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Keyword: xplanets

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  • Dwarf planet Ceres powers its geological activity using radioactive materials below its crust [per computer model]

    08/06/2022 10:15:23 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | August 4, 2022 | Alexandru Micu
    Humanity didn’t get any good views of the surface of Ceres until 2015, when NASA’s Dawn mission snapped the first (relatively) close-by images of the dwarf planet. With these, came the revelation that Ceres’ surface is surprisingly diverse in terms of structures and composition. In turn, this pointed to unexpected levels of geological activity brewing unseen below the crust. Ceres, as its classification of a dwarf planet suggests, is very small. So small... that researchers were absolutely convinced that it had cooled down completely all the way to its core and that it was, geologically speaking, a dead world. What...
  • “Black Hole Police” Discover Needle in a Haystack: A Dormant Black Hole Outside Our Galaxy

    07/18/2022 8:56:26 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies ^ | By EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY (ESO) JULY 18, 2022
    Black Hole Police Spot Extragalactic Black Hole Using the Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a stellar-mass black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbor galaxy to our own. A stellar-mass black hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbor galaxy to our own, has been found by a team of international experts, renowned for debunking several black hole discoveries. “For the first time, our team got together to report on a black hole discovery, instead of rejecting one,” says project leader Tomer Shenar. Furthermore, they discovered that the star that gave rise to the black hole vanished with...
  • ‘Queer agender’ feminist physicist still cheesed at ‘homophobic’ NASA telescope

    07/17/2022 6:17:48 AM PDT · by millenial4freedom · 63 replies
    The College Fix ^ | 07/16/2022 | Dave Huber
    As NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope is sending back its first remarkable images of our universe, “queer agender” feminist physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein wants you to know she remains miffed at the telescope’s moniker. Late last year, the University of New Hampshire professor and three other scientists demanded NASA ditch Webb’s name from the project due to his alleged homophobia. Prior to Webb’s appointment as head of NASA in 1961, he allegedly played a role in the so-called “Lavender Scare” as a State Department official. In response to a petition started by Prescod-Weinstein et. al., NASA investigated the issue last...
  • James Webb Space Telescope Just Proved It’s Value in the Search for Alien Life

    07/15/2022 11:01:16 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 39 replies ^ | JULY 15, 2022 | By CHRIS IMPEY AND DANIEL APAI, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
    TRAPPIST-1e TRAPPIST-1e is a rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star 39 light-years from Earth and may have water and clouds, as depicted in this artist’s impression. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech ************************************************************************ To search for alien life, astronomers will search for clues in the atmospheres of distant planets – and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope just proved it’s possible to do so. The ingredients necessary for life are spread throughout the universe. While Earth is the only known place with life in the universe, detecting life beyond our planet is a major goal of modern astronomy and planetary science....
  • Webb begins hunt for the first stars and habitable worlds

    07/14/2022 4:05:41 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 55 replies ^ | 7/14/2022 | Issam Ahmed, Lucie Aubourg
    Graphic on the different types of "exoplanets" which the new James Webb telescope will be investigating to determine the composition of their atmospheres and the presence of water. The first stunning images from the James Webb Space Telescope were revealed this week, but its journey of cosmic discovery has only just begun. Here is a look at two early projects that will take advantage of the orbiting observatory's powerful instruments. The first stars and galaxiesOne of the great promises of the telescope is its ability to study the earliest phase of cosmic history, shortly after the Big Bang 13.8...
  • Next Week, Webb Will Make History. The Teaser Image Is Already Breaking Our Brains

    07/08/2022 7:05:23 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies ^ | 8 JULY 2022 | Staff & NASA
    NASA has a provided a tantalizing teaser photo ahead of the highly-anticipated release next week of the first deep-space images from the James Webb Telescope – an instrument so powerful it can peer back into the origins of the Universe. An engineering test image. (NASA, CSA, and FGS team) The US$10 billion observatory – launched in December last year and now orbiting the Sun a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth – can look where no telescope has looked before thanks to its enormous primary mirror and instruments that focus on infrared, allowing it to peer through dust...
  • Evidence of farming on exoplanets should be visible to James Webb Space Telescope

    07/04/2022 2:52:16 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 33 replies
    The Physics arXiv Blog ^ | 4/20/2022 |
    Industrial-scale agriculture has changed the make up of our atmosphere. So "exofarms" ought to be visible on Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. One of the key developments separating modern civilization from the hunter gatherer societies of the past is the invention of farming, which took place about 10,000 years ago. This began with the cultivation of wild plants and the domestication of various animals for dairy products and meat. The big advantage of farming is that it sustains a much larger population than hunting and gathering. This led to the emergence of cities, the sharing of natural resources and of...
  • Intelligent Life Really Can’t Exist Anywhere Else

    07/02/2022 4:17:30 PM PDT · by GrandJediMasterYoda · 93 replies ^ | 7.2.22 | Caroline Delbert
    Intelligent Life Really Can’t Exist Anywhere Else Hell, our own evolution on Earth was pure luck. In research published in 2020 from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute, scientists study the likelihood of key times for evolution of life on Earth and conclude that it would be virtually impossible for that life to evolve the same way somewhere else. Life has come a very long way in a very short time on Earth, relatively speaking—and scientists say that represents even more improbable luck for intelligent life that is rare to begin with. For decades, scientists and even philosophers have chased...

    03/30/2022 4:53:58 AM PDT · by RoosterRedux · 13 replies ^ | 3/23/2022 | Avi Loeb
    Extraterrestrial space archaeology is engaged with the search for relics of other technological civilizations. It resembles a survey for plastic bottles in the ocean as they keep accumulating over time. The senders may not be alive when we find the relics. These circumstances are different from those encountered by the famous Drake equation, which quantifies the likelihood of detecting radio signals from extraterrestrials. That case resembles a phone conversation in which the counterpart must be active when we listen. Not so in extraterrestrial archaeology. What would be the substitute to Drake’s equation for space archeology? If our instruments survey a...

    06/20/2022 8:18:06 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 30 replies
    “If Planet Nine is real, it would be on such an odd orbit and so far out in the outer Solar System, that it would really challenge our ideas of planet formation and dynamics,” Ann-Marie Madigan, assistant professor of astrophysics... Madigan isn’t searching for just one planet — she’s looking for an entire belt of celestial objects. Like Planet Nine, this proposed Zderic-Madigan, or ZM, belt would be really out there, far beyond the Kuiper belt, with some of its closest bodies being more than twice as far from the Sun as Pluto at perihelion. Unlike the Kuiper belt, this...
  • Astronomers Have Discovered 2 Super-Earths Orbiting a Nearby Star

    06/17/2022 8:04:24 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies ^ | 16 JUNE 2022 | MICHELLE STARR
    Illustration of the two newly discovered exoplanets. (NASA/JPL-Caltech) Two new worlds of probable rocky mineral goodness have just been found orbiting a star close to our own cosmic neighborhood. The two newly discovered exoplanets are what are known as super-Earths – bigger than Earth, but smaller than an ice giant – orbiting a cool red dwarf star called HD 260655, which is just 33 light-years away. While the worlds are unlikely to be habitable, given our current understanding of life, the star and its exoplanets are among the closest multi-world systems to Earth. This makes it an excellent target for...
  • New clues about how hot Jupiters form

    06/10/2022 11:49:22 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | JUNE 9, 2022
    Since the first hot Jupiter was discovered in 1995, astronomers have been trying to figure out how the searing-hot exoplanets formed and arrived in their extreme orbits. Johns Hopkins University astronomers have found a way to determine the relative age of hot Jupiters using new measurements from the Gaia spacecraft, which is tracking over a billion stars. Called hot Jupiters because the first one discovered was about the same size and shape as our solar system's Jupiter, these planets are about 20 times closer to their stars than Earth is to the sun, causing these planets to reach temperatures of...
  • All Those Exoplanets Have Moons, Too New telescopes promise to reveal countless moons scattered across the galaxy

    06/05/2022 7:14:57 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 7 replies
    The Quantum Cat ^ | 6/5/2022 | Alastair Williams
    Eliminate the impossible, as Sherlock Holmes once said, and the truth, no matter how improbable, lies in whatever remains. Good advice for detectives — and, it turns out, for astronomers. Astronomy is often little more than piecing together scattered clues, carefully eliminating possibilities and arriving at an improbable truth. Take, for example, the announcement of an exomoon discovery back in 2017. Observations seemed to show the presence of large moon, one as big as Neptune, orbiting a gas giant in a distant solar system. But, as the authors of the announcement were careful to state, the discovery was far from...
  • This 830-million-year-old crystal might contain life. And we're about to open it

    05/24/2022 4:27:59 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 41 replies
    NPR ^ | May 24, 20224:37 PM ET | MICHAEL LEVITT SARAH HANDEL
    From lemons to ham, salt is a handy food preservative. But researchers studying some really old salt crystals found them preserving something else — evidence of life. "There are little cubes of the original liquid from which that salt grew. And the surprise for us is that we also saw shapes that are consistent with what we would expect from microorganisms," said Kathy Benison, a geologist at West Virginia University. "And they could be still surviving within that 830-million-year-old preserved microhabitat." The salt crystals (aka halite) that Benison and her team studied were originally found in central Australia. Benison was...
  • Surprising Changes in Neptune’s Temperatures Detected by Astronomers

    04/19/2022 7:18:30 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies ^ | April 19, 2022 | By EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY (ESO)
    Thermal Images of Neptune Over a 17-year period, an international team of astronomers monitored Neptune’s atmospheric temperatures. They discovered that Neptune’s global temperatures dropped unexpectedly, followed by a dramatic warming at its south pole. Credit: ESO/M. Roman Using ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), an international team of astronomers track Neptune’s atmospheric temperatures over a 17-year period. They found a surprising drop in Neptune’s global temperatures followed by a dramatic warming at its south pole. “This change was unexpected,” says Michael Roman, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Leicester, UK, and lead...
  • Probing Uranus Is Top Priority This Decade, U.S. Science Advisors Say

    04/19/2022 9:09:28 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 95 replies ^ | April 19, 2022 | By Isaac Schultz & NASA
    A new decadal survey outlines planetary defense and science goals through 2032. Top of the list: sending spacecraft to Uranus. Uranus in 1986. Uranus, as seen by Voyager 2 in January 1986.Image: NASA/JPL ================================================================== A new report covering the next 10 years of American planetary science and astrobiology concludes that a Uranus Orbiter and Probe should be “the highest priority large mission.” This decadal survey from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is intended to shape funding and research efforts through 2032. It calls for a spacecraft that will orbit Uranus and map its gravitational and magnetic fields....
  • A Powerful 'Space Laser' Has Been Detected Beaming FROM Deep Space

    04/08/2022 6:43:04 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 31 replies ^ | 8 APRIL 2022 | MICHELLE STARR
    Powerful, radio-wavelength laser light has been detected emanating from the greatest distance across deep space yet. It's a type of massless cosmic object called a megamaser, and its light has traveled for a jaw-dropping 5 billion light-years to reach us here on Earth. The astronomers who discovered it using the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa have named it Nkalakatha – an isiZulu word meaning "big boss". The discovery has been accepted into The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available on preprint server arXiv. "It's impressive that, with just a single night of observations, we've already found a record-breaking megamaser,"...
  • The Most Distant Exoplanet Ever Found by Kepler Is... Surprisingly Familiar

    04/04/2022 8:25:27 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies ^ | Apr 4, 2022 | MICHELLE STARR
    The signal detected by Kepler (l) and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. (The University of Manchester) An exoplanet a whopping 17,000 light-years from Earth has been found hiding in data collected by the now-retired Kepler Space Telescope. It's the most distant world ever picked up by the planet-hunting observatory, twice the distance of its previous record. Fascinatingly, the exoplanet is almost an exact twin of Jupiter – of similar mass, and orbiting at almost the same distance as Jupiter's distance from the Sun. Named K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, it represents the first exoplanet confirmed from a 2016 data run that detected 27 possible objects using...
  • Rooting Out Planetary Imposters: Three “Exoplanets” Turn Out To Be Stars

    03/20/2022 9:34:46 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies ^ | MARCH 20, 2022 | ENNIFER CHU, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    In a study published on March 15, 2022...MIT astronomers report that three, and potentially four, planets that were originally discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope are in fact misclassified. Instead, these suspected planets are likely small stars. The team used updated measurements of planet-hosting stars to double-check the size of the planets, and identified three that are simply too big to be planets. With new and better estimates of stellar properties, the researchers found that the three objects, which are known as Kepler-854b, Kepler-840b, and Kepler-699b, are now estimated to be between two and four times the size of Jupiter....
  • Exploring Alien Worlds With NASA’s Webb Space Telescope: TRAPPIST-1 System

    03/09/2022 8:37:07 AM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies ^ | Mar 6, 2022 | By NASA
    TRAPPIST-1 Webb Space Telescope During its first operating cycle, the James Webb Space Telescope will set its sights on the TRAPPIST-1 system, an incredible collection of seven rocky exoplanets 41 light years away from Earth. Astrobiologists like Dr. Giada Arney from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are excited about this system because TRAPPIST-1 is a perfect laboratory for studying habitability! It consists of seven rocky planets, distributed across the system’s habitable zone, or the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets....