Topic: Solar Systems
Calculating Pluto’s Oceans

Calculating Pluto’s Oceans

While amazing data is the start of amazing research, it takes a lot of calculations and models to truly understand what the data mean.  Nine years after the New Horizons mission flew past Pluto and discovered it has mountains of ice, and a strangely cracked landscape, a new paper in the Journal Icarus with first author Patrick McGovern tries to explain what was seen. They look at Pluto’s ice in detail and consider what kind of internal ocean is required to both cause the cracks and bulges we see, support the surface, and fit with the shockingly cold temperatures of the outer solar system....

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Caught on Camera and Apprehended

Caught on Camera and Apprehended

Mohutsiwa Gabadirwe (center of photo) and Peter Jenniskens (left, kneeling) at the site of the second find of a piece of asteroid 2018 LA recovered in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in central Botswana. Credit: SETI Institute Our Solar System contains a whole lot...

Iron Identified in Planet-Forming Disk

Iron Identified in Planet-Forming Disk

Observations with the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) found various silicate compounds and potentially iron, substances we also find in large amounts in the Solar System’s rocky planets. Credit: Jenry I’ve said it...

Alien Atmospheric Change

Alien Atmospheric Change

This is an artist’s impression of the exoplanet WASP 121-b, also known as Tylos. The exoplanet’s appearance is based on Hubble data of the object. Credit: NASA, ESA, Q. Changeat et al., M. Zamani (ESA/Hubble) Astronomers have only been able to identify planets...

Closer Look: The Requirements for Life

Closer Look: The Requirements for Life

Hydrothermal-vent chimney. In the center of the photo, you can see the vent fluid which appears like dark smoke due to the high levels of minerals and sulfides contained in the fluid. Look closely, and you will also see the chimney is crawling with Chorocaris shrimp...

Small star hosts (smaller) huge planet

Small star hosts (smaller) huge planet

Artistic rendering of the possible view from LHS 3154b towards its low mass host star. Given its large mass, LHS 3154b probably has a Neptune-like composition. Credit: Penn State Solar systems keep finding new ways to surprise us and to convince us that we don’t...

Six planets in coordinated orbits

Six planets in coordinated orbits

https://youtu.be/KfZCGBhwpes In my personal opinion, one of the mathematically coolest things in our solar system is the orbits of Jupiter's three inner Galilean moons. It just happens, that these worlds orbit to a beat, with innermost Io circling four times for every...

You can visit a piece of Bennu

You can visit a piece of Bennu

Credit: NMNH We would be remiss if we didn’t update you all on the Bennu sample return mission. As of writing, no word has been released on if the science team has managed to get the TAGSAM capsule open, yet. Remember how that boop became a shove and the capsule had...