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Why Nine Circles

The Nine Circles Cosmochemical Research Group is named after the Nine Circles of hell that feature in the epic 14th century poem "Divine Comedy" written by Dante Alighieri (the namesake of group leader Dante Lauretta).

"Nine Circles" also relates to the orbits of the nine planets of our Solar System as they were before Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet (unless you live in New Mexico or Illinois in which case Pluto is still a planet).

The Nine Circles' experimental geochemistry and analytical laboratories and are called Inferno and Paradiso, named after the first and third parts of the Divine Comedy respectively.



Depiction of a scene from Divine Comedy; "The Fall of Troy" by Johann Georg Trautmann (from Wikipedia Commons).