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.

IBEX and TWINS Observe a Solar Storm

Sun spewed a two million mile per hour stream of charged particles toward the invisible magnetic fields surrounding Earth, known as the magnetosphere on April 5, 2010. As the particles interacted with the magnetic fields, the incoming stream of energy caused stormy conditions near Earth. Some scientists believe that it was this solar storm that interfered with commands to a communications satellite, Galaxy-15, which subsequently foundered and drifted, taking almost a year to return to its station.

Star HD 10180 May Harbor Record Number of Planets

A sun-like star some 127 light years away may harbor a record number of planets, nine, spotted in another solar system. Our own solar system only possesses eight planets, with the recent demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status by astronomers. Accepted for publication by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the report by astronomer Mikko Tuomi of the United Kingdom’s University of Hertfordshire, looks at HD 10180, an often-examined star in the constellation of Hydrus, the water snake.

The Giant Ridge Around Middle of Iapetus

As said researchers the giant ridge around the middle of Saturn moon’s Iapetus that makes it resemble an oversize walnut may have essentially formed as a “hug” from a dead moon. Iapetus, the third-largest of Saturn’s moons. This enormous ridge wraps along its equator, reaching up to 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) high and 124 miles (200 km) wide, and encircles more than 75 percent of the moon. Altogether, the ridge may constitute about one-thousandth the mass of Iapetus.

Cassini Spots New Images of Saturn Moon Enceladus

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spots new images of Saturn’s moons Enceladus, Janus and Dione on March 27 and 28, 2012. The new photos reveal the plume of water ice and vapor that springs from the south pole of Enceladus, which is Saturn’s sixth largest moon,as well as the pockmarked surface of Dione and the tiny oblong shape of Janus. Cassini made a close flyby of Enceladus on March 27, swooping within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of the moon’s surface.

Tiny Planet Mercury May Be Hiding Water Ice

New evidence from the first probe to orbit Mercury is building support for the idea that the tiny planet may be harboring water ice in some of its most extreme terrain. Certain areas of Mercury’s poles were previously found to be bright in radio waves detected by radar measurements from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Now, the Messenger spacecraft has found that those same bright radar spots appear to be in permanent shadow, according to camera views from the probe’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS).

Mercury’s Strange Innards

According to new studies the small, sun-scorched planet Mercury has an interior unlike that of any other rocky planet in our solar system and a surprisingly dynamic history. Using observations from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury, researchers have found that the planet’s huge iron core is even larger than they had thought, and it’s likely overlain with a solid shell of iron and sulfur, a layered structure not known to exist on Earth, Venus or Mars.

Dawn Sees Bright Spots on Giant Asteroid Vesta

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed unexpected details on the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The new photos of Vesta from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft highlight odd, shiny spots that are nearly twice as bright as other parts of the asteroid, suggesting it is original material left over from the space rock’s birth 4 billion years ago, NASA officials said on March 21. With a width of about 330 miles (530 km), asteroid Vesta is one of the largest and brightest objects in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Global Geologic Map of Jupiter Moon Io

Scientists have created a global geologic map of Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system.The map, which was published this week by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), shines a light on Io, the fourth-largest satellite in the solar system. Scientists hope the new tool will help them better understand the exotic moon. According to David Crown, of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz.

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