The object responsible for the 2009 impact was not directly observed, so astronomers could only make inferences about the object based on the disturbances in the Jovian atmosphere, as shown in the image.
New research by Jarrad Pond (University of Central Florida), and a team from the University of Central Florida and University of California, Santa Cruz aims to help determine the object responsible for the 2009 impact on Jupiter.
Without a direct observation of the event, the team used numerical simulations in order to better understand the object responsible for the large disturbance of the Jovian atmosphere.
Read the full article at: PhysOrg.com
Regarding their research, team lead Xavier Bonfils (IPAG, Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de Grenoble) states, “Our new observations with HARPS mean that about 40% of all red dwarf stars have a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist on the surface of the planet. Because red dwarfs are so common — there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way — this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone.”
A recent image (at left) taken by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft shows the Cygnus Loop Nebula – a supernova remnant about 1,500 light-years from Earth. Featured prominently are “tendrils” of hot dust and gas, which glow brightly in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.
To compare apparent sizes in the night sky, the Cygnus loop is about half the width of the Andromeda galaxy in our night sky, or about three times wider than the full moon. You can find the Cygnus Loop Nebula next to one of the “wings” in the constellation Cygnus, with the “visible” portions known as several NGC objects (6960, 6974, 6979, 6992, and 6995).
Astronomers estimate that the supernova that created the nebula would have easily been bright enough to be seen from Earth by the naked eye.
Shown to the right is a pair of “Star Jellies” as seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Encounter at Farpoint”.
If you’d like to learn more about NASA’s GALEX mission, you can read more at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/galex/index.html
Source(s):NASA Image of the Day Gallery / CBS-Paramount
Welcome to another installment of The Carnival of Space! Here’s some highlights of space and astronomy news from the past week. We’ve got great stories on SpaceX, Mars, “Steamy” exoplanets, test pilots, “warp speed” planets, and more!
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) reached 1000 days in orbit. To celebrate, two new videos have been released. Weirdwarp has full coverage at: http://www.weirdwarp.com/2012/03/two-new-videos-of-the-moon-from-the-lunar-reconnaissance-orbiter/
Explore the oldest relics in our galaxy. The astronomy word of the week at AstroWow is “globular”! Read more at: http://astrowow.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/globular/
At Links Through Space follow an Astronomy Club as they travel through Spain. As they travel the south of Spain they visited beautiful sites and astronomical landmarks to bring you very cool astrophotos and stories about the history of Spanish Astronomy. You can read the full article at: http://linksthroughspace.blogspot.com.es/2012/03/spain-astronomy-club-hercules-cadiz.html
Here’s a trio of stories from Next Big Future. For starters, Elon Musk has a plan for inexpensive trips to Mars. A fully reusable Spacex system would have roundtrip costs to Mars of half a million dollars. He conceded the figure was unlikely to be the opening price – rather, the cost of a ticket on a mature system that had been operating for about a decade.
Next up, A recent DOD report suggests that the U.S. military is willing to pay $1/kwh for power beamed to forward bases in Asia. Trucks transporting diesel can be ambushed, IR power beams cannot, and football-field sized receivers could fit on the larger bases. A 5MW system at this price would provide up to $46 million per year revenue, enough to pay for the launch in a little over a year. Read more at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/03/ways-to-make-space-solar-power-work.html
Last but not least, more SpaceX news: Elon Musk claims that, using fully reusable hardware, the cost of launching payloads to space could eventually go as low as $10 per pound. In an interview with Sander Olson for Next Big Future, Kothari argues that vertically launched scramjet vehicles may be the best way in the short run to inexpensively launch payloads into space. Kothari believes that scramjet or fully reusable rockets could eventually bring the cost to Low Earth Orbit down to $100 per pound. Read the interview at: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/03/how-low-can-costs-go-using-chemical.html
Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) states, “These warp-speed planets would be some of the fastest objects in our Galaxy. If you lived on one of them, you’d be in for a wild ride from the center of the galaxy to the Universe at large.” Idan Ginsburg (Dartmouth College) adds, “Other than subatomic particles, I don’t know of anything leaving our galaxy as fast as these runaway planets.”
The mechanics responsible for the super-fast planets are similar to those responsible for “hypervelocity” stars. With stars, if a binary system drifts too closely to a supermassive black hole (such as the ones in the center of galaxies), the gravitational forces can separate the stars – sending one outward at incredible speeds, and the other in orbit around the black hole.
Interestingly enough, “Warp Speed” planets can theoretically travel at a few percent of the speed of light – not quite as fast as Star Trek’s Enterprise, but you get the point.
Read the full article over at Universe Today
What type of water is in space? Is it fresh water or salt water?”
You’ve asked a very interesting question, one I’m happy to answer!
With Hydrogen and Helium being the two most abundant elements in our Universe, it’s no surprise that many gas-filled regions of interstellar space are for the most part, Hydrogen. If a cloud of dust and gas is cool enough to form molecules, we refer to it as a Molecular Cloud. Molecular Clouds are often “enriched” by neighboring supernova explosions which add elements heavier than Hydrogen and Helium to the mix.
Astronomers actually study molecular clouds by looking for the chemical signature of Carbon Monoxide ( CO ) since molecular Hydrogen ( H2 ) is difficult to detect with radio and infra-red telescopes.
Of course, H2 and CO aren’t the only molecules found in Molecular Clouds. With Oxygen being the third most common element in our galaxy after Hydrogen and Helium, the chances of H2 combining with Oxygen to form water ( H2O ) are pretty reasonable.