Tag Archives: Astronomy

It’s a Boy! Astronomers Capture First Ever Image of an Exo-Planet Being Born

exo-planet

Well, sooner or later, they would’ve captured it—a photograph of a planet being born. And now, sooner than expected, astronomers did.

Unbelievable, isn’t it—how a planet could form entirely out of nothing, in space?

Astronomers captured the very first image of a planet forming in the dust, swirling around a young star. On Monday, July 2, scientists stated that the planet appears as a “bright spot in the snapshot”—which was taken using the “European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope” located in Chile. Moreover, Miriam Keppler (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy—Germany) said that hints of baby planets have been detected before, but yet astronomers weren’t really sure whether their observations were “features in the swirling dust.”
“Planets are born in circumstellar disks.” Keppler stated. “These disks are made out of gas and dust and surround young stars until a lifetime of about 10 million years. The exciting fact of our discovery is that we have here an exceptionally robust detection of a young planet, still embedded in such a disk.
The measurement of the spectrum gives us insights on how planetary atmospheres look at a very early stage of life. This is very important in order to calibrate theoretical models that predict the properties of planets as they evolve.”

According to a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, scientists describe the planet as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter, located about 1.86 Billion miles from the star PDS-70. The astronomers say in the journal that the baby planet has a “cloudy atmosphere.” They also stated that the new planet has a surface temperature of about 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.

Furthermore, lest the most important part as to the scientists’ study, is that the “sphere”—seen in the photograph above—blocks out the light from the star. This allows the researchers to observe the much-dimmer dust disk and planet at several different wavelengths. The old and new data show the distinct presence of a planet, thus leaving a gap behind it—followed by a trail.

 

Written by KFC, author of The 11th Syzygy, on 7/3/18.

A Van Gogh Painting? NASA Releases Photo of a Dazzling Jupiter That’s Beyond Realistic

Jupiter, Juno Spacecraft, Vincent Van Gogh

Jupiter is back yet again, showcasing what its surface has in store artistically, making it look as if it’s a piece of art. So far, Jupiter is the most photographed planet in our solar system, even more than the Earth itself (which is often taken by astronauts aboard the ISS.) All of the photos are taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, and later uploaded on social media and their official blog. Over the time Jupiter has had many surfaces, in many colours—including the Great Red Spot—but yet this had been far more dazzling, to that of a masterpiece of a famous painter (take Van Gogh, if you will.)  Thus, the images Juno captures give NASA, as well as scientists and astronomers (who knows, maybe even followers of NASA) grief as to their early plan to extend Juno’s mission, instead of letting it plow before Jupiter’s atmosphere.

According to NASA’s official blog post—for which contained the first bit of the photograph—the image for where the distance was taken was approximately 9,600 miles, above the planet’s cloud tops. And although the distance can be long, there’s plenty to see, due to the fact that the planet is so massive.

NASA stated in the blog post, “The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud formations. In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high. The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.

“A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including other structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the center.”

With countless mini swirls, slowly drifting off the upper atmosphere, countless of tiny, intricate details are hidden between the spinning storm clouds on this gigantic planet.

The picture (seen above) didn’t arrive from Juno in its current state. The color was somewhat enhanced by photography experts to bring out as much detail from the image as possible. Plenty of photographs (similar to the most recent one) can be found on NASA’s JunoCam Web Portal. 

Though the new image caught by the Juno Spacecraft takes center stage atop all others, I have an odd hunch that this is photograph is one of the many that will be captured in the following days…weeks…months.

—KFC, Author of The 11th Syzygy (6/26/18)

Aliens Routing for England in the World Cup? UFO Sighting Baffles Many As Mysterious Sting-Ray-Shaped Light Flies Across the Russian Sky

Say Farewell to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, Or…

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is perhaps one of the most tremendous and iconic features in our Solar System. Not to mention the fact that the planet itself is the largest in our Solar System. This massive cyclone has been swirling around Jupiter for so long we don’t know exactly when it first began to swirl. Nowadays, it’s so taken for granted—especially for those that aren’t into Astronomy and Cosmology. However, the storm on this great planet is, unfortunately, slowly dying away. And the latest data from the Juno Spacecraft, recovered from Scientists at NASA, suggests that it might actually ‘be gone within our lifetimes’. In a new research conducted and released by Scientists at NASA suggests that it’s actually changing in shape, as well as in colour—as it enters its twilight years.

Jupiter’s latest images have revealed some surprising changes to the Great Red Spot. The storm is in fact now smaller in diameter, than that of the previous set of photographs released. The swirling winds are reaching a higher altitude into the planet’s atmosphere than before; thus stretching the storm taller as it swirls upward. At the same time, its iconic crimson hue is becoming more orange, probable as a result of the highest gasses being exposed to ultra-violet radiation.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that both Jupiter and its Great Red Spot aren’t great. It can still swallow the entire Earth thoroughly. Yet the Great Red Spot is definitely less impressive that it once was when Astronomers first discovered it. And as NASA notes, a century and a half ago it, the Great Red Spot, was so wide that you could fit four (Planet) Earths inside of its footprint (clearly losing a lot of steam, in my case).

‘Its north-south colour asymmetry has decreased, and the dark core has become smaller,’ the researchers wrote. ‘Internal velocities have decreased on its east and west edges, and decreased on the north and south, resulting in decreased relative vorticity and circulation. The GRS’s colour changes from 2014 to 2017 may be explained by changes in stretching vorticity or divergence acting to balance the decrease in relative vorticity.’

The observations of Jupiter stretch as far as the sixteen-sixties—which point to the presence of an entirely diverse storm that may have followed the Great Red Spot. The storm, before the Great Red Spot, is thought to have been the remains of a dying storm that utterly vanished long before modern imaging would have allowed it to be captured on film. And if the Great Red Spot certainly does sputter out within the next few decades, another great cyclone could always form in its wake—far in the future, from which we will see it.

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