is mostly empty. Even more subtle is the message telegraphed by the crescent phase. We arrive to our first clear view of this world as outsiders, from a distance further from the Sun than Ceres itself. A consequence of the energetics and the constraints of the trajectory design, sure, but metaphoric nonetheless.

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