Keyword: neptune

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  • Voyager 2 spacecraft enters interstellar space

    12/10/2018 10:27:35 AM PST · by ETL · 48 replies
    ScienceNews.org ^ | December 10, 2018 | Lisa Grossman
    Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space. The spacecraft slipped out of the huge bubble of particles that encircles the solar system on November 5, becoming the second ever human-made craft to cross the heliosphere, or the boundary between the sun and the stars.Coming in second place is no mean achievement. Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to exit the solar system in 2012. But that craft’s plasma instrument stopped working in 1980, leaving scientists without a direct view of the solar wind, hot charged particles constantly streaming from the sun (SN Online: 9/12/13). Voyager 2’s plasma sensors are still working,...
  • We Might Have Just Discovered 2 Dark Moons Hidden Near Uranus

    12/22/2017 6:11:50 AM PST · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 17 OCT 2016 | FIONA MACDONALD
    ================================================================================================================ Researchers have re-examined data captured by the Voyager 2 spacecraft back in 1986, and think they've found evidence of two never-before-seen moons hidden in the rings of Uranus. Uranus, the third largest planet in our Solar System, already has 27 moons that we know of - but these two new ones appear to orbit the planet more closely than any of its other natural satellites, and are causing wavy patterns in its closest rings. Although Saturn is the most famous ringed planet orbiting our Sun, it's not the only one, with the three other gas giants - Jupiter, Uranus,...
  • 'Cataclysmic' collision shaped Uranus' evolution

    07/03/2018 6:34:48 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 30 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 2, 2018 | Durham University
    The collision with Uranus of a massive object twice the size of Earth that caused the planet's unusual spin, from a high-resolution simulation using over ten million particles, coloured by their internal energy. Credit: Jacob Kegerreis/Durham University ___________________________________________________________________________ Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt and could explain its freezing temperatures, according to new research. Astronomers at Durham University, UK, led an international team of experts to investigate how Uranus came to be tilted on its side and what consequences a giant impact would have had on the...
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could disappear within our lifetimes

    02/19/2018 8:57:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 67 replies
    “In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time,” Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider. The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it’s rapidly losing steam. “Now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth,” Orton says. “Nothing lasts forever.” Late last year, Juno revealed some surprising information about the huge storm, including how deep into the planet it goes. The data showed that the storm is up to 100 times deeper...
  • Neptune's Mysterious Storm is Dying, Possibly Smells Like Rotten Eggs

    02/15/2018 2:32:31 PM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Feb 15, 2018 | By David Grossman
    Like Jupiter, Neptune has a giant spinning mystery. NASA's Hubble Telescope captured a time-lapse of the storm for the first time and found a surprising conclusion—it is shrinking. Officially called a "dark vortex," the Neptunian storm shares a few properties with Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS). Like the GRS, a dark vortex is moving in a anti-cyclonic direction that sweeps up material from the planet's icy atmosphere. “We have no evidence of how these vortices are formed or how fast they rotate,” said Agustín Sánchez-Lavega from the University of the Basque Country in Spain in a NASA press statement. “It...
  • It rains solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune

    08/25/2017 6:57:33 PM PDT · by Loyalist · 55 replies
    National Post ^ | August 25, 2017 | Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post
    Researchers say they were able to produce 'diamond rain' using fancy plastic and high-powered lasers to recreate the intense conditions of the planets .... Consider this your daily reminder that the solar system is even more awesomely bonkers than you realized: On Uranus and Neptune, scientists forecast rain storms of solid diamonds. The gems form in the hydrocarbon-rich oceans of slush that swath the gas giants’ solid cores. Scientists have long speculated that the extreme pressures in this region might split those molecules into atoms of hydrogen and carbon, the latter of which then crystallize to form diamonds. These diamonds...
  • Surprise! New Neptune Storm Appears in a Bizarre Location

    08/03/2017 9:13:43 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    space.com ^ | August 3, 2017 07:33am ET | Elizabeth Howell
    A nearly Earth-size storm system was spotted near Neptune's equator, surprising scientists because no bright clouds have ever been seen in that location. The storm is about 6,000 miles (9,000 kilometers) in length — about three-quarters Earth's diameter — and is even huge compared to the size of Neptune: it spans nearly 30 degrees in both longitude and latitude. When astronomers studied the storm between June 26 and July 2, it appeared to get brighter. "Seeing a storm this bright at such a low latitude is extremely surprising," Ned Molter, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, said...
  • IS TIME TO GO BACK TO URANUS AND NEPTUNE? REVISITING ICE GIANTS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM

    07/03/2017 3:35:52 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 27 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 30 Jun, 2017 | Fraser Cain
    I look forward to all the future missions that NASA is going to be sending out in the Solar System. Here, check this out. You can use NASA’s website to show you all the future missions. Here’s everything planned for the future, here’s everything going to Mars. Now, let’s look and see what missions are planned for the outer planets of the Solar System, especially Uranus and Neptune. Oh, that’s so sad… there’s nothing. It’s been decades since humanity had an up close look at Uranus and Neptune. For Uranus, it was Voyager 2, which swept through the system in...
  • Centaurs Keep Their Rings From Greedy Gas Giants

    06/26/2016 10:36:02 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 06/24/2016 | Matt Williams
    Centaurs are a population of objects within our Solar System that behave as both comets and asteroids (hence why they are named after the hybrid beasts of Greek mythology). 10199 Chariklo is the largest known member of the Centaur population, a possible former Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) which currently orbits between Saturn and Uranus. The rings around this asteroid were first noticed in 2013 when the asteroid underwent a stellar occultation. This revealed a system of two rings, with a radius of 391 and 405 km and widths of about 7 km 3 km, respectively. The absorption features of the rings...
  • Neptune Sports Dark Vortex, Hubble Images Reveal

    06/24/2016 10:19:46 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies
    space.com ^ | 06/24/2016 | Nola Taylor Redd
    Neptune is sporting a new spot, the first one identified in the 21st century. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope confirmed the existence of the high-pressure system known as a dark vortex after bright clouds hinted at its presence. "Dark vortices coast through the atmosphere like huge, lens-shaped gaseous mountains," research astronomer Mike Wong, of the University of California at Berkeley, said in a statement. Wong led the team that analyzed the Hubble data. "And the companion clouds are similar to so-called organic clouds that appear as pancake-shaped features lingering over mountains on Earth," he added Both professional and amateur astronomers started...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cirrus over Paris

    06/22/2016 4:45:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that over Paris? Cirrus. Typically, cirrus clouds appear white or gray when reflecting sunlight, can appear dark at sunset (or sunrise) against a better lit sky. Cirrus are among the highest types of clouds and are usually thin enough to see stars through. Cirrus clouds may form from moisture released above storm clouds and so may herald the arrival of a significant change in weather. Conversely, cirrus clouds have also been seen on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Uranus, and Neptune. The featured image was taken two days ago from a window in District 15, Paris, France, Earth. The...
  • New Horizons sets sights on its next target, a mysterious object at solar system's edge

    05/06/2016 6:37:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Known as 2014 MU69, the object is thought to be unchanged since the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.... ... Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel submitted plans last month to NASA to fly past the relatively tiny chunk of icy matter on New Year's Day 2019. If NASA approves it, the extended New Horizon mission could give a close-up view of what has so far only appeared to scientists as a faint dot of light. ... The object is in a 300-year orbit around the sun in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond...
  • Planet Nine's profile fleshed out

    04/09/2016 7:29:13 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 52 replies
    BBC ^ | 4/8/2916 | Paul Rincon
    In January, researchers at Caltech in the US suggested a large, additional planet might be lurking in the icy outer reaches of the Solar System. Now, a team at the University of Bern in Switzerland has worked out what they say are upper and lower limits on how big, bright and cold it might be. The study has been accepted by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Prof Mike Brown and Dr Konstantin Batygin made their case for the existence of a ninth planet in our Solar System orbiting far beyond even the dwarf world Pluto. There are no direct observations...
  • Earth-Smashing Space Rocks Undercounted

    12/23/2015 10:12:19 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    discovery.com ^ | 12/22/2015 | Mariette Le Roux, AFP
    Most studies of potential Earth-smashers focus on objects in the asteroid belt roughly between Mars, Earth's outside neighbour, and Jupiter on its other flank, said the researchers. But they noted that the discovery in the last two decades of hundreds of giant comets dubbed centaurs, albeit with much larger orbits, requires expanding the list of potential hazards. These balls of ice and dust, typically 50-100 kilometres (31-62 miles) wide, have unstable, elliptical orbits that start way beyond Neptune, the most distant planet from the Sun. Their paths cross those of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, whose gravity...
  • Did Jupiter Bumped The Giant Planet From Our Solar System?

    11/02/2015 7:03:39 PM PST · by Beowulf9 · 65 replies
    http://www.starminenews.com ^ | NOV 1, 2015 | PTI
    Toronto– A close encounter with Jupiter about four billion years ago may have resulted in another planet’s ejection from the solar system altogether, scientists have found. The existence of a fifth giant gas planet at the time of the solar system’s formation — in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that we know of today — was first proposed in 2011, researchers said.
  • Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from 'pebbles'

    10/27/2015 11:47:58 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 9 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 10/27/2015 | Southwest Research Institute
    Using a new process in planetary formation modeling, where planets grow from tiny bodies called "pebbles," Southwest Research Institute scientists can explain why Mars is so much smaller than Earth. This same process also explains the rapid formation of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as reported earlier this year. "This numerical simulation actually reproduces the structure of the inner solar system, with Earth, Venus, and a smaller Mars," said Hal Levison, an Institute scientist at the SwRI Planetary Science Directorate. He is the first author of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
  • We're going on a planet hunt

    04/05/2006 7:53:38 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 39 replies · 814+ views
    EurekAlert ^ | 04/05/06 | Claire Bowles
    A FIFTH terrestrial planet may once have orbited between Mars and Jupiter. Although gravitational disturbances would have sent the planet hurtling into the sun or out into space long ago, traces of this long-gone world may still be visible in part of the asteroid belt today. Recent simulations have suggested that the gas giants of our solar system formed with circular orbits but moved into their more elongated paths about 4 billion years ago – 700 million years after the solar system formed. While the gas giants were in circular orbits, rocky planets should have formed in stable orbits out...
  • Death Spiral: Why Theorists Can't Make Solar Systems

    03/29/2006 10:21:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies · 464+ views
    SPACE.com ^ | Tue March 28, 2006 | Ker Than
    For scientists who spend time thinking about how planets form, life would be simpler if gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn didn’t exist. According to the standard model of planet formation, called "core accretion," planets form over millions of years as enormous blocks of rock and ice smash together to form planetary embryos, called "protoplanets," and eventually full-fledged planets. Most scientists agree that core accretion is how terrestrial planets such as Earth and Mars were created, but the model can’t convincingly explain how gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn came to be. One major problem is that developing gas...
  • Giant Stealth Planet May Explain Rain of Comets from Solar System's Edge

    12/04/2010 7:32:45 PM PST · by The Magical Mischief Tour · 82 replies
    Space.com ^ | 12/01/2010 | Space.com
    Our sun may have a companion that disturbs comets from the edge of the solar system — a giant planet with up to four times the mass of Jupiter, researchers suggest. A NASA space telescope launched last year may soon detect such a stealth companion to our sun, if it actually exists, in the distant icy realm of the comet-birthing Oort cloud, which surrounds our solar system with billions of icy objects. The potential jumbo Jupiter would likely be a world so frigid it is difficult to spot, researchers said. It could be found up to 30,000 astronomical units from...
  • Suicidal planet seems on death spiral into star

    08/27/2009 8:45:48 AM PDT · by VRWCmember · 20 replies · 848+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 08/27/2009 | SETH BORENSTEIN
    WASHINGTON – Astronomers have found what appears to be a gigantic suicidal planet. The odd, fiery planet is so close to its star and so large that it is triggering tremendous plasma tides on the star. Those powerful tides are in turn warping the planet's zippy less-than-a-day orbit around its star. The result: an ever-closer tango of death, with the planet eventually spiraling into the star.