The Solar System & Milky Way
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Astrophile is our weekly column on curious cosmic objects, from the solar system to the far reaches of the multiverse Object: Triton's subsurface ocean Temperature: About -90 °C A new day dawns on Triton.
The twin Voyager probes are so far from the sun that they can see a kind of light from the Milky Way that we on Earth cannot. The observations could act as a Rosetta stone for understanding star formation in more distant and ancient galaxies. The veteran Voyagers, which were launched in 1977 and are slowly approaching the outer limit of the solar system , have detected a particular wavelength of light called Lyman-alpha emission coming from our home galaxy for the first time. The light is useful because it is a trace of star formation in other galaxies. Hot young stars blast their surroundings with high-energy photons, stripping electrons from hydrogen atoms.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter The Voyager 1 spacecraft has started to transverse what has been dubbed as a "cosmic purgatory" between our solar system - and interstellar space.
Lisa Grossman, reporter (Image: J. Pinfield) It's a shame about Pluto. If it still counted as a planet , our sun would still be among the record-holders in the planet stakes.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter New data from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) shows that the heliosphere moves through space too slowly to form a bow shock. Credit: Southwest Research Institute.
M67. Credit: ThinkingCamera/Flickr via CC We all come from somewhere. If you wind the clock back far enough, we all come from the same place.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) re-emerging from behind the Sun on Dec. 15, 2011. (NASA/SDO) It was just about three months ago that the astronomy world watched in awe as the recently-discovered comet Lovejoy plummeted toward the Sun on what was expected to be its final voyage, only to reappear on the other side seemingly unscathed!
Astrophile is our weekly column on curious cosmic objects, from the solar system to the far reaches of the multiverse Object: stellar superwinds Location: red giant stars; our future Characteristics: dusty, dense and doom-laden The sun's dying breath will be no feeble wheeze. Instead, our star will go out in a blustering rage, launching a series of stellar sandstorms into the night. Humans are unlikely to be around in 7 or 8 billion years to witness this cosmic gale, but if we are it will be awe-inspiring: far faster than any Earthly hurricane, far denser than the solar wind blowing past Earth today and lasting more than 10,000 years. "Stars like the sun die in a phase of catastrophic mass loss called a superwind," explains Albert Zijlstra at the University of Manchester, UK.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter The physical force of sunlight on a moving asteroid has been measured by NASA scientists, providing information on how to better plot these Earth-passing worlds’ future paths. First proposed by a 19-century Russian engineer, the Yarkovsky effect is the result of an object in space absorbing radiation from the Sun and emitting it as heat, thus creating a slight-but-measurable change in its movement (thanks to Newton’s first law of motion.)
Space :: TechMediaNetwork :: May 11, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print Scientists are shocked to find that a giant shock wave long suspected of existing in front of the sun is not there By Charles Q. Choi and SPACE.com BOW OUT: The heliosphere is the region of space dominated by the Sun that cocoons Earth and the other planets. Image: Southwest Research Institute
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this video on March 27 – 28 of two large areas of “dark” plasma on the Sun’s limb, twisting and spiraling in our star’s complex magnetic field. The southern region bears an uncanny resemblance to three figures swaying to some spooky, unheard music… a real “danse macabre” on the Sun!
ELECTRIC ice may pervade space. This strange form of water is more persistent than was previously thought, and the discovery could change our understanding of how the solar system formed. It might even give ice a new role in the emergence of the complex organic molecules needed for life .
Space :: News :: October 3, 2011 :: :: Email :: Print The innermost planet turns out to be much more intriguing than it appeared at first blush By John Matson Curious surface features known as hollows line the interior of the Raditladi impact basin on Mercury. Image: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
By Stephen Ornes / November 30, 2011 After a massive star explodes, it sends out a powerful wave of energy and matter. In 2002, the Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of a supernova shock wave moving from left to right through space. Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), W. Blair (JHU) and D.
Read full article Continue reading page | 1 | 2 | 3 Our planet has faced many dangers on its epic journey around the galaxy.