Keyword: xplanets

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  • Who Discovered Uranus? [ March 13th, 1781 ]

    03/13/2019 10:55:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | April 16, 2017 | Matt Williams
    The first recorded instance of Uranus being spotted in the night sky is believed to date back to Classical Antiquity. During the 2nd century BCE, Hipparchos - the Greek astronomer, mathematician and founder of trigonometry - apparently recorded the planet as a star in his star catalogue (completed in 129 BCE). This catalog was later incorporated into Ptolemy's Almagest, which became the definitive source for Islamic astronomers and for scholars in Medieval Europe for over one-thousand years... This included English astronomer John Flamsteed, who in 1690 observed the star on six occasions and catalogued it as a star in the...
  • The case of the over-tilting exoplanets

    03/04/2019 5:33:45 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | March 4, 2019, | Yale University
    For almost a decade, astronomers have tried to explain why so many pairs of planets outside our solar system have an odd configuration—their orbits seem to have been pushed apart by a powerful unknown mechanism. Yale researchers say they've found a possible answer, and it implies that the planets' poles are majorly tilted. NASA's Kepler mission revealed that about 30% of stars similar to our Sun harbor "Super-Earths." Their sizes are somewhere between that of Earth and Neptune; they have nearly circular and coplanar orbits; and it takes them fewer than 100 days to go around their star. Yet curiously,...
  • Proof of 'Planet Nine' May Be Sewn into Medieval Tapestries

    02/28/2019 8:50:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    Live Science ^ | May 4, 2018 | Stephanie Pappas
    The records include dates and times, Cesario said, which makes them useful to modern-day astronomers. Planet Nine, if it exists, would have about 10 times the mass of Earth and orbit 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune does... Scientists suspect the existence of Planet Nine because it would explain some of the gravitational forces at play in the Kuiper Belt, a stretch of icy bodies beyond Neptune. But no one has been able to detect the planet yet, though astronomers are scanning the skies for it with tools such as the Subaru Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano....

    02/12/2019 12:54:28 AM PST · by vannrox · 9 replies
    Spaceflight Insider ^ | 11FEB19 | LAUREL KORNFELD
    A new set of images showing the New Horizons spacecraft departing from Ultima Thule following its New Year’s Day closest approach reveals the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) is shaped less like a snowman and more like a flat object, with one lobe looking like a pancake and the other like a dented walnut. Initial images returned immediately after the flyby suggested the double-lobed object was composed of two nearly-spherical lobes, one larger than the other. Their apparent nearly round shapes were not due to the lobes being rounded by their own gravity, as both are far too small to attain...
  • Astronomers Find Sun's Twin

    01/07/2004 5:59:53 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 39 replies · 2,137+ views ^ | 01/07/04 | Tariq Malik
    ATLANTA - The Sun has a twin, astronomers announced Tuesday. The solar doppelganger hits nearly identical marks in temperature, rotation and age. Planet hunters have it on their lists, but there’s no word yet whether carbon-based folks are looking back at their star’s twin, our own Sun. 18 Scorpii is in the constellation Scorpius, visible in the predawn sky to the south. Finding it requires completely dark skies and a map configured for your location. More Stories The 10 Brightest Stars Strangest Star Known is the 'Talk of Astronomy' Mysteries of the Sun
  • Do you like Earth's solid surface and life-inclined climate? Thank your lucky (massive) star

    02/12/2019 11:26:53 AM PST · by ETL · 37 replies ^ | February 11, 2019 | Michael Meyer, University of Michigan
    Earth's solid surface and moderate climate may be due, in part, to a massive star in the birth environment of the Sun, according to new computer simulations of planet formation. Without the star's radioactive elements injected into the early solar system, our home planet could be a hostile ocean world covered in global ice sheets."The results of our simulations suggest that there are two qualitatively different types of planetary systems," said Tim Lichtenberg of the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS in Switzerland. "There are those similar to our solar system, whose planets have little water, and those in...
  • Two more rings discovered around Uranus

    12/22/2005 11:55:15 AM PST · by iPod Shuffle · 75 replies · 1,357+ views
    MSNBC/AP ^ | Dec. 22nd
    Two more rings discovered around Uranus First additions to planet's ring system in nearly 20 years Updated: 2:03 p.m. ET Dec. 22, 2005 Astronomers aided by the Hubble Space Telescope have spied two more rings encircling Uranus, the first additions to the planet’s ring system in nearly two decades. The faint, dusty rings orbit outside of Uranus’ previously known rings, but within the orbits of its large moons, said Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who made the discovery. Details will appear on the journal Science's Web site, in advance of print publication. The...
  • Whoa, Uranus Looks Totally Messed Up Right Now

    02/08/2019 7:01:28 PM PST · by EdnaMode · 59 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | February 8, 2019 | George Dvorsky
    The appearance of a massive white cap on Uranus may seem alarming, but as planetary scientists are learning, this is what a prolonged summer looks like on the remote ice giant. Ice giants Uranus and Neptune have water-rich interiors coated with hydrogen, helium, and a pinch of methane, the latter of which gives these outer planets their distinctive cyan complexion. Unlike Earth, where seasons last just a few months, Neptune and Uranus experience seasons that last for decades, resulting in strange and intense atmospheric phenomena. New images released by the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program highlight a evolving atmospheric...
  • Weird star system has double binary stars and wonky planetary nursery

    01/15/2019 7:52:07 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies ^ | 14 January 2019 | Chelsea Whyte
    There is a star system 146 light years from Earth that is quite strange. At its centre is a set of binary stars, and around that loops another binary pair. In between is a ring of dust and gas that’s set at a very odd angle. The dust and gas of this system, which is called HD 98800, are part of a disc that may be forming planets in a kind of cosmic nursery. Instead of lying on the same plane as the central stars, this disc’s orbit is perpendicular to that. The full system is even more confusing (see...
  • Flat Earther & Sovereign Citizen Meets Veteran Cop

    01/12/2019 8:10:17 PM PST · by NRx · 13 replies
    YouTube ^ | 12-13-2018 | Inside The Badge Channel
    If stupidity were a virtue this guy would become the first man to be declared a saint while still alive.
  • 'Sub-Saturns' May Force Scientists to Revise Idea of How Planets Form

    01/12/2019 3:21:15 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 20 replies ^ | January 12, 2019 08:43am ET | Meghan Bartels,
    Astronomers know our solar system better than any other, but they're still learning new ways in which it doesn't seem to be particularly normal. Right now, the leading theory of planetary formation, called the "core accretion model," is tailored to explain what we see in our solar system — the only one we knew much of anything about when the model was developed. But the more planets we identify in other solar systems, the more we find they don't match the patterns of mass and orbital distances found here on our own. Take, for example, the staggering size gap between...
  • Why our galaxy probably isn't full of alien civilizations killed off by climate change

    01/10/2019 1:17:02 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 33 replies
    NBC "News" ^ | January 9, 2019 | By Seth Shostak (D-NBC)
    If extraterrestrials are out there, odds are they're too clever to have been blindsided by global warming run amok. Could it be that climate change is a universal menace? A recent article in Forbes addresses the idea that the galaxy might be strewn with extinct alien civilizations, burned to a crisp by ferocious planetary warming. The idea is certainly intriguing, and has obvious relevance as a cautionary tale for us. But could it be true? The article doesn’t say these hypothetical societies died out thanks to an alien fondness for SUVs. Instead, the aliens are hypothesized to be the victims...
  • New Horizons: Nasa probe survives flyby of Ultima Thule

    01/01/2019 10:15:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    BBC ^ | 1 January 2019 | Jonathan Amos
    New Horizons acquired gigabytes of photos and other observations during the pass. It will now send these home over the coming months. The radio message from the robotic craft was picked up by one of Nasa's big antennas, in Madrid, Spain. It had taken fully six hours and eight minutes [for the signal] to traverse the great expanse of space between Ultima and Earth... Controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland greeted the reception of the signal with cheers and applause. This first radio message contained only engineering information on the status of the spacecraft, but...
  • NASA Spacecraft Detects Weird Anomaly Days Ahead of Ultima Thule Flyby

    12/23/2018 5:19:57 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 33 replies ^ | 23:08 23.12.2018
    Only a week before its expected meeting with Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Ultima Thule on New Year's Day, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has not been able to detect the predictable and consistent variations in reflectivity — or ‘light curve' in the jargon of astronomers — that accompany all celestial objects in orbit near a bright star. "It's really a puzzle," agreed Alan Stern, NASA's New Horizons principal investigator, cited by Gizmodo. Southwest Research Institute mission scientist Marc Buie suggested that the rotational point of Ultima Thule could currently be aligned directly toward the NASA spacecraft as it approaches. From that...
  • New Horizons Will Spend New Years Exploring Ultima Thule, a Billion Miles Past Pluto

    12/19/2018 6:36:42 AM PST · by C19fan · 12 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | December 19, 2018 | David Grossman
    At the furthest reaches of the solar system, 2019 will start off with exploration. NASA has given the final green light to its New Horizons spacecraft for a January 1st flyby of Ultima Thule, an object in the Kuiper Belt around a billion miles beyond Pluto. It will be the most distant planetary flyby in human history. Before giving the okay, NASA wanted to make sure that it wasn't passing up any other opportunities for either study or disaster in the area—rings, small moons, and anything else that a probe like New Horizons might want to observe. Pushing through the...
  • 'Farout!' Newfound Object Is the Farthest Solar System Body Ever Spotted

    12/18/2018 2:56:36 AM PST · by Candor7 · 39 replies ^ | December 17, 2018 01:00pm ET | Sarah Lewin, Associate Editor
    ( Video at Link) A newly discovered object is the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system — and the first object ever found orbiting at more than 100 times the distance from Earth to the sun. The discovery team nicknamed the object "Farout," and its provisional designation from the International Astronomical Union is 2018 VG18. Preliminary research suggests it's a round, pinkish dwarf planet. The same team spotted a faraway dwarf planet nicknamed "The Goblin" in October. A newly discovered object is the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system — and the first object ever found...
  • 'Farout!' Newfound Object Is the Farthest Solar System Body Ever Spotted

    12/17/2018 1:54:59 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies ^ | December 17, 2018 01:00pm ET | Sarah Lewin,
    The discovery team nicknamed the object "Farout," and its provisional designation from the International Astronomical Union is 2018 VG18. Preliminary research suggests it's a round, pinkish dwarf planet. The same team spotted a faraway dwarf planet nicknamed "The Goblin" in October. The object is more than 3.5 times the current distance between Pluto and the sun (34 AU), and it outpaces the previous farthest-known solar system object, the dwarf planet Eris, which is currently about 96 AU from the sun. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft recently entered interstellar space at about 120 AU, leaving the sun's "sphere of influence" called the...
  • Outer solar system experts find 'far out there' dwarf planet

    12/17/2018 10:02:52 AM PST · by ETL · 21 replies ^ | Dec 17, 2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
    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 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."
  • Computing the origin of life

    12/16/2018 11:40:52 AM PST · by ETL · 46 replies ^ | December 14, 2018 | Keith Cooper, Astrobiology Magazine
    As a principal investigator in the NASA Ames Exobiology Branch, Andrew Pohorille is searching for the origin of life on Earth, yet you won't find him out in the field collecting samples or in a laboratory conducting experiments in test tubes. Instead, Pohorille studies the fundamental processes of life facing a computer. Pohorille's work is at the vanguard of a sea-change in how science can tackle the complex question of where life came from, how its biochemistry operates and what life elsewhere might be like. Rather than relying on the hit-and-miss of laboratory experiments, Pohorille believes that theoretical work is...
  • A young star caught forming like a planet

    12/15/2018 11:50:54 AM PST · by ETL · 10 replies ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | University of Leeds
    Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it. While observing the young star, astronomers led by Dr. John Ilee from the University of Leeds discovered it was not in fact one star, but two.The main object, referred to as MM 1a, is a young massive star surrounded by a rotating disc of gas and dust that was the focus of the scientists' original investigation.A faint object, MM 1b, was detected just beyond the disc in orbit around MM 1a. The team believe this...