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The major planets in our solar system orbit, more or less, in a single plane.

J.R.R. Tolkien book published after 100 years

Is the same true for exoplanets in distant solar systems? You can see multiple rings and gaps. Presumably, planets are forming within the rings, and the gaps are formed as the planets sweep their orbits clear of dust and gas. Image via NRAO. EarthSky lunar calendars are cool! They make great gifts. Order now. Going fast!

The earliest stargazers noticed that the bright planets in our sky travel along the same path, more or less, as the sun and moon. We call that sky pathway the zodiac. Today, we know this sky path — this zodiac — results from the fact that the planets in our solar system orbit our sun more or less in a single plane.


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But today we also know thousands of other planets — called exoplanets — orbiting distant stars. Do they also orbit, more or less, in a single plane around their suns?

Most major planets in our solar system stay within 3 degrees of the ecliptic. Mercury is the exception; its orbit is inclined to the ecliptic by 7 degrees. The dwarf planet Pluto is a widely known exception to this rule.

The meaning and origin of the expression: Run rings around

Its orbit is inclined to the ecliptic by more than 17 degrees. It makes sense that most large planets in our solar system stay near the ecliptic plane. The original cloud was spinning, and this spin caused it to flatten out into a disk shape. The sun and planets are believed to have formed out of this disk, which is why, today, the planets still orbit in a single plane around our sun. A drawing depicting the flat plane of our solar system. Not to scale! According to astronomers, distant stars and planets also form from spinning clouds of gas and dust in space.

In recent years, astronomers have captured images of some protoplanetary disks — new solar systems in the process of formation — plus they see distant, already-formed solar systems, whose planets do orbit, as ours does, more or less in a single plane.

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On these worlds, yes, you would see planets crossing the sky along a pathway similar to our zodiac, the same pathway traveled by the local star. The deal reportedly includes a potential spin-off series as well. Amazon says it acquired the rights directly from the Tolkien Estate and Trust. Slated to debut exclusively on Prime Video, the series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the estate, HarperCollins publishers and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment, Amazon said in a news release.

Tolkien book published after years. The series underscores a shift in Amazon's video programming. Its studios started in with a focus on unique shows, such as "Transparent," which deals with a father coming out as transgender to his family. Though it attracted great reviews it did not result in a hike in Amazon Prime subscribers, at least not in all of its target audiences around the world. Amazon is now looking for a dramatic show that could become a hit globally, much like HBO's popular fantasy series "Game of Thrones.

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But the company is up against some steep competition, with Netflix, Hulu and other streaming platforms and premium TV services also bidding to keep viewers entertained with high quality content. Yet Amazon appears to justify its spending on programming as a way to draw new sign-ups to Prime, whose members not only enjoy the video service, but also buy more goods more often from the world's largest online retailer. Tolkien is considered to be the inventor of sophisticated fantasy literature. Millions continue to read his timeless works each year.

The author of "Lords of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" died in , but his Middle-earth universe lives on. Tolkien wrote a century ago. A hacker attack and the perils of cyberspace are at the heart of Amazon's first streaming series created in Germany. He spoke to DW about the pressure to succeed.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that sparked the gay pride movement. Many Hollywood stars play homosexuals or lesbians these days, but acceptance of the topic was far from a given before the gay rights movement.

A look at homosexuality in films since Is liberal democracy at its end? How should we deal with the rise of populism fueled by fake news on the internet? Yale historian and world-renowned author Timothy Snyder discusses these burning issues with DW. A mass composition by Haydn interspersed with South African freedom songs? As part of the "Long Walk to Freedom" program at Rheingau, a youth orchestra from South Africa delivers an emphatic yes.