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Thread: Astronomy

  1. #1906
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    http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/0...M0MDg3Mzg4MAS2

    It was to do with the voyager crafts who first discovered Pluto. Before that we knew nothing about another planet going around the sun.

  2. #1907
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "The Voyager program can only be called an unparalleled success; still, Pluto remained totally unexplored. Interest in a Pluto mission was high, and to fill this gap in our knowledge the so-called Pluto Fast Flyby mission was proposed in 1992. This mission, which was also known as Pluto Express and later Pluto Kuiper Express, was designed to incorporate two space probes that would be sent to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Sadly, this mission was ultimately cancelled in 2000 after almost a decade of planning. Two other similar proposals (Mariner Mark II and Pluto 350) were also cancelled along the way. This left Pluto completely unexplored years after Voyager 1 could have beamed back detailed images and information about what was at that time still considered the Sun’s ninth planet."

    Pluto is decidedly low profile. I wonder how he will welcome visitors, once they start coming.
    Glad to see you are back, DW!
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  3. #1908
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    Direct Evidence of Water Ice at the Moon’s Poles

    "After more than a decade of tantalizing but inconclusive hints, new research shows convincingly that patches of water ice lie exposed on the floors of many permanently shadowed lunar craters.

    The quest to find water on the Moon is a scientific pendulum that has swung widely over the centuries. Long ago we used "seas" to denote the Moon's dark, roughly circular areas, believing them to be reflections of Earth's oceans. The telescope changed that fanciful notion, and then our thinking was totally reset when the first Apollo samples proved bone dry and lacked any minerals consistent with a moist Moon. Another return swing occurred when reanalysis of Apollo samples found substantial amounts water trapped in tiny beads of volcanic glass."
    https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astr...e-moons-poles/
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  4. #1909
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    Report calls for direct images of Earth-like exoplanets
    By Paul Scott Anderson in SPACE | September 16, 2018
    A congressionally-mandated report recommends that NASA lead efforts to directly image possibly Earth-like exoplanets, using upcoming technologies. A major goal is finding habitable – maybe even inhabited – worlds.


    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., just released a new congressionally mandated report that aims to guide scientists’ study of exoplanets in the years to come. Among other things, the report urges NASA to lead a comprehensive direct imaging mission – using a new advanced space telescope – to study Earth-like exoplanets orbiting stars similar to our sun. The report is called Exoplanet Science Strategy.

    The past several years have seen an explosion in the number of known exoplanets, or planets orbiting distant suns. At the moment, there are 3,779 confirmed planets, plus an additional 2,737 candidates awaiting verification. How many have been directly imaged? Fewer than two dozen, according to Wikipedia’s list of directly imaged exoplanets.

    Many of the discovered exoplanets orbit close to their stars, and thus images are exceedingly difficult to image. Many are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, but others are smaller and rocky, like Earth. These rocky worlds would be the most difficult to image, but they’re of particular interest to astronomers and scientists, since at least some of them have the potential to be habitable and maybe even host life of some sort.

    When scientists speak of Earth-like exoplanets, they’re basically referring to rocky planets of a similar size to Earth. With the limited information we currently have about these worlds, it’s still unknown how many of them have actual similarities to Earth, in terms of water, atmosphere, composition, habitability and so on. Obtaining that information is the next step in exoplanet research. From the report:

    The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on by the avalanche of unexpected discoveries. Appreciation of the factors that make a planet hospitable to life has grown in sophistication, as has understanding of the context for biosignatures, the remotely detectable aspects of a planet’s atmosphere or surface that reveal the presence of life.

  5. #1910
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Glad to see you back, DW! Hope you are well.

    Very interesting article. I found the link which also contains a video and illustrations:
    http://earthsky.org/space/congressio...ike-exoplanets

    "The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., just released a new congressionally mandated report that aims to guide scientists’ study of exoplanets in the years to come."
    http://earthsky.org/space/congressio...ike-exoplanets

    As it is a national academy I suppose that the guide is intended for US scientists.
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  6. #1911
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    Thanks, Danik. I spent 2 weeks in Gävle Hospital and still feel rough! !Hopefully will improve slowly over the coming month..

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