Hubble Watches Neptune’s Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Hubble watches Neptune’s Mysterious Shrinking Storm. Three billion miles away on the farthest known main planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm – once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal – is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Immense dark storms on Neptune were first discovered in the late 1980s by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft. Since then, only Hubble has had the sharpness in blue light to track these elusive features that have played a game of peek-a-boo over the years. Hubble found two dark storms that appeared in the mid-1990s and then vanished.

Hubble telescope found new satellite of Neptune

On July 5, 2013 it was confirmed about existence of one more, 14th satellite of the last planet of Solar system – satellite of Neptune. The picture from the Hubble telescope shows recently opened companion of the Neptune at number S/2004 N1. The black-and-white picture was made in 2009 the Hubble telescope and a color picture of the Neptune in August, 2009. Thanks to new opening of this satellite, the number of the known moon round the last planet increased to fourteen. According to preliminary estimates scientists, diameter of the new S/2004 N1 satellite of Neptune is equal 16-20 km that is the smallest today the known companion of the Neptune. It so dim and small in a size that it is weaker approximately in 100 million times of the most dim star which the person can see with the naked eye. At Voyager-2 spacecraft flight by a planet in 1989, he couldn’t find this satellite. The author of opening Mark Showalter from Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence/SETI/ could find this satellite during research of arches, and as segments round the Neptune. For its search there were used about 150 archival pictures of the Neptune, which were made by the Hubble telescope during the period from 2004 to 2009.

Alien Solar Systems Unlikely Homes for Earth-Like Planets

As said alien solar systems that are home to so-called Hot Jupiters are unlikely homes for Earth-like planets. Hot Jupiters get their name from the fact that they are approximately Jupiter’s size, but extraordinarily near their stars, at about a tenth of the distance from Mercury to our sun. These roaster planets are among the alien worlds that astronomers have discovered most often since their size and proximity to their parent stars mean they exert large gravitational tugs on their hosts that scientists can readily spot.

Dusty Beltz Around Nearby Star Fomalhaut

The Herschel Space Observatory has studied the dusty belt around the nearby star Fomalhaut. As said scientists the dust appears to be coming from collisions that destroy up to thousands of icy comets every day. Fomalhaut is a young star, just a few hundred million years old, and twice as massive as the sun.Fomalhaut’s comet belt arrangement is similar to the Kuiper belt of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune in our own solar system.

NASA Kepler Discovers 26 Alien Planets Around 11 Different Stars

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered 11 new planetary systems hosting 26 confirmed planets. These discoveries nearly double the number of verified planets and triple the number of stars known to have more than one planet that transits, or passes in front of, the star. The planets orbit close to their host stars and range in size from 1.5 times the radius of Earth to larger than Jupiter. Fifteen are between Earth and Neptune in size. Further observations will be required to determine which are rocky like Earth and which have thick gaseous atmospheres like Neptune.

Pluto May Have Rings

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all have rings, leaving Pluto as the only outer planet without rings. But PSI Senior Scientist Henry Throop would love to change that. Using both giant telescopes on Earth, and a small spacecraft currently on its way to Pluto, Throop is searching for signs that Pluto may have rings orbiting it, just like its neighbors. Astronomers expect that Pluto could well have rings, they’ve just never been discovered. Until now astronomers haven’t found any rings. Throop is working with NASA’s New Horizons mission, which is sending a spacecraft to Pluto, to arrive in 2015.

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