Skip to comments.Spitzer Sees the Aftermath of a Planetary Collision
Posted on 01/13/2005 8:50:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a dusty ring of material orbiting nearby Vega which was probably the result of a series of protoplanets smashing into each other. Vega is the fifth brightest star in the sky, located only 25 light-years away in the constellation of Lyra. This dust is constantly being blown out by Vega's intense radiation, so it's unlikely that the star has had this much dust for its entire lifetime. Instead, this ring must have been formed recently, perhaps when a Pluto-sized object was pulverized within the last million years or so.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
other versions of the image. CAUTION, the third one is 2.2 megs, and the TIF files are about four times larger than that.
Titan: The New World"The rings are no older than about a few hundred million years. They're young. They are basically geologically young," says Porco. "It means that rings, Saturn's rings, were not in there in the early days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth... [made of] Billions and billions of particles. Countless numbers of particles. Varying ice particles. Varying size from the sizes of houses, large houses or small apartment buildings, down to the sizes of stones and pebbles," says Porco. "And although they're screaming around Saturn at speeds of 40,000 miles an hour, they are very gently jostling each other. They are the delicate wreckage of a moon, or maybe a comet that was ripped apart and captured by Saturn's gravity. Being in charge gives her the privilege of naming the pictures. "Ring World Waiting" was taken more than 17 million miles away. "Side Swiping Saturn" is a view of the seemingly paper-thin ring level view. And "Nature's Canvas" captures Saturn's tiny moon, Mimas. Cassini has discovered three new moons. Now Saturn has 34.
CBS Worldwide Inc
Jan. 19, 2005
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Far-out worlds, just waiting to be foundIN THE dark reaches of the solar system lurk swarms of hidden worlds. Too small and too distant to reflect sunlight, they have remained under the cover of darkness for billions of years. But now the outer solar system is giving up its secrets. And with them comes an astonishing claim: "It's quite possible that there is a halo of planets surrounding our solar system, just waiting to be found," says Eugene Chiang, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley.
by Stuart Clark
23 July 2005
What makes Chiang's claim so surprising is the sheer number and size of these planets. Weighing more than Mars, they dwarf Sedna and Quaoar, the largest rocky bodies spotted circling the sun beyond Pluto.
I hope they send the Shuttle this time, the suspense is boring me. :')
Far-out worlds, just waiting to be found
New Scientist | 23 July 2005 (issue date) | Stuart Clark
Posted on 07/20/2005 10:54:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
An artist's rendering of what the environment around Pleiades star HD 23514 might look like as two planets collide. Small, rocky planets that could resemble the Earth or Mars may be forming around a star in the Pleiades star cluster, astronomers reported on Wednesday. (Gemini Observatory/Lynette R. Cook/Reuters)
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