Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 6

Nov 8, 2023

This is a first: An exoplanet in a polar circumbinary disk surrounding two stars

Posted by in category: space

We live in an age of exoplanet discovery. One thing we’ve learned is not to be surprised by the kinds of exoplanets we keep discovering. We’ve discovered planets where it might rain glass or even iron, planets that are the rocky core remnants of gas giants stripped of their atmospheres, and drifting rogue planets untethered to any star.

Now, astronomers have uncovered evidence of an in a circumbinary disk around a . The remarkable thing about this discovery is that the disk is in a polar configuration. That means the exoplanet moves around its binary star in a circumpolar orbit, and this is the first one scientists have found.

AC Herculis (AC Her) is a binary star about 4,200 light-years away. The primary star is well-studied, while its partner is invisible. It has a polar circumbinary disk, which is unusual but not unheard of. In a new paper, a team of researchers presents evidence for the polar circumbinary exoplanet.

Nov 8, 2023

Data from NASA’s WISE used to preview Lucy Mission’s Asteroid Dinkinesh

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s Lucy mission will soon have its first asteroid encounter as the spacecraft travels through deep space en route to Jupiter’s orbit. But before the spacecraft passes 265 miles (425 kilometers) from the surface of the small asteroid Dinkinesh, researchers have used 13-year-old infrared data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to support the mission’s flyby. Their new study provides updated estimates of the asteroid’s size and albedo—a measurement of surface reflectivity—that could help scientists better understand the nature of some near-Earth objects.

Located between Mars and Jupiter, the main asteroid belt is home to most asteroids in our solar system, including Dinkinesh, which is following an orbit around the sun that places it near Lucy’s path. The Lucy mission is using the Dinkinesh encounter as an opportunity to test systems and procedures that are designed to keep the asteroid within the science instruments’ fields of view as the spacecraft flies past at 10,000 mph (4.5 kilometers per second). This will help the team prepare for the mission’s primary objective: investigating the Jupiter Trojan asteroids, a population of primitive small bodies orbiting in tandem with Jupiter.

In the new study, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, University of Arizona researchers used observations made by the WISE spacecraft, which serendipitously scanned Dinkinesh in 2010 during its prime mission. Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, WISE launched on Dec. 14, 2009, to create an all-sky infrared map of the universe.

Nov 8, 2023

Solution To Complex Light Problem Shows That Time Can Only Go Forward

Posted by in categories: information science, space

Oh yea? I just learned the steps to copperhead road so… whatever.

Light is something in our world that we are very familiar with, and yet it can still throw some incredible curveballs when you look at it in detail. A newly discovered one comes from a pretty well-established phenomenon: what happens when light passes through an interface? That could be glass, water, or something completely different. The solution for that has long been established, but scientists have now found something weird going on in the middle.

As light goes through an interface, its speed changes. The solution for the behavior of light on one side of the interface or the other is the well-established standard wave equation. They can be linked with no problem (a piecewise continuous solution) but this still doesn’t explain what happens at the interface itself. There, the wave should experience an acceleration that is not accounted for by the current solution.

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Nov 7, 2023

Direct detection of atomic oxygen on the dayside and nightside of Venus

Posted by in category: space

Atomic oxygen is important for the photochemistry and energy balance of Venus’s atmosphere, but it was not directly observed on the dayside of Venus. Here, the authors show direct detection of atomic oxygen on the both dayside and nightside of Venus by measuring its ground-state transition at 4.74 THz.

Nov 7, 2023

Mars’ Geological History Unveiled: Curiosity Rover’s 39th Sample Reveals Clues

Posted by in categories: climatology, robotics/AI, space

A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets examines the 39th drilling sample collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars from a rock named “Sequoia”, which comes shortly after the pioneering robot passed its 4,000th sol, or Martian day, exploring the Red Planet. This sample was found to contain starkeyite, which is a magnesium sulfate mineral analogous to extremely dry climates such as Mars and holds the potential to help researchers better understand the climate of the Red Planet, specifically pertaining to how it got so dry.

Image of the drill hole made by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover collect a sample on Oct. 17, 2023, the 3,980th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

“The types of sulfate and carbonate minerals that Curiosity’s instruments have identified in the last year help us understand what Mars was like so long ago. We’ve been anticipating these results for decades, and now Sequoia will tell us even more,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, who is a project scientist on the Curiosity mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) and one of almost three dozen co-authors on the study.

Nov 7, 2023

WeWork: US firm once valued at $47 billion files for bankruptcy

Posted by in category: space

Once valued at $47 billion, the company is now worth $50 million and trading of its stock paused on Monday.

After many tumultuous months, coworking space provider WeWork filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada, CNBC

Founded in 2010, WeWork became synonymous with coworking spaces after operating in more than 700 properties worldwide. The company offers its customers the option to rent offices for as little as a day, plush with fancy furniture, and opportunities to add meeting rooms as and when required.

Nov 7, 2023

NASA Getting Ready to Launch Wooden Satellite

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A team of researchers at Kyoto University has been hard at work on a satellite made of wood — and they say it’s now scheduled to launch into space next summer in a joint mission between Japan’s JAXS space agency and NASA.

While it may sound like an odd choice of materials, they say wood is a surprisingly suitable material for space.

“When you use wood on Earth, you have the problems of burning, rotting, and deformation, but in space, you don’t have those problems: there is no oxygen in space, so it doesn’t burn, and no living creatures live in them, so they don’t rot,” Koji Murata, a Kyoto University researcher who’s been working on the project, told CNN.

Nov 7, 2023

NASA probe finds new asteroid during flyby

Posted by in category: space

Dinkinesh, previously thought to be a single asteroid, is revealed by NASA’s Lucy probe to in fact be a binary pair.

“Moonrise” of the new satellite as it emerges from behind Dinkinesh as seen by the Lucy Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI). Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL/NOIRLab.

Dinkinesh, a main-belt asteroid with an orbital period of 3.2 years, was discovered on 4th November 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey at Socorro, New Mexico. Less than two weeks after being observed, astronomers lost track of the object and it went unrecognised for several years. Additional sightings occurred in the mid-2000s, helping to re-establish its position and greatly reduce the uncertainties of its orbit.

Nov 6, 2023

Titan and Ganymede Revealed: Understanding Shear Deformation on Icy Moons

Posted by in categories: materials, space

“We are interested in studying shear deformation on icy moons because that type of faulting can facilitate the exchange of surface and subsurface materials through shear heating processes, potentially creating environments conducive for the emergence of life,” said Dr. Liliane Burkhard.

Two recent studies published in Icarus examine tectonic processes known as shear stresses which are also referred to as strike-slip faults on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and Saturn’s largest moon, Ganymede. While such processes are common on Earth, specifically with the San Andreas Fault in northern California, and have been observed on several icy moons throughout the solar system, these two studies hope to shed new light on the inner workings that cause these processes to occur on Titan and Ganymede, the latter of which is the largest moon in the solar system.

True color image of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, passing in front of the ringed planet taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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Nov 6, 2023

Seven Sweltering Exoplanets Found in Kepler Data

Posted by in category: space

“We’ve assembled the most accurate list of Kepler planet candidates and their properties to date,” said Dr. Jack Lissauer. “NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered the majority of known exoplanets, and this new catalog will enable astronomers to learn more about their characteristics.”

Though NASA’s Kepler space telescope officially “retired” in October 2018, scientists are still pouring over data from the iconic exoplanet hunter that operated for more than nine years. Most recently, scientists came upon data that added four more exoplanets to the Kepler-385 system, which is located approximately 4,700 light-years from Earth and had previously been known to contain three exoplanets, all of which were discovered in 2014.

Artist’s illustration displaying two of the seven planets within the Kepler-385 system. (Credit: NASA/Daniel Rutter)

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