Hubbles Extreme Deep Field Reminds Us How Impossibly Large The Universe Is
Everywhere in the universe we look, there are vast discoveries to be found.
The above image is the Hubble space telescopes eXtreme Deep Field observation, published in 2012. The image is the result of combining 1,000 exposures of a teeny tiny patch of sky taken over 10 years. The image contains 5,500 galaxies found in a portion of the night sky thats smaller than one-tenth the width of the moon. As the Hubble website explains, this is just a 30 millionth of the whole sky. So in every thumbnail-sized area of the sky, theres untold numbers of galaxies, stars, planets, and possibly life. Its mind boggling, and awesome.
Hubble Catches An Interstellar Visitor
This is a recent Hubble Space Telescope image of a comet that is passing through our solar system. It was born around a star that is not our own, then flung off into space by some unknown cataclysm.
But its not here to stay. Its moving at around 100,000 miles per hour, which is much too fast for even our mighty sun to capture it in its orbit. The comet, named 2I/Borisov, is only the second interstellar object recorded in our solar system. The first, a cigar-shaped rock , named Oumuamua, was discovered in 2017.
The above image was taken on November 16. The bright blue object in the center is the comet, approximately 203 million miles away from the Earth. The smudgy object to the left of it is actually a spiral galaxy 390 million light-years in the background. Hows that for an extreme contrast in scale? The core of the comet is probably less than a mile wide.
A Solar System Is Born
In 2014, the radio ALMA observatory in Chile captured this image of a star 450 light years away. The star is at the center of the image, but surrounding it are rings of material left over from the birth of the star. .
Looking at the image, astronomers have found evidence that planets are forming out of the material in those rings. This is the beginning of an entire solar system, perhaps one not so different than ours. When we look at the birth of this solar system, were looking at a process that likely birthed our own.
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Exceptional Fossil Preservation Suggests That Discovering Dinosaur Dna May Not Be Impossible
Every time we get new data down, the image quality and detail in the cloud features always blow me away, said Amy Simon of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. It strikes me when I look at Jupiter, in the barges or in the red band right below, you can see cloud structures that are clearly much deeper.
The Latest Pictures Suggest That The James Webb Space Telescope Will Be Useful For Work In Our Solar System As Well
The images show Jupiter and its Moon in a new light.
While the entire world was busy gushing over the flurry of images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope , the American space agency NASA also secretly released two new fascinating pictures of the gas giant Jupiter. The new images were taken by the Webb telescope, however, they are not formal, full-resolution pictures released in the style of the main releases earlier this week.
According to Sky News, the pictures were included in a NASA commissioning document to show that its NIRCam can track moving targets. The images show Jupiter and its Moon in a new light.
Take a look below:
Y’all – I promised and now I deliver. In today’s report “Characterization of JWST Science Performance from Commissioning” , Figure 1 is engineering data featuring Jupiter, including some moons and a ring! It’ll only get better from here, so buckle up!
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Comparison With Extrasolar Systems
Compared to many extrasolar systems, the Solar System stands out in lacking planets interior to the orbit of Mercury. The known Solar System also lacks super-Earths, planets between one and ten times as massive as the Earth, although the hypothetical Planet Nine, if it does exist, could be a super-Earth beyond the Solar System as we understand it today. Uncommonly, it has only small rocky planets and large gas giants elsewhere planets of intermediate size are typicalboth rocky and gasso there is no “gap” as seen between the size of Earth and of Neptune . Also, these super-Earths have closer orbits than Mercury. This led to the hypothesis that all planetary systems start with many close-in planets, and that typically a sequence of their collisions causes consolidation of mass into few larger planets, but in case of the Solar System the collisions caused their destruction and ejection.
The orbits of Solar System planets are nearly circular. Compared to other systems, they have smaller orbital eccentricity. Although there are attempts to explain it partly with a bias in the radial-velocity detection method and partly with long interactions of a quite high number of planets, the exact causes remain undetermined.
Nasa: Hubble Telescope Photos Reveal A Massive 1701 Asteroid Trails
There are many secrets that these small space rocks known as asteroids can carry within themselves. After years of observation, scientists have revealed a lot of information about them. But one secret has eluded them for a long time. And that belongs to a particular asteroid named Phaethon. This asteroid is considered to be the bluest asteroid known in the entire solar system. This means that the asteroid gives off a blue hue when observed from telescopes on Earth. Usually, scientists have found asteroids to either be of gray color due to the rocks and dust or reddish color which indicates the presence of iron in them. But finally, researchers have been able to uncover this secret.
Phaethon is among a small group of asteroids that showcase blue color in our solar system. Among them, Phaethon is the bluest. First observed in the early 1980s, scientists have spent decades trying to decode the reason behind its unique color. Now, a new study was published in the online journal called Icarus where a group of researchers claim that thermal alteration is responsible for this strange phenomenon.
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Orbit Rotation And Longitude
Mercury has the most orbit of all the planets in the Solar System its eccentricity is 0.21 with its distance from the Sun ranging from 46,000,000 to 70,000,000 km . It takes 87.969 Earth days to complete an orbit. The diagram illustrates the effects of the eccentricity, showing Mercury’s orbit overlaid with a circular orbit having the same . Mercury’s higher velocity when it is near perihelion is clear from the greater distance it covers in each 5-day interval. In the diagram, the varying distance of Mercury to the Sun is represented by the size of the planet, which is inversely proportional to Mercury’s distance from the Sun. This varying distance to the Sun leads to Mercury’s surface being flexed by raised by the that are about 17 times stronger than the Moon’s on Earth. Combined with a 3:2 of the planet’s rotation around its axis, it also results in complex variations of the surface temperature.The resonance makes a single ” rel=”nofollow”> meridian transits of the Sun) on Mercury last exactly two Mercury years, or about 176 Earth days.
Mercury’s orbit is inclined by 7 degrees to the plane of Earth’s orbit , the largest of all eight known solar planets. As a result, across the face of the Sun can only occur when the planet is crossing the plane of the ecliptic at the time it lies between Earth and the Sun, which is in May or November. This occurs about every seven years on average.
Surface Conditions And Exosphere
The surface temperature of Mercury ranges from 100 to 700 K at the most extreme places: 0°N, 0°W, or 180°W. It never rises above 180 K at the poles, due to the absence of an atmosphere and a steep temperature gradient between the equator and the poles. The reaches about 700 K during , but only 550 K at .On the dark side of the planet, temperatures average 110 K.The intensity of on Mercury’s surface ranges between 4.59 and 10.61 times the .
Although the daylight temperature at the surface of Mercury is generally extremely high, observations strongly suggest that ice exists on Mercury. The floors of deep craters at the poles are never exposed to direct sunlight, and temperatures there remain below 102 K, far lower than the global average. This creates a where ice can accumulate. Water ice strongly reflects , and observations by the 70-meter and the in the early 1990s revealed that there are patches of high radar near the poles. Although ice was not the only possible cause of these reflective regions, astronomers think it was the most likely.
The icy regions are estimated to contain about 10141015 kg of ice, and may be covered by a layer of that inhibits . By comparison, the ice sheet on Earth has a mass of about 4×1018 kg, and Mars’s south polar cap contains about 1016 kg of water. The origin of the ice on Mercury is not yet known, but the two most likely sources are from of water from the planet’s interior or deposition by impacts of comets.
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Cassinis Last Look At Saturn Reminds Us Why We Need To Go Back
NASAs Cassini mission ended in a fiery finale in 2017 when the spacecraft dove into Saturn after more than a decade in its orbit. These are the last series of images Cassini seen before its demise. In the timelapse, you see the icy moon Enceladus setting behind Saturn.
Its a picture that represents so much.
Many years earlier, Cassini discovered that Enceladus has a remarkable feature: Plumes of water vapor and gas shoot out of cracks in the surface. That water means theres a liquid ocean beneath the ice-covered surface, which may have geothermal vents like those found at the bottom of our oceans.
The discovery was immense: It shot Enceladus to the top of the list of places where we could possibly find life in our solar system. It could be the site of a second genesis where life formed, evolved, and prospered undisturbed on another world. If even a few small microbes were found in its waters, it would be one of the greatest scientific findings of all time.
This image above says farewell to Enceladus, but it also beckons we must, someday, go back to see if theres life there.
The Rosetta Mission Delivered A Serene Portrait Of A Comet
The European Space Agencys Rosetta mission was the first ever to actually land a probe onto the surface of a comet. The mission launched in 2004, and arrived at the comet in 2014.
The comet, named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is a little more than 2.5 miles wide. Its amazing that we could navigate to something so small in the vastness of space. The above image, captured in 2015, shows the comet in stunning detail.
Perhaps even more exciting is this close-up timelapse of the surface of the comet. Its almost cinematic. In the foreground, dust and cosmic rays look like a snowstorm. And you can clearly see the craggy features of the comet. It makes it easier to imagine what its like to ride on a comet.
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The Sun Is Behind The Bluest Asteroid In The Solar System
It turns out that asteroid Phaethon, in its orbital pathway, goes extremely close to the Sun. In fact, it goes closer than any other named asteroid at a distance of 13 million miles from the Sun. For reference, the closest planet Mercury revolves around the Sun at three times the distance compared to the asteroid. As a result of getting so close, the asteroid heats up to 800 degrees Celsius and as a result Phaethon gets stripped of its red chemicals like iron and other red colored organic chemicals due to the heat, claims the study.
“You’re essentially un-reddening the surface. Although some red color re-accumulates as Phaethon orbits out beyond Mars, it’s lost again as Phaethon approaches the sun. After thousands of revolutions, all that remains are materials that reflect darker, cooler colors, said Carey Lisse, the lead author of the study in a statement.
To showcase this, the researchers created a model which detailed the chemical composition of the asteroid and then added heat to prove that it is indeed the redder substances which get vaporized. After that, what is left behind is the blue colored compounds, which due to lack of any opposition, shine bright.
I was a little surprised the idea actually worked. It just seems wild to think that maybe Phaethon looks so blue because it gets so hot that it preferentially produces iron gas versus rock gas, but apparently that isn’t so crazy after all, said Jordan Steckloff, co-author of the study.
This Is The Very First Image Of A Black Hole
In April 2019, an international collaboration of scientists called the Event Horizon Telescope told the world that, for the first time, humanity has peered into the edge of a black hole.
The supermassive black hole is at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, 53.49 million light-years away. The black hole, called M87,is massive, some 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun, all contained in a single point of infinite density.
In the image, the visible reddish and white light surrounding the black hole is material being destroyed by its immense gravity. That light encircles the photon orbit, a region beyond which light could conceivably escape from but is unlikely to. Within that photon orbit is the event horizon, the region beyond which no light can escape.
As you look at this image, know that this isnt an object. This is a shadow, a sink. The light in the center gets sucked out of our view irretrievably. The absence in the image means something has left our observable universe. Its a truly remarkable moment for humans to be able to see something so enigmatic, so far away, and so incredibly difficult to capture.
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The new pictures were taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, Nasas new flagship equipment that could allow us to peer back into the beginnings of the universe and could help locate alien life.
This week, Nasa revealed the first images sent back from that telescope. Photos showed vast cliffs and nebulae, with Nasa stressing how the telescope allowed it to see stars and dust that would never have been visible before.
But at the same time, a team appears to have revealed the first images that the telescope has taken of objects in our own solar system.
While they are not quite as spectacular as those first images to be released, they could be equally important for scientists who want to use the telescope to better understand distant worlds.
Magnetic Field And Magnetosphere
Despite its small size and slow 59-day-long rotation, Mercury has a significant, and apparently global, . According to measurements taken by , it is about 1.1% the strength of Earth’s. The magnetic-field strength at Mercury’s equator is about 300 . Like that of Earth, Mercury’s magnetic field is . Unlike Earth’s, Mercury’s poles are nearly aligned with the planet’s spin axis. Measurements from both the and MESSENGER space probes have indicated that the strength and shape of the magnetic field are stable.
It is likely that this magnetic field is generated by a effect, in a manner similar to the magnetic field of Earth. This dynamo effect would result from the circulation of the planet’s iron-rich liquid core. Particularly strong effects caused by the planet’s high orbital eccentricity would serve to keep part of the core in the liquid state necessary for this dynamo effect.
Mercury’s magnetic field is strong enough to deflect the solar wind around the planet, creating a magnetosphere. The planet’s magnetosphere, though small enough to fit within Earth, is strong enough to trap solar wind . This contributes to the space weathering of the planet’s surface. Observations taken by the spacecraft detected this low energy plasma in the magnetosphere of the planet’s nightside. Bursts of energetic particles in the planet’s magnetotail indicate a dynamic quality to the planet’s magnetosphere.
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See Hubbles Stunning Photos Of The Giant Planets From Its New Grand Tour Of The Outer Solar System
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has completed this year’s grand tour of the outer solar system … Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune returning crisp images that complement current and past observations from interplanetary spacecraft.
In the wake of a beautiful dark Blood Moon lunar eclipse some classic portraits of the Solar Systemss four giant planetsJupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptunehave been sent back by NASAs Hubble Space Telescope.
Orbiting Earth from 340 miles/547 kilometers out, the iconic space observatory has to contend with none of the perturbing hot air of Earths atmosphere.
The result is pin-sharp images of the closest huge planetJupiterand incredible close-ups of the much more distant Saturn and incredibly remote Uranus and Neptune. They reveal dynamic weather patterns and changing seasons as these gas giants continue their long orbits around the Sun.
Comprising Hubbles annual grand tour of the outer Solar Systemand part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program here are its stunning images in all of their glory :
Fantastic Photos Of Our Solar System
In the past decade, extraordinary space missions have found water on Mars, magnetic storms on Mercury and volcanoes on the moons of Saturn
We’ve been looking at other planets through telescopes for four centuries. But if you really want to get to know a place, there’s no substitute for being there. And in the past decade, more than 20 spacecraft have ventured into the deepest reaches of our solar system. These probes, unlike the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories that merely orbit Earth, have actually traveled to other planets and approached the Sun, sending back pictures that humble or awe, even as they advance astronomers’ understanding of our corner of the universe.
“The past decade has been spectacular in terms of achievements,” says Sean Solomon, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a leader of recent missions to Mercury and Mars.
Last year, NASA’s Messenger mission gave us the first up-close view of parts ofMercury, the planet closest to the Sun. The spacecraft has found extensive ridges along the planet’s surface, made as it cooled and shrank over its four billion years. Messenger should nestle into an orbit around Mercury in 2011 and continue to study the planet’s geology and magnetic fields.
Pluto may not count as a planet anymore, but it has its own mission: NASA’s New Horizons, now en route and expected to arrive in 2015.
Laura Helmuth is a senior editor at Smithsonian.
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