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  • Who Needs a Moon?

    05/28/2011 4:43:54 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 32 replies
    Science ^ | 27 May 2011 | Govert Schilling
    BOSTON—The number of Earth-like extrasolar planets suitable for harboring advanced life could be 10 times higher than has been assumed until now, according to a new modeling study. The finding contradicts the prevailing notion that a terrestrial planet needs a large moon to stabilize the orientation of its axis and, hence, its climate. In 1993, French mathematicians Jacques Laskar and Philippe Robutel showed that Earth’s large moon has a stabilizing effect on our planet’s climate. Without the moon, gravitational perturbations from other planets, notably nearby Venus and massive Jupiter, would greatly disturb Earth’s axial tilt, with vast consequences for the...
  • The sun follows the rhythm of the planets

    06/05/2019 4:54:27 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 95 replies
    SpaceDaily.com ^ | May 30, 2019 | "Staff writers"
    One of the big questions in solar physics is why the Sun's activity follows a regular cycle of 11 years. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), an independent German research institute, now present new findings, indicating that the tidal forces of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle.
  • MARS AND EARTH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN EARLY NEIGHBORS

    12/19/2017 7:27:49 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 29 replies
    Astrobiology Magazine ^ | 18 Dec, 2017 | Joelle Renstrom
    A study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters posits that Mars formed in what today is the Asteroid Belt, roughly one and a half times as far from the Sun as its current position, before migrating to its present location. The assumption has generally been that Mars formed near Earth from the same building blocks, but that conjecture raises a big question: why are the two planets so different in composition? Mars contains different, lighter, silicates than Earth, more akin to those found in meteorites. In an attempt to explain why the elements and isotopes on Mars...
  • When straying Jupiter went on the pull

    02/15/2012 4:46:03 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    SkyMania ^ | February 13th, 2012 | Kulvinder Singh
    The path of true love never runs smooth, it is said. Especially on Valentine's Day. And for young planets, that path turns out to be an inward-moving annulus. A simulation by scientists in France and USA appears to show that Jupiter once strayed to flirt with the inner Solar System, before being "jilted" and sent back to its present-day position. The effect of this was to form the inner planets, according to the theory, which comes up with mass ratios for Earth and Mars similar to that observed today and which, remarkably, also accurately depicts the Asteroid Belt. If the...
  • Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers

    12/22/2011 7:05:56 AM PST · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 44 replies
    Back in 2006, the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona noticed that a mysterious body had begun orbiting the Earth. This object had a spectrum that was remarkably similar to the titanium white paint used on Saturn V rocket stages and, indeed, a number of rocket stages are known to orbit the Sun close to Earth. But this was not an object of ours. Instead, 2006 RH120, as it became known, turned out to be a tiny asteroid just a few metres across--a natural satellite like the Moon. It was captured by Earth's gravity in September 2006 and orbited us...
  • Were Mercury and Mars separated at birth?

    01/19/2009 3:32:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies · 542+ views
    New Scientist ^ | Monday, January 19, 2009 | unattributed
    Line up Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars according to their distance from the sun and you'll see their size distribution is close to symmetrical, with the two largest planets between the two smallest. That would be no coincidence -- if the pattern emerged from a debris ring around the sun. Brad Hansen of the University of California, Los Angeles, built a numerical simulation to explore how a ring of rocky material in the early solar system could have evolved into the planets. He found that two larger planets typically form near the inner and outer edges of the ring, corresponding...
  • Venus' Tail of the Unexpected

    02/23/2008 5:04:59 PM PST · by Swordmaker · 22 replies · 382+ views
    Thunderbolts.info ^ | 02/20/2008 | by Rens Van der Sluijs
    The ion tail of Venus. Credit: Jeff Hecht, New Scientist Magazine May 31, 1997.   Feb 20, 2008Venus' Tail of the UnexpectedAncient peoples report that the planet Venus once had visible "ropes" stretching out to the Earth. Could a plasma glow discharge have been the cause?The "induced magnetotail" that points away from Venus in the direction of the earth is a teardrop-shaped plasma structure filled with “a lot of little stringy things” that was first detected by NASA’s Pioneer Venus Orbiter in the late 1970s. In 1997, Europe’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Satellite showed that the tail stretched some...
  • New data challenge Earth atmosphere theory

    11/03/2007 10:30:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies · 51+ views
    Newsdaily ^ | September 19, 2007 | United Press International
    U.S. geochemists challenged commonly held theories about how gases are expelled from the Earth and how a planet's atmosphere is formed. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers said their new theory could change the way scientists view the timing and mechanism involved in the formation of Earth's atmosphere, as well as the atmospheres of Mars and Venus. The team, led by Professor E. Bruce Watson, said it has found substantial evidence that argon atoms are strongly bound in the minerals of Earth's mantle and move through those minerals at a much slower rate than previously thought. In fact, they said they discovered...
  • New insights into composition of giant planets

    10/18/2006 11:22:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies · 322+ views
    Spaceflight Now ^ | October 18, 2006 | Division For Planetary Sciences
    In our Solar System, four planets stand out for their sheer mass and size. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune indeed qualify as "giant planets" because they are larger than any terrestrial planet and much more massive than all other objects in the Solar System, except the Sun, put together. According to Dr. Guillot, "the giant planets, because of their gravitational might, they have played a key role in the formation of the Solar System, tossing around many objects in the system, preventing the formation of a planet in what is now the asteroid belt, and directly leading to the formation...
  • Earth’s magnetic pole is on the move, fast. And we don’t know why

    01/12/2019 9:17:53 AM PST · by shove_it · 66 replies
    News Corp Australia Network ^ | 12 Jan 2019 | Jamie Seidel
    Earth’s magnetic field is what allows us to exist. It deflects harmful radiation. It keeps our water and atmosphere in place. But now it’s acting up — and nobody knows why. Planet Earth is alive. Deep beneath its skin, its life blood — rivers of molten iron — pulse around its core. And this mobile iron is what generates the magnetic field that causes auroras — and keeps us alive. But, according to the science journal Nature, something strange is going on deep down below. It’s causing the magnetic North Pole to ‘skitter’ away from Canada, towards Siberia. “The magnetic...
  • Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why

    01/10/2019 7:52:13 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 126 replies
    Nature ^ | 09 January 2019 | Alexandra Witze
    The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move. On 15 January, they are set to update the World Magnetic Model, which describes the planet’s magnetic field and underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones. The most recent version of the model came out in 2015 and was supposed to last until 2020 — but the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that researchers have to fix the model now. The problem lies partly with the moving pole and partly...
  • Shifting North Magnetic Pole Forces Unprecedented Navigation Fix

    01/11/2019 9:23:46 PM PST · by artichokegrower · 99 replies
    gCaptain ^ | January 11, 2019 | Alister Doyle
    Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic, scientists said.
  • Potato Earth: Gravity satellite reveals what our planet REALLY looks like

    03/31/2011 5:40:51 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 48 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | March 31, 2011 | Daily Mail Reporter
    At first glance it looks like a potato-shaped asteroid flying through space. But this multi-coloured image is actually the Earth - and shows how gravity varies on different parts of the globe. The images were unveiled today by the team behind the GOCE satellite at a conference in Munich and are the most accurate ever released. The 'geoid' map, as it is known, is used to illustrate how oceans would look in the absence of currents or tides. The bright yellow colours show gravity at its strongest, while it is at its weakest in the blue areas. There appears to...
  • The Money and Connections Behind Al Gore’s Carbon Crusade

    10/09/2007 4:02:32 PM PDT · by vadum · 26 replies · 1,021+ views
    Human Events ^ | October 3, 2007 | Deborah Corey Barnes
    Al Gore’s campaign against global warming is shifting into high gear...But while the mainstream media promote his ideas about the state of planet Earth, they are mostly silent about the dramatic impact his economic proposals would have on America...and routinely ignore evidence that he may personally benefit from his programs. Would the romance fizzle if Gore’s followers realized how much their man stands to gain?...... Never mind that the scientific community is divided over what causes global warming, how bad it is and how to deal with it. Gore plays Chicken Little to the media’s applause, insisting that the world...
  • How long have the Scientists Known?

    02/03/2006 4:08:01 AM PST · by nextage · 25 replies · 627+ views
    Nextage Mission ^ | 3.02.2006 | nextage
    How long have the scientists known about the predicted pole-shift, expected date and likely causes, outcomes?
  • Jupiter and Venus Change Earth’s Orbit Every 405,000 Years

    05/10/2018 7:28:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 61 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 05/10/2018 | Matt Williams
    Over the course of the past 200 million years, our planet has experienced four major geological periods (the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous and Cenozoic) and one major ice age (the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation), all of which had a drastic impact on plant and animal life, as well as effecting the course of species evolution. For decades, geologists have also understood that these changes are due in part to gradual shifts in the Earth’s orbit, which are caused by Venus and Jupiter, and repeat regularly every 405,000 years. But it was not until recently that a team of geologists and Earth scientists...
  • Earth’s Second Magnetic Field: Satellite Image Reveals Invisible Force From Ocean Currents

    04/12/2018 6:58:36 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 64 replies
    Inquisitr ^ | 12 Apr 2018 | Mia Lorenzo
    The Earth has a second magnetic field, one generated by ocean currents. Researchers know little about it, but images captured by satellites show this invisible force generated by the world’s salty oceans in perfect detail. ... ESA released a video detailing the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field over a 24-hour period... ...“It’s a really tiny magnetic field. It’s about 2-2.5 nanotesla at satellite altitude, which is about 20,000 times weaker than the Earth’s global magnetic field.”... Oceans may have a small contribution to the magnetic field that protects the planet from harmful cosmic rays, but it remains to be...
  • Explosive volcanoes ended Earth's time as a snowball: Huge eruptions broke our planet's deep freeze

    01/18/2016 9:00:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 34 replies
    MailOnline ^ | 01/18/2016 | Ryan O'Hare for
    In our planet's early history, 720 to 640 million years ago, thick sheets of ice covered the majority of the surface, as the Earth was locked in a deep freeze. But explosive underwater volcanoes changed the chemistry of the Earth's oceans and were key to breaking the planet from its icy state, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Southampton believe underwater volcanoes helped to thaw out "Snowball Earth", and even led to runaway chemical chain reactions, which created the conditions for an explosion of life on Earth. While much of the driving forces behind glaciation during...
  • Climate Change Is Making the Earth Wobble

    12/12/2015 2:47:24 PM PST · by PROCON · 129 replies
    yahoo ^ | Dec. 11, 2015 | Emily J. Gertz
    As pollution from burning fossil fuels continues to heat the atmosphere, the world's glaciers are melting at an accelerating rate. Scientists widely agree that this meltwater has been a major factor in raising global sea levels about seven inches over the 20th century. The movement of all that water is affecting the Earth's rotation, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science. "If you are melting glaciers from high latitudes--in Alaska, Greenland, or Iceland--you move mass away from the pole, toward the equator, which slows the Earth down," said Jerry Mitrovica, the study's lead author and a Harvard...
  • Ice Ages Blamed On Tilted Earth

    04/30/2006 4:35:48 PM PDT · by blam · 77 replies · 1,750+ views
    Live Science ^ | 3-30-2005
    Ice Ages Blamed on Tilted Earth By Michael Schirber LiveScience Staff Writer posted: 30 March 2005 In the past million years, the Earth experienced a major ice age about every 100,000 years. Scientists have several theories to explain this glacial cycle, but new research suggests the primary driving force is all in how the planet leans. The Earth’s rotation axis is not perpendicular to the plane in which it orbits the Sun. It's offset by 23.5 degrees. This tilt, or obliquity, explains why we have seasons and why places above the Arctic Circle have 24-hour darkness in winter and constant...