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  2. 2. Asteroids are rocky, airless worlds that orbit our sun,but are too small to be called planets. Tens of thousandsof these "minor planets" are gathered in the mainasteroid belt, a vast doughnut-shaped ring between theorbits of Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids that pass close toEarth are called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).ASTEROIDS
  3. 3. The sun is a star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heartof our solar system. Its influence extends far beyond theorbits of distant Neptune and Pluto. Without the sunsintense energy and heat, there would be no life on Earth.And though it is special to us, there are billions of starslike our sun scattered across the Milky Way galaxy.SUN
  4. 4. On average,a supernova will occur about once every 50 years ina galaxy the size of the Milky Way. Put another way, a starexplodes every second or so somewhere in the universe.Exactlyhow a star dies depends in part on its mass. Our sun, forexample, doesnt have enough mass to explode as a supernova(though the news for Earth still isnt good, because once the sunruns out of its nuclear fuel, perhaps in a couple billion years, itwill swell into a red giant that will likely vaporize our world,before gradually cooling into a white dwarf).SUPERNOVA
  5. 5. A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that evenlight can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has beensqueezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.Because no light can get out, people cant see black holes. They areinvisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes.The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes actdifferently than other stars.BLACK HOLE
  6. 6. The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the verybeginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics haveshown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have abeginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after thatmoment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is aneffort to explain what happened during and after that moment. Accordingto the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as "singularity"around 13.7 billion years ago. What is a "singularity" and where does itcome from? Well, to be honest, we dont know for sure. Singularities arezones which defy our current understanding of physics.BIG BANG
  7. 7. These objects were named Quasistellar Radio Sources (meaning "star-like radiosources") which was soon contracted to quasars. Later, it was found that manysimilar objects did not emit radio waves. These were termed Quasistellar Objectsor QSOs. Now, all of these are often termed quasars (Only about 1% of thequasars discovered to date have detectable radio emission). Quasars areextremely luminous at all wavelengths and exhibit variability on timescales aslittle as hours, indicating that their enormous energy output originates in a verycompact source. Here are some light curves at different wavelengths illustratingthe variability in intensity of some quasars and other active galaxies. Here is anexplanation of these light curves.QUASARS
  8. 8. The Big Crunch is one of the scenarios predicted by scientists in which the Universe mayend. Just like many others, it is based on Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. That is, ifthe Big Bang describes how the Universe most possibly began, the Big Crunch describeshow it will end as a consequence of that beginning. It tells us that the Universe’sexpansion, which is due to the Big Bang, will not continue forever. Instead, at a certainpoint in time, it will stop expanding and collapse into itself, pulling everything with it untilit eventually turns into the biggest black hole ever. Well, we all know how everything issqueezed when in that hole. Hence the name Big Crunch.BIG CRUNCH