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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 10:56 AM   #1
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Cool Our Solar System

Looking for a place to post a new story, and none of the existing threads seemed to fit. So here's a catch-all thread with a broader title.

For reference, here are other threads from the past five years dealing with issues pertaining to our solar system, space exploration, astronomy, etc.:
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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Now, the story I came here to post

I'm (obviously) quite the space buff, but I hadn't heard of the discovery of this little fella before:

10199_Chariklo


Artist's impression
10199 Chariklo (/ˈkærɨkloʊ/ or /kəˈrɪkloʊ/; Ancient Greek: Χαρικλώ; provisional designation: 1997 CU26) is the largest confirmed centaur (minor planet of the outer Solar System). It orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus, grazing the orbit of Uranus.

On 26 March 2014, astronomers announced the discovery of two rings (nicknamed Oiapoque and Chuí), around Chariklo by observing a stellar occultation, making it the first known minor planet to have rings.

Chariklo was discovered by James V. Scotti of the Spacewatch program on February 15, 1997. Chariklo is named after the nymph Chariclo (Χαρικλώ), the wife of Chiron and the daughter of Apollo.

A photometric study in 2001 was unable to find a definite period of rotation. Infrared observations of Chariklo indicate the presence of water ice, which may in fact be located in its rings.

Michael Brown's website lists it as possibly a dwarf planet with a measured diameter of 232 km.

* * *

Chariklo has two rings, one about 7 and the other about 3 km wide, being approximately 9 km apart, at 396 and 405 km from Chariklo. This makes it the smallest known object to have rings.

* * *

The existence of a ring system around a minor planet was unexpected because it had been thought that rings could only be stable around much more massive bodies. Ring systems around minor bodies had not previously been discovered despite the search for them through direct imaging and stellar occultation techniques. Chariklo's rings should disperse over a period of at most a few million years, so either they are very young, or they are actively contained by shepherd moons with a mass comparable to that of the rings.
(Chariklo — Wikipedia)
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Old Nov 24th, 2015, 11:57 AM   #3
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Martian moon set to form ring around red planet
In 20 million years, Phobos is likely to tear apart to form a ring system — as other moons may have done.

One day, Mars may have rings like Saturn does. The martian moon Phobos, which is spiralling inexorably closer towards the red planet, will disintegrate to form a ring system some 20 million to 40 million years from now, according to calculations published on 23 November. Other research suggests that long grooves on Phobos's surface may represent the first stages of that inevitable crack-up.

Phobos may not be alone in its doom. Researchers have speculated that Neptune’s moon Triton might also be falling apart. And other, now-vanished moons elsewhere in the Solar System may have suffered a similar fate in the distant past, migrating towards their planet and shredding into a ring system before vanishing.

* * *

The break-up itself would happen quickly, perhaps taking only days to weeks. “If you were standing on the surface of Mars, you could grab a lawn chair and watch Phobos shearing out and spreading into a big circle,”
(Nature)
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Old Mar 29th, 2016, 03:35 PM   #4
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Something Just Slammed Into Jupiter

Astronomers have captured video evidence of a collision between Jupiter and a small celestial object, likely a comet or asteroid. Though it looks like a small blip of light, the resulting explosion was unusually powerful.

As Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy reports, the collision occurred on March 17, but confirmation of the event only emerged this week.

* * *

Plait says that the asteroid or comet wasn’t very large, probably measuring only a few hundred feet in diameter. But when it comes to celestial collisions, it’s not the size of the impactor that counts. Owing to Jupiter’s huge mass, the object must’ve have been accelerating rapidly, releasing a tremendous amount of kinetic energy on impact.

* * *

The result, says Plait, was a “very, very big bang.”

This is not the first time we’ve seen Jupiter get struck by an object. Back in 1994 it was hit by cometary fragments from Shoemaker-Levy 9, and again in 2010 and 2012. Plait says the gas giant gets hit by something big enough to see from Earth about once a year.
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Old Mar 29th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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Very interesting, Mark. It might be the monolith from 2010 -- A Space Odyssey
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Old Mar 29th, 2016, 08:14 PM   #6
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The result, says Plait, was a “very, very big bang.”


Hmmm…??? Really…did it???

Considering the atmosphere of Jupiter essentially makes up the entire planet … and there were no inhabitants with hearing abilities around… hmmm….???
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Old May 13th, 2016, 11:53 AM   #7
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A Huge Unnamed Dwarf Planet, Almost the Size of Pluto, Has Been Hiding in Our Solar System

In a universe full of planets, 2007 OR10 is something special. It’s big, just slightly smaller than the size of Pluto. And it’s close, within our very own solar system. So how did it still manage to take astronomers by surprise?

Researchers from Konkoly Observatory just revealed in the Astronomical Journal that they had uncovered new details about planet 2007 OR10 that show it to be the third largest dwarf planet ever seen in our solar system. New planets are uncovered all the time, thanks to Kepler. In fact, the mission just unearthed a stash of more than 1,200 new exoplanets, bringing its total haul to over 3,200. 2007 OR10 has a diameter of 955 miles, which makes it a relative monster. The only larger dwarf planets in our solar system are Pluto, which has a diameter of 1475 miles, and Eris, which has a diameter of 1445 miles. 2007 OR10 is the third biggest dwarf planet in our solar system—and the largest unnamed planet of any kind within our solar system.

(Gizmodo)
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 10:29 AM   #8
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NASA's Juno spacecraft poised for attempt to orbit Jupiter


A NASA spacecraft was poised for a one-shot attempt to slip into Jupiter's orbit on Monday for the start of a 20-month-long dance around the solar system's largest planet to learn how and where it formed.

Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, were preparing for a long night as the Juno probe streaked closer toward Jupiter at 200 times the speed of sound in the empty vacuum of space.

Confirmation of whether Juno, the only solar-powered spacecraft ever dispatched to the outer solar system, had successfully placed itself into polar orbit around Jupiter was not expected until 11:53 p.m. ET on Monday.

NASA will be holding a briefing at noon ET, ahead of the event. It will be streamed live on CBCNews.ca.

Launched from Florida nearly five years ago, Juno must be precisely positioned, ignite its main engine at exactly the right time and keep it burning for 35 minutes to shed enough speed so it can be captured by Jupiter's gravity.

If anything goes even slightly awry, Juno will sail helplessly past Jupiter, unable to complete a $1 billion mission to peer through the planet's thick atmosphere and map its gargantuan magnetic field.

Scientists are particularly interested in learning how much water Jupiter contains, which is key to determining where in the solar system it formed. Jupiter's origins, in turn, affected the development and position of the rest of the planets, including Earth and its fortuitous location conducive to the evolution of life.
(CBC)
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 01:56 PM   #9
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Just amazing and too mind boggling…
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
Just amazing and too mind boggling…
Very, very true, Patrick.
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