Showing posts with the label Solar System

When will Pluto Complete Its First Orbit Around the Sun Since Discovery?

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took this enhanced-colour image of Pluto on July 14, 2015. (Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI) It will take some time before astronomers can celebrate Pluto's first complete orbit since its discovery. On February 18, 1930, Pluto was found using the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Clyde Tombaugh , an American astronomer, discovered a moving object unmistakably outside Neptune's orbit. Pluto, the lord of the Greek underworld in mythology, was the name given to that item later. Pluto's status as a planet or a dwarf planet has been the subject of a protracted argument. However, scientists believe that since Tombaugh discovered Pluto in images, the planet hasn't made a single round around the sun. Pluto's orbit around the sun takes 248.09 Earth years to complete. When you enter that data and the date of Pluto's discovery into a calculator, you'll learn that the planet will complete its first complete orbit si

Hubble Asteroid Hunter, A Citizen Science Project Finds 1,701 Asteroid Trails In Archival Images

In its 32 years of observations , the NASA/ ESA Hubble Space Telescope has built up an archive containing hundreds of thousands of targeted observations of galaxies, the cluster of galaxies, gravitational lenses and nebulae. At times, closer objects such as asteroids pass the telescope's field of view while other targets are being observed, leaving the images' trails. Image Credits: Pixabay On International Asteroid Day in 2019, astronomers launched the Hubble Asteroid Hunter , a citizen science project on the Zooniverse platform (the world’s largest citizen science platform), aiming to visually identify asteroids in archival images from the European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope (eHST) archive and examine their properties. The initiative was developed by the European Science and Technology Centre (ESTEC) and the European Space Astronomy Centre's Science Data Centre (ESDC), collaborating with Google and Zooniverse. Firstly, the astronomers detected more than 37,000

Low Power Lasers Can Help Tiny Sailed Probes Travel Fast in Space Says Recent Study

Image credit: Pixabay Space exploration missions, completed using space probes take several years to complete. A space probe is a spacecraft with no astronauts that travels through space to collect information. It sends back data to Earth that scientists can study to better understand our universe. The speed of these probes decreases in space due to a lack of gravity. For instance, a space probe named New Horizon, sent to Pluto took ten years to reach its destination, the dwarf planet in July 2015. Similarly, traveling to Proxima Centauri B, the star closest to our Sun will take thousands of years, even for big and advanced rockets. To increase the speed of these probes and reduce their travel time, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles  suggested that low-power lasers on Earth can launch and move probes at a faster speed as compared to rocket engines. All they need to have is a boron or silicon nitride sail for propulsion. Just as a sail catches the wind to move a

Scientists conducted an experiment in the lab that explains why the Sun is sooooo hot!

Image: A plasma ejection during a solar flare. Immediately after the eruption, cascades of magnetic loops form over the eruption area as the magnetic fields attempt to reorganize. Source: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA One of the major mysteries of solar physics is why the Sun's corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere reaches temperatures of several million degrees Celsius . A "hot" path leading to a region of the solar atmosphere just below the corona, where sound waves and certain plasma waves move at the same speed, explains this effect. A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) , a German national lab, developed a laboratory model and for the first time experimentally confirmed the theoretically predicted behaviour of these plasma waves – called Alfvén waves. This was done in an experiment using the molten alkali metal rubidium and pulsed high magnetic fields, as reported in the journal Physical Review Letters. In solar physics, it is now comm

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