Keyword: moons

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  • Asteroid Florence has two moons

    09/06/2017 6:56:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | September 6, 2017
    Radar images obtained between August 29 and September 1, when Florence came closest to Earth, reveal that the asteroid is about 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) in size, the US space agency said. It said the two moons were probably between 300-1,000 feet (100-300 meters) across. The inner moon takes approximately eight hours to revolve around Florence while the outer moon takes between 22 and 27 hours, NASA said. NASA said the radar images of Florence, which was discovered in 1981, were obtained by the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California.
  • Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision

    03/27/2017 7:43:02 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 24 Mar, 2017 | Leah Crane
    Enceladus’ south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks. The region near Enceladus’ south pole marks one of the solar system’s most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole’s heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected – equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is...
  • Did A Giant Impact Create The Two Faces Of Mars?

    03/15/2007 2:14:24 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 855+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-15-2007 | David Shiga
    Did a giant impact create the two faces of Mars? 16:29 15 March 2007 news service David Shiga, Houston Mars's northern hemisphere is lower in elevation – by about 5 kilometres – than its southern hemisphere (see image below). This coloured topographical map shows low elevations in blue and high elevations in yellow and red. The map is centred on a latitude of 55° north (Illustration: Mike Caplinger/MSSS) Mars's southern hemisphere is higher and more heavily cratered than the northern hemisphere, suggesting it is older terrain. The two low elevations (blue) in this map, which is centred on the...
  • Monster volcano gave Mars extreme makeover: study

    03/03/2016 11:08:06 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies ^ | March 2, 2016 by | Laurence Coustal, Marlowe Hood
    A volcano on Mars half the size of France spewed so much lava 3.5 billion years ago that the weight displaced the Red Planet's outer layers, according to a study released Wednesday. Mars' original north and south poles, in other words, are no longer where they once were. The findings explain the unexpected location of dry river beds and underground reservoirs of water ice, as well as other Martian mysteries that have long perplexed scientists, the lead researcher told AFP. "If a similar shift happened on Earth, Paris would be in the Polar Circle," said Sylvain Bouley, a geomorphologist at...
  • Red Planet's Ancient Equator Located

    04/24/2005 8:18:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 64 replies · 2,163+ views
    Scientific American (online) ^ | April 20, 2005 | Sarah Graham
    Jafar Arkani-Hamed of McGill University discovered that five impact basins--dubbed Argyre, Hellas, Isidis, Thaumasia and Utopia--form an arclike pattern on the Martian surface. Three of the basins are well-preserved and remain visible today. The locations of the other two, in contrast, were inferred from measurements of anomalies in the planet's gravitational field... a single source--most likely an asteroid that was initially circling the sun in the same plane as Mars--created all five craters. At one point the asteroid passed close to the Red Planet... and was broken apart by the force of the planet's gravity. The resulting five pieces subsequently...
  • New Theory: Catastrophe Created Mars' Moons

    07/29/2003 8:56:47 AM PDT · by RightWhale · 62 replies · 1,837+ views ^ | 29 Jul 03 | Leonard David
    New Theory: Catastrophe Created Mars' Moons By Leonard David Senior Space Writer posted: 07:00 am ET 29 July 2003 PASADENA, California – The two moons of Mars – Phobos and Deimos – could be the byproducts of a breakup of a huge moon that once circled the red planet, according to a new theory. The capture of a large Martian satellite may have taken place during or shortly after the formation of the planet, with Phobos and Deimos now the surviving remnants. Origin of the two moons presents a longstanding puzzle to which one researcher proposed the new solution at...
  • Long-Destroyed Fifth Planet May Have Caused Lunar Cataclysm, Researchers Say

    03/25/2002 2:42:10 PM PST · by vannrox · 155 replies · 4,757+ views
    SPACE dot COM ^ | 18 March 2002 ,posted: 03:00 pm ET | By Leonard David, Senior Space Writer
    Asteroid Vesta: The 10th Planet? Discovery Brightens Odds of Finding Another Pluto Nemesis: The Million Dollar Question HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Our solar system may have had a fifth terrestrial planet, one that was swallowed up by the Sun. But before it was destroyed, the now missing-in-action world made a mess of things. Space scientists John Chambers and Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center hypothesize that along with Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars -- the terrestrial, rocky planets -- there was a fifth terrestrial world, likely just outside of Mars's orbit and before the inner asteroid belt. Moreover, Planet V...
  • Red Planet Impact: Huge Moons May Have Crashed Into Mars

    07/04/2016 6:40:49 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | July 4, 2016 11:01am ET | Charles Q. Choi
    Phobos and Deimos are both small for moons — about 14 and 7.7 miles (22.5 and 12.4 kilometers) wide, respectively — and sort of potato-shaped. Compared to other satellites in the solar system, they look more like asteroids. As a result, astronomers previously hypothesized that these moons were asteroids captured by Mars' gravitational pull. ...previous research suggested that Phobos and Deimos would have relatively irregular orbits. In reality, these moons have nearly circular orbits positioned near the Martian equator. ... huge impact that previous research suggested created the gigantic Borealis basin in the northern lowlands of Mars, which covers two-fifths...
  • Interstellar Comparisons (terraforming moons and planets in the solar system)

    07/03/2016 10:42:45 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    Crowl Space ^ | 6/19/16 | Adam Crowl
    By 2025 Elon Musk believes SpaceX can get us to Mars – a journey of about 500 million kilometres, needing a speed of over 100,000 km/h. By comparison travelling to the stars within a human lifetime via the known laws of physics requires energies millions of times more potent than that budget-price trip to Mars. In our energy hungry modern world the prospect seems fanciful, yet we are surrounded by energies and forces of comparable scale. By taming those forces we will be able to launch forth towards the stars, save our civilization and extend the reach of our biosphere....
  • New Horizons spots Pluto’s smaller moons for the first time

    02/18/2015 1:24:13 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | Rachel Feltman
    It's not exactly a clean shot, but it's certainly a timely one: 85 years to the day after Pluto's discovery, NASA has released fresh images from New Horizons that show two of its smaller moons. The long-exposure images, which were taken between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8 from a distance of 125 to 115 million miles, show Hydra and Nix -- moons too small to show up in previous shots. Hydra is enclosed in a yellow diamond with Nix in orange. The image on the right has been specially processed to reduce the center glare, a result of the over-exposure...
  • Mystery object in Saturn's ring may be a new baby moon: Peggy

    04/16/2014 1:38:33 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    L A Times ^ | April 15, 2014, 6:30 a.m. | By Karen Kaplan
    The moons that orbit Saturn may be increasing by one -- an icy, pint-sized object that astronomers have named “Peggy.” NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spotted evidence that a mysterious object measuring perhaps half a mile across is disturbing the outer edge of Saturn’s large, bright A ring. The object’s gravity seems to have roughed up the ring’s usually smooth profile. As a result, a stretch of the A ring that measures 750 miles long and 6 miles wide is now about 20% brighter than it would typically appear. The fuzzy blob on the A ring’s edge was imaged by Cassini’s...
  • 2 Pluto Moons in Need of Devilish Names

    02/12/2013 11:05:53 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 62 replies
    ap ^ | Feb 11, 2013 1:03 PM CST
    Astronomers announced a contest today to name the two itty-bitty moons of Pluto discovered over the past two years. Three Pluto moons already have names associated with Hades and the underworld: Charon, the ferryman of Hades; the half-human, half-fish spirit Nix; and the multi-headed monster Hydra. The two unnamed moons need similarly shady references. Right now, they go by the bland titles of P4 and P5. They're no more than 15 to 20 miles across. Online voting will last two weeks. Twelve choices are available at,
  • Hubble Telescope Spies Fifth Moon Around Pluto

    07/11/2012 4:48:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies
    AP) ^ | July 11, 2012 10:30 AM
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s something lurking around distant and icy dwarf planet Pluto: a fifth moon. A team of scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope said Wednesday they have discovered the tiniest moon yet around Pluto. That brings the number of known moons to five. The mini-moon is estimated to be 6 to 15 miles across, smaller than the one that scientists spotted last year, which is 8 to 21 miles wide. Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, is about 650 miles across. Until the newly found moon gets a name, it will be known as P5.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter's Rings Revealed

    06/17/2012 8:39:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | June 17, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's rings were discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Adrastea, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit. Pictured above is an eclipse of the Sun by Jupiter, as viewed from Galileo. Small dust particles high in Jupiter's atmosphere, as well as...
  • Super-Earths give theorists a super headache

    12/17/2011 4:48:48 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    Nature ^ | Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Eric Hand
    NASA's Kepler space telescope... has identified 2,326 candidate planets, nearly doubling its haul since February. But what has puzzled observers and theorists so far is the high proportion of planets -- roughly one-third to one-half -- that are bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune... Their very existence upsets conventional models of planetary formation and, furthermore, most of them are in tight orbits around their host star, precisely where the modellers say they shouldn't be. "It poses a challenge," says Douglas Lin, a planet-formation modeller and director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University in Beijing,...
  • Incredible picture of Saturn that runs rings around all the others

    09/07/2011 4:40:19 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 49 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | September 7, 2011 | Ted Thornhill
    There have been some amazing photographs taken of Saturn over the years, but none quite like this.
  • Blackest Planet Ever Found, Absorbs Nearly 100% of Light That Reaches It

    08/12/2011 1:25:13 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 42 replies
    Popular Science ^ | Posted 08.12.2011 at 10:11 am | By Clay Dillow
    Kepler has found the darkest known planet in universe--a Jupiter-sized exoplanet some 750 light-years away that is so black that it reflects just one percent of the light that reaches it. TrES-2b is so black that it’s darker than coal, or any other planet or moon that we’ve yet discovered. It’s less reflective than black acrylic paint. To summarize: it’s really, really black. But TrES-2b is not completely black. It emits an extremely faint red glow, like that of a hot ember. And it turns out that heat is the main culprit behind this darkest of dark planets. TrES-2b orbits...
  • Astronomers Predict That Pluto Has A Ring

    08/08/2011 6:20:20 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    MIT Technology Review ^ | 08-08-2011 | Staff
    Dust from Pluto's satellites ought to form a faint ring around the dwarf planet, according to new calculations Until recently, the only ring in the Solar System was Saturn's. But in 1960s and 70s, astronomers discovered rings around Uranus and Neptune. Meanwhile, the Voyager 1spacecraft sent back images of Jupiter's ring. To be sure, these rings are much less impressive than Saturn's but the implications are clear: rings seem much more common than astronomers once thought. Perhaps they are even the norm. And that raises an interesting question: could Pluto possibly have a ring? The observational evidence is that Pluto...
  • Hubble Discovers a New Moon Around Pluto

    07/20/2011 3:23:56 PM PDT · by MikeD · 26 replies ^ | July 20, 2011 | Tony Phillips
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite – temporarily designated P4 -- popped up in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet. The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 648 miles (1,043 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km). "I find it remarkable...
  • NASA's Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto

    07/20/2011 8:14:18 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 34 replies ^ | 7/20/2011 9:00 AM EDT | Staff
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite -- temporarily designated P4 -- was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet. The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 648 miles (1,043 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km). "I find it remarkable that...