U.S. astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array have captured a remarkable image of a young star, HD 107146, surrounded by a deep layer of dust — a layer that’s thicker on the outside than it is on the inside, suggesting the presence of an entire family of Pluto-like objects.
According to new research from a team of scientists at MIT, Cambridge University, and other various institutions, the shape of the early solar system was likely determined a massively powerful magnetic fields, the likes of which has never been seen.
Stars such as the sun usually form clusters along with other stars. Many of them are spread out, allowing the stars to drift apart, although others are more intense with gravity keeping the stars closer together. Today, the sun stands alone which makes astronomers wonder that our star and its solar system had either been evicted from its original cluster or moved away from its sibling stars around 4.5 billion years ago.
Pluto has long been regarded as something of an anomaly in our solar system. Compared to neighbouring worlds, the dwarf planet has an extremely tilted orbit which sometimes brings it closer to the sun than Neptune. Now, astronomers in Spain believe it has yet another unusual feature – the world may be harbouring two supersized planet just out of reach of our telescopes.
While we all remember some facts about the solar system —that there are nine planets, for example (at least until scientists changed their minds) — there are many lesser -known tidbits that many people do not know. Listed below are 5 interesting things about our solar system, and the planets located within it.
Moons in our solar system get little respect. The latest discoveries from planets like Mars and Saturn grab headlines. New comets invade the public consciousness. Meteors dazzle skygazers, and little Pluto attracts a fan club. Moons, in comparison, seem boring. The sheer number of these natural satellites in our solar system makes them overwhelming to study.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot seems to be on a cosmic diet, shrinking rapidly before our eyes. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot might be, quite literally, the perfect storm: It’s a swirling, anti-cyclonic vortex that’s big enough to engulf three Earths and has been raging in the atmosphere of the solar system’s largest planet for at least 400 years.
When most of us were in school, we learned about the differences in gravity between planets in our solar system. We also learned about how enormous the Sun is and that the gas giants are prone to some seriously unusual storms. But over the course of the last few years, modern astronomy has evolved, revealing our solar system to be more peculiar than we ever imagined.
NASA scientists says that the largest moon in the solar system may harbor life in its inner oceans. Previously, scientists thought Ganymede only had one ocean between two ice layers, but data reveals that its structure is “ice and oceans stacked up in several layers like a club sandwich.”
Space is awesome. There’s no arguing that. But all of the really cool stuff is way out there—beyond the edges our solar system—in deep space. In fact, our solar system is pretty lousy. Everyone learns about it in first grade: You’ve got nine planets (or eight since Pluto got the boot), a few boring moons flying around them, the Sun, and that’s pretty much it—right? Actually, space has more wonders than you could possibly imagine, and some of them are right in our backyard
While looking up information about the recently discovered Tamu Massif in the Pacific Ocean, I was surprised to learn that Olympus Mons is not the tallest Mountain in the solar system. I was even more surprised to learn that the mountain was not even located on a planet.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. Named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Venus is the second largest terrestrial planet and is sometimes referred to as the Earth’s sister planet due the their similar size and mass. The surface of the planet is obscured by an opaque layer of clouds made up of sulfuric acid.