Astronomy and Planetary Science Thread

A chance to name a quasi-moon

Moon missions and tech

Asteroids and comets

What is a planet

In the cosmos


A real stillsuit
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Physicists Suggest "Nuclear Life" Could Explain Strange Dimming Of HD 139139 Star

The team even suggests that binary star system EPIC 249706694 (HD 139139) – better known as the "random transiter" could be a candidate for this kind of life. As the name suggests, astronomers saw dips in light from the system, which would usually indicate a transit of a planet, but at seemingly random intervals. However, follow-up observations by another team suggest either their observations were not long enough to see transitions, had stopped by the time they observed the stars, or that there were some unidentified errors in the original team's equipment.

Paper linked to in the article.

Stellar Winds Have Started Blowing From A Strange "Guest Star" Lost for 840 Years

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Researchers predict new phase in neutron stars that favors 'nuclear pasta'

Researchers at the Department of Physics at TU Darmstadt and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have now adopted a new theoretical approach to investigate the state of nuclear matter in the inner crust of neutron stars. They showed that both neutrons and protons can "drip out" of atomic nuclei and stabilize the "nuclear pasta." Their findings are reported in Physical Review Letters.

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An exoplanet infamous for its deadly weather has been hiding another bizarre feature—it reeks of rotten eggs, according to a new Johns Hopkins University study of data from the James Webb Space Telescope.

The atmosphere of HD 189733 b, a Jupiter-sized gas giant, has trace amounts of hydrogen sulfide, a molecule that not only gives off a stench but also offers scientists new clues about how sulfur, a building block of planets, might influence the insides and atmospheres of gas worlds beyond the solar system.

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That is excellent news Michel Van, and in the temperate zone or rather Goldilocks zone as it is known, and it is possible of having intelligent life on the planets surface.
JWST Spots Signs Of Earth-Like Atmosphere Around The Best Planet To Look For Life

Observations by the JWST have revealed exciting hints of an Earth-like atmosphere on a planet orbiting a relatively nearby star. The planet is likely to be cooler than Earth, but still warmer than Mars and possibly well-suited to life.

However, its density is not that far below Earth’s and observations made by the JWST last December show no sign of the hydrogen-rich atmosphere expected of a gas planet. The most likely explanation for the lower density is that 10-20 percent of its mass is water, with the rest being rock and metal like Earth. The water would probably be a mix of liquid and ice; although the ratio is unknown, that’s a good place to start when looking for life.

"LHS 1140b is one of the best small exoplanets in the habitable zone capable of supporting a thick atmosphere, and we might just have found evidence of air on this world," said Professor Ryan MacDonald of the University of Montreal in a statement. The spectrum collected most closely matches a predominantly nitrogen-based atmosphere, like Earth’s, but as the uncertainty in MacDonald’s statement indicates, other explanations remain possible. The JWST will need to observe LHS 1140b passing between us and its star on more occasions for confirmation.

However, unless the atmosphere is also rich in powerful greenhouse gasses, it’s more likely most of LHS 1140b is icy, with a liquid ocean directly facing the star, making it look like a creepy eyeball. The ocean is estimated to be about half the size of the Atlantic, and its center, where the star is directly overhead, might be around 20°C (68°F).

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Anton Petrov put out the below video concerning Supermassive Blackholes the magnetic fields their accretion discs generate:

Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about formation of massive black holes
0:00 Black hole formation is more surprising than believed
1:01 How this connects to JWST mysteries
2:20 Issues with simulations
3:30 New simulations and discoveries
5:30 What this means and why it's important
7:20 Similarity to other phenomena
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New study shows mysterious solar particle blasts can devastate the ozone layer, bathing Earth in radiation for years

The remarkable aurora in early May this year demonstrated the power that solar storms can emit as radiation, but occasionally the sun does something far more destructive. Known as "solar particle events," these blasts of protons directly from the surface of the sun can shoot out like a searchlight into space.

Records show that around every thousand years Earth gets hit by an extreme solar particle event, which could cause severe damage to the ozone layer and increase levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the surface.

These extreme solar particle events occur roughly every few millennia. The most recent one happened around 993 AD, and was used to show that Viking buildings in Canada used timber cut in 1021 AD.

We found such an event could deplete ozone levels for a year or so, raising UV levels at the surface and increasing DNA damage. But if a solar proton event arrived during a period when Earth’s magnetic field was very weak then ozone damage would last six years, increasing UV levels by 25% and boosting the rate of solar-induced DNA damage by up to 50%.

Related paper:

The Atlantic Gulf Stream was unexpectedly strong during the last ice age – new study

But our research, now published in Nature, has uncovered at least one surprise in the ice age climate: the Gulf Stream, which carries warm water northwards through the Atlantic, was stronger and deeper than it is today.

This research came about because as paleoceanographers (scientists who study oceans in the past), we wanted to understand how the oceans behaved during the last ice age to provide insights into how climate change might alter things in future.

In fact, our research suggests that the glacial climate itself was responsible for driving a stronger Gulf Stream. In particular, the ice age was characterised by much stronger winds over parts of the North Atlantic, which would have driven a stronger Gulf Stream. Therefore, although the amount of water sinking from the surface into the deep ocean was reduced, the Gulf Stream was stronger and still transporting lots of heat northwards, albeit not as far as today.

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A semiotic puzzle.

A candidate for a planet in a Trojan orbit - that is, in a position sixty degrees ahead of or behind an planet in the same orbit.


It would be at the Lagrange point L5 of the star.

There are numerous Trojan-type objects in our own Solar System, most famously the eponymous Trojan asteroids locked with Jupiter.

This is one notable for being potentially a planet-like object rather than a group of asteroids. Now, an object at an L4 or L5 point would not be rigidly fixed at a point sixty degrees ahead or behind the more massive body but rather orbit a point that is in that position. This could explain why the planet GJ 3470 b, or 'Phailinsiam', is seen to transit its primary while the hypothetical Trojan planet is not - it doesn't stay strictly in the same orbital plane but only orbits a point that is on that plane.

If it exists, is it a planet? Is Phailinsiam? The problem is that this potential object is significantly massive (terrestrial mass at least), as is Phailinsiam (Neptune-like mass).

Pluto was disqualified as a planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) because met only two of three criteria: 1) It orbits a star, not a planet; 2) it is a spheroid - but it has not 3) 'cleared its orbit of other bodies.' This last is very controversial as Jupiter's (and other planet's) Trojan and Greek bodies appear to contradict this and would deprive even Jupiter of planetary status.

So, if this object exists, Phailinsiam may still be a planet and if it is, this object might be too, or may have to be classified as a 'quasi-moon', which will upset a lot of pedants. Earth does itself have 'quasi-moons' which are small, non-spheroidal asteroids that orbit the sun in approximately the same orbit but are bound by their interactions with Earth, at least temporarily.

Now, we can think of Pluto as a large Kuiper-belt object (KBO), like Eris et al, but that definition depends on their formation and history, not current orbital status. For example, there is strong evidence that Triton, a 'moon' of Neptune, is a sibling of Pluto and originated as a KBO too. As an analogue, evolutionary biology went through a crisis provoked by 'cladistics' when the history of extant species was considered versus their evolutionary history.

For example, consider the class 'pachyderm.' It used to mean a large, mostly hairless grey-skinned mammal living in Africa - hippos, elephants and rhinos. We now know that they are not closely related at all (hippos are in fact more related to whales than rhinos).

Whether this potential 'GJ 3470 c' exists is not the point. If it is not impossible, current categories need to be reconsidered.

So, is Pluto a planet, is Phailinsiam, is Jupiter?

What is a planet?

Wait and see.
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Astronomers may have discovered the presence of water in the atmosphere of a blisteringly hot planet that is also one of the most "metal" worlds ever spotted. The planet's formation remains a mystery, one that could be solved by the discovery.

”The composition of the planet seems not to be compatible with current formation scenarios that we have for hot gas giants, and it is still a mystery to this day," said Ali Rafi. "This signifies the importance of observing the planet’s atmosphere as it could help reveal the planet's formation history through its atmospheric properties such as its metallicity and carbon to oxygen ratio."

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Interesting find Flyaway. It is a pity that it is a hot Jupiter and not an Earthlike planet, I suppose that it is only a matter of time before we find the first proper Earthlike planet.

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Having a metal-rich atmosphere IMO means the deep interior of this gas-giant is so hot that despite the eye-watering, stupendous pressures in the core the result is a liquid-core with convection currents dredging up material from it all the way to the planet's "Surface". I think we're looking at the early stages of a Chthonic planet in its formation.

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