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Solar System News (miscellaneous articles)

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LOC    1,000

I'm just thinking of contaminants that we can't think of (not necessarily aliens mind you lol) here on Earth. I mean, it is a different planet after all. I know NASA won't take any chances (nor would any other space agency) but like with asteroid thearts - its the unknown that is the most worrisome.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

No, I hear ya. Deal is elements and compounds are still elements and compounds no matter where they are located. And if we do happen to find organics, they are almost certain to be inert (dead/fossilized). If not, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

 

And even if those organics aren't inert, there's been so much cross-pollination with Earth that those organics aren't likely to pose much of a threat to us. In fact, chances are good we are the threat to them.

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DocM    16,485
10 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Nothing gets past the filtration techniques that NASA uses. NOTHING. Those techniques put everything else to shame ... contaminants like urea, etc are it's specialty. The stuff at Mars will be no problem.

>

 

One of the most current versions is the size of a hot water bottle. You can send urine in one side and get pure water out the other.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665
1 hour ago, DocM said:

 

One of the most current versions is the size of a hot water bottle. You can send urine in one side and get pure water out the other.

:yes: Devised and designed with that very thing in mind. Complete waste recycling. And wait 'till NASA goes full monty with what they wanna do with solid waste ... stuff of science fiction. They're working with the SpaceX and Blue Origin boffins on that one. After all, the new engines do run on CH4 ... ;) 

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DocM    16,485

The latest thing in solid waste disposal, and it doesn't need to fly to be useful. (Y)

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Although it would be helpful if it did ... but then again SpaceX is favoring Sabatier Conversion for most of what they need. When it flies it'll be the business ... right now it's still in closed-door R&D.

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techbeck    6,865

1516975215272.thumb.jpg.5a8e5e1eca860ae8a2e073ea8f60965b.jpg

 

The ribbons of multicolored gas that make up Jupiter's atmosphere are on display in two new images from NASA's Juno probe. 

 

In one of the new images, the ribbons of gas that wrap around Jupiter's equator are shown in stunning resolution, revealing detailed structures in the clouds. With this level of detail, the bands of gas start to resemble solid materials: An orange-tinted region looks like a knotty wood plank, and a speckled, whitish-blue layer looks like a sandy river bottom.  

 

In the second image, the planet's south pole is rendered in bright colors that highlight how the bands of gas remain separate from each other, despite their stormy nature.  

 

More....

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/01/26/jupiters-stripes-reveal-stunning-details-in-new-juno-probe-images.html

 

Pics

https://www.space.com/12495-jupiter-juno-mission-photos-gallery.html

 

 

Wouldnt mind a higher quality/resolution image of the 2nd pic in the 2nd link.

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Draggendrop    5,747

I didn't want to make a thread for this...but thought it was neat...

 

On planet Earth...

 

Quote

From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf.

DpuMLroXUAAtKPc.thumb.jpg.b8fb79c84ad9553af05eafdedaf6a011.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/NASA_ICE/status/1052601381712887809

 

-----------------------------------

 

2 Rectangular Icebergs Spotted on NASA IceBridge Flight

 

Quote

rectangular iceberg photographed from an IceBridge flight on 16 Oct 2018


Credits: NASA/Jeremy Harbeck


Operation IceBridge, NASA’s longest-running aerial survey of polar ice, flew over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on Oct. 16, 2018. During the survey, designed to assess changes in the ice height of several glaciers draining into the Larsen A, B and C embayments, IceBridge senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck spotted a very sharp-angled, tabular iceberg floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. A photo of the iceberg (seen at right) was widely shared after it was posted on social media.

 

“I thought it was pretty interesting; I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I've not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had,” Harbeck said. The rectangular iceberg appeared to be freshly calved from Larsen C, which in July 2017 released the massive A68 iceberg, a chunk of ice about the size of the state of Delaware.

 

In a different photo (above), Harbeck captured both the edge of the now-famous iceberg, and a slightly less rectangular iceberg. That image also captures A68 in the distance.

 

“I was actually more interested in capturing the A68 iceberg that we were about to fly over, but I thought this rectangular iceberg was visually interesting and fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos,” Harbeck said.

 

The flight originated from Punta Arenas, Chile, as part of a five-week-long IceBridge deployment, which began Oct. 10 and is scheduled to conclude Nov. 18.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2018/2-rectangular-icebergs-spotted-on-nasa-icebridge-flight

 

here is the 2nd one, the nice one is on the left...

 

20181016_6d_mg_1035-x4.thumb.jpg.5e2617287529bde8b22ca235e2ceb088.jpg

 

----------------------------------------

 

NASA's Found a Weird, Rectangular Iceberg in the Antarctica

 

Quote

Tabular icebergs are wide and flat, and long, like sheet cake, Brunt said. They split from the edges of ice shelves — large blocks of ice, connected to land but floating in the water surrounding iced-over places like Antarctica. This one came from the crumbling Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Quote

Tabular icebergs form, she said, through a process that's a bit like a fingernail growing too long and cracking off at the end. They're often rectangular and geometric as a result, she added.

 

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks almost like a square," Brunt said.

 

It's difficult to tell the size of the iceberg in this photo, she said, but it's likely more than a mile across. And, as with all icebergs, the part visible above the surface is just the top 10 percent of its mass. The rest, Brunt said, is hidden underwater.

 

In the case of tabular icebergs, she said, that subsurface mass is usually regular-looking and geometric, similar to what's visible above. This iceberg looks pretty fresh, she said — its sharp corners indicate that wind and waves haven't had much time to break it down.

 

But despite the berg's large mass, Brunt said, she wouldn't advise going on a walk on its surface.

 

"It probably wouldn't flip over," she said.

 

The thing is still much wider than it is deep, after all. But it's small enough to be unstable and crack up at any moment.

 

So, it's probably best to marvel at the thing from a distance.

https://www.space.com/42234-weird-square-iceberg-antarctica.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

 

//

Public Service Announcement...j/k

 

The above images were taken in the Antarctic.....we have the  annual Polar Bear attack warnings for this season in the lower Canadian Arctic...they are vicious...

 

 172906922_PolarBearAttack.thumb.jpg.7f3a2e50c4f5cd933720a8879aea6ebf.jpg

 

😮

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Draggendrop    5,747

Asteroid or Comet? Weird Blue Space Rock 'Phaethon' Gets a Close-Up

 

1704921367_aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzEwMi8zMDQvb3JpZ2luYWwvYmx1ZS1hc3Rlcm9pZC1waGFldGhvbi5qcGc.thumb.jpg.6f0904a359ec3e98130877a1a266f900.jpg

An artist's impression of the blue asteroid 3200 Phaethon
Credit: Heather Roper/University of Arizona

 

Quote

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A bizarre, blue asteroid that acts like a comet and appears to be responsible for the annual Geminid meteor shower made a close flyby of Earth last year, giving astronomers an opportunity to study the object in unprecedented detail. They found that the asteroid is even weirder than they had imagined.

 

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon is a special space rock with a rare blue color and an extremely eccentric orbit that has the object pass superclose to the sun and then out past the orbit of Mars. One orbit takes about 1.4 Earth years. This kind of orbit is more typical for comets than asteroids.

 

But while Phaethon acts like a comet, it doesn't look like one. When comets get close to the sun, they form a cloud known as a "coma" and a long tail of dust and gas. Phaethon, however, always looks like a tiny speck floating through space. 

 

On Dec. 16, 2017, the asteroid Phaethon made its closest approach to Earth since 1974, passing within 6.4 million miles (10.3 million kilometers) of our planet. While backyard astronomers pointed their telescopes toward the space rock to catch a glimpse of the historic flyby, astronomers in observatories around the world took the opportunity to learn more about what the object is and where it came from. 

 

Teddy Kareta, a graduate student at the University of Arizona who led an international effort to investigate Phaethon during the flyby, presented his team's findings here at the 50th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences today (Oct. 23). Kareta and his colleagues observed Phaethon's close approach using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the Tillinghast telescope on Mount Hopkins in Arizona.

 

One of their findings may overturn the current prevailing theory about the origin of Phaethon. Astronomers have long suspected that Phaethon is a fragment of the much larger blue asteroid Pallas. "However, Pallas' albedo [or reflectivity] is about twice what we found for Phaethon's albedo," Kareta said. With an albedo of about 8 percent, Phaethon is slightly brighter than charcoal and only about half as bright as Pallas, Kareta said.

 

The researchers also found that the surface of Phaethon is equally blue all around, which means that the object has been "evenly scorched" or "cooked" by the sun's heat. Phaethon's blue color indicates that the rock has undergone intense heating, Kareta said. During Phaethon's trips around the sun, it gets heated to temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (800 degrees Celsius), which is "so hot that metals on the surface turn to goo," he said.

 

Quote

Asteroids like Phaethon are rocky objects that don't behave the same way as comets do when they get close to the sun, and astronomers aren't sure how Phaethon could have created the Geminids. Before Phaethon was discovered, in 1983, astronomers had no idea where the Geminids came from. Having observed that Phaethon's orbit matched the trail of debris that causes the annual meteor shower, though, astronomers determined that Phaethon must be the source.

 

1273520978_MTU0MDM0ODU2OQ.thumb.jpg.25ceb3b4a12756276d9a93ed0fafd110.jpg

This diagram shows the highly eccentric orbit of 3200 Phaethon.
Credit: NASA JPL

 

Quote

Exactly how Phaethon created that trail of debris remains a mystery, Kareta said. While it is possible that material swept off the asteroid's surface could contribute to the debris, "the amount of dust that gets swept off is nowhere near enough to sustain the Geminids," he said. One possibility is that Phaethon collided with another object in space and the Geminids are the debris from that "catastrophic breakup," he said. "So, in that case, you're essentially seeing dust, which is kind of like blood splatter, to be gruesome, from this really violent event."

 

Another possibility is that Phaethon is a dormant comet, or a comet that turned into an asteroid over time. "If it was cometary at some point in the past, maybe it made the meteor shower the normal way and left behind those comet crumbs … but since then, it's been cooked through and turned off and it just looks like a rock," Kareta said.

Quote

A mission to Phaethon: DESTINY+


Findings from this new research will come in handy for scientists with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which is currently planning a mission to Phaethon. The mission is called DESTINY+ (an abbreviation for Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology for Interplanetary Voyage, Phaethon Fyby and Dust Science), and it is currently scheduled to launch in 2022.

 

DESTINY+ will fly by Phaethon and other near-Earth objects to study how dust is ejected from these objects. This should help to explain Phaethon's tiny dust tail. DESTINY+ could help scientists figure out whether Phaethon is an asteroid, a comet or something else. "It's probably somewhere in the middle," Kareta said.

more at the link...

https://www.space.com/42236-weird-blue-asteroid-phaethon.html

 

 

Bizarre, Blue Space Rock Even Weirder Than Astronomers Thought

https://www.livescience.com/63905-bizarre-blue-space-rock.html

 

 

Explore Phaethon, the weird blue rock that turns metal into goo

http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/10/explore-phaethon-the-weird-blue-rock-that-turns-metal-into-goo

 

 

JAXA announces new asteroid flyby mission to Phaethon

 

DESTINY_jaxa.thumb.jpg.67e85db9d88bd62942a5e084fabd5995.jpg

Image courtesy of JAXA

 

Quote

Japan’s space agency the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the details of a new mission to study interplanetary dust, scheduled to launch in 2022 via JAXA’s Epsilon rocket.

 

Known as Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology for INterplanetary voYage (DESTINY), the mission will conduct a flyby of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, along with a second extraplanetary body which is yet to be decided. The mission will last an estimated 4 years, and will include a flyby of the moon.

 

The main objective of DESTINY is to study interplanetary dust, much of which arrives on earth via meteor showers. As such, DESTINY will survey parent bodies of meteors, of which 3200 Phaethon is one. Phaethon was chosen because it is the parent body of the Geminid meteor shower, which occurs yearly.

 

JAXA believes an understanding of the origins of cosmic dust, which comes from comets and asteroids rich in water and organic matter, will provide insight into how earth can support life. In particular, DESTINY will clarify the theory that 70% of earth’s carbon is brought via interplanetary dust, instead of gas, as commonly believed. The mission will also have secondary scientific objective of studying Phaethon’s geology to understand its dust ejection mechanism.

http://www.spacetechasia.com/jaxa-announces-new-asteroid-flyby-mission-of-phaethon/

 

//  My "hunch" would be a very old comet with "one to many" orbits around a hot sun, which has culminated in a scorched rocky body that we view today.

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

The Milky Way in radio waves reflecting off the Moon

 

Quote

ASTRO 3D

Published on Oct 17, 2018

SUBSCRIBE 12

Radio waves from our galaxy, the Milky Way, reflecting off the surface of the Moon and observed by the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope located in outback Western Australia. The research behind it: https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.01351 Video Credit: Dr Ben McKinley, Curtin University/ICRAR/ASTRO 3D. Teresa Slaven-Blair, Curtin University/ICRAR/ASTRO 3D. Kirsten Gottschalk, University of Western Australia/ICRAR. Moon image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

 

reference article...

https://www.universal-sci.com/headlines/2018/10/29/whoa-thats-the-milky-way-bouncing-off-the-moon-in-radio-waves

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LOC    1,000

Wow, that's amazing. Thanks moon, and uh, galaxy out there! :D (and thanks Draggendrop for posting that of course!)

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

large images...

 

DtL5ZYqXgAAUjER.jpg

 

 

DtL5ZYrWoAIpgwr.jpg

 

 

 

 

DtM6aLdWwAIg6Xi.jpg

 

Beautiful area...

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DocM    16,485

Where does space begin? Currently there are two main definitions,

 

Karman Line: 100km
USAF/NASA: 50mi (80.467km)

 

IAF* & FAI** are working on a proposal to redefine the Karman Line which seems to center around 80km (49.71mi). Workshop in 2019.

 

This paper by Jonathan  McDowell, astrophysicist at Harvard Smithsonian, is  getting a lot of attention,

 

https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.07894

 

* International Astronautical Federation 

 

** Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (air sports)

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Jim K    13,212
Quote

Discovered: The most-distant solar system object ever observed

 

Washington, DC— A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our Solar System.  It is the first known Solar System object that has been detected at a distance that is more than 100 times farther than Earth is from the Sun.

 

The new object was announced on Monday, December 17, 2018, by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center and has been given the provisional designation 2018 VG18. The discovery was made by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard, the University of Hawaii’s David Tholen, and Northern Arizona University’s Chad Trujillo.

 

2018 VG18, nicknamed “Farout” by the discovery team for its extremely distant location, is at about 120 astronomical units (AU), where 1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun.  The second-most-distant observed Solar System object is Eris, at about 96 AU.  Pluto is currently at about 34 AU, making 2018 VG18 more than three-and-a-half times more distant than the Solar System’s most-famous dwarf planet.

 

2018_VG18_orbit_distance_to_scale-700x394.thumb.jpg.0409a3bdaa438976c9e1ce764644a833.jpg

//

 

The Magellan observations confirmed that 2018 VG18 is around 120 AU, making it the first Solar System object observed beyond 100 AU.  Its brightness suggests that it is about 500 km in diameter, likely making it spherical in shape and a dwarf planet. It has a pinkish hue, a color generally associated with ice-rich objects. 

 

/snip

 

Full article at Carnegie Science

 

120AU?  That means at its present distance it lies between the heliosheath and heliopause.  Voyager 2 just crossed 120AU not too long ago (Voyager 1 is at 145AU).

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DocM    16,485

Guess the solar system extends further out than they thought.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

Dvs_PfTUYAE-8yU.jpg

 

 

Dvs_PfuUYAAJnSI.jpg

 

 

Dvs_PgLVAAAcc8e.png

 

If unsure for your area...

Stellarium download options page...

https://stellarium.org/

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Beittil    573

Happy new year my fellow neowinian space nerds! (at least, here it has come gone) May it be a spaceful year. 

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Jim K    13,212
Quote

NASA's Cassini Data Show Saturn's Rings Relatively New

 

The rings of Saturn may be iconic, but there was a time when the majestic gas giant existed without its distinctive halo. In fact, the rings may have formed much later than the planet itself, according to a new analysis of gravity science data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

 

The findings indicate that Saturn's rings formed between 10 million and 100 million years ago. From our planet's perspective, that means Saturn's rings may have formed during the age of dinosaurs.

 

The conclusions of the research - gleaned from measurements collected during the final, ultra-close orbits Cassini performed in 2017 as the spacecraft neared the end of its mission - are the best answer yet to a longstanding question in solar system science. The findings were published online Jan. 17 in Science.

//snip

 

JPL

 

That is really new...

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Jim K    13,212

 

Likely to announce that Opportunity has passed away.  Planned for 90 days it delivered science for 15 years while traveling more than 28 miles.

 

RIP little guy.

 

 

 

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DocM    16,485

An excellent example of bang for buck 👍👍

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Jim K    13,212

It's official.

 

 

 

 

 

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Beittil    573

I'll drink one to the lil fellah. Oppy, champion of Mars! 

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DocM    16,485

 

It'd be nice to bring them home to a cozy spot in the Smithsonian. Or, build a branch museum on Mars 🤔

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