Oldest planet in our solar system?

#planet #space #SolarSystem #Jupiter #age

So the largest planet in our Solar System is also the oldest planet in our Solar System. Jupiter. The planet was formed only within four million years after the formation of the Sun.

Considering no physical samples of Jupiter is available like of Earth, Mars, moon, asteroids, etc., isotope signatures of meteorites (derived from asteroids) were used to determine Jupiter’s age.

By looking at tungsten and molybdenum isotopes on iron meteorites, scientists found that meteorites are made up from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted but remained separated between one million and 3-4 million years after the solar system formed.

Thus the best explanation is that Jupiter was formed, which opened a gap in the disc and preventing the exchange of materiel between the two reservoirs.

Read the full article here

Now we know the oldest planet in the Solar System. I wonder how old the other planets such as Saturn and Neptune are. It’s wonderful that we are knowing more and more about space as we explore.

Most extreme planets yet

#space #planet #star #hottest #coldest #biggest #smallest #oldest #youngest

Our Universe is a big chunk of stars and planets with some pretty extreme environments and weather. Here is a brief list:

Hottest Planet: Having a temperature of over 4,300 degree Celsius, KELT-9b is a Jupiter-type gas giant planet that is so close to it’s star that it only takes 1.5 days to complete 1 revolution. (Earth takes 1 year = 365.25 days)

Coldest Planet: Having a temperature near absolute zero, OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb is the coldest planet at – 223 degree Celsius. The planet is 5.5 times the mass of Earth and sometimes also referred to Hoth from Star Wars franchise.

Biggest Planet: The planet DENIS-P J082303.1-491201 b, has a mass 28.5 times that of Jupiter. It is often debated whether to categorize it as a star or planet. However, it revolves around a brown dwarf star.

Smallest Planet: Kepler-37b is considered the smallest planet, having a size smaller than Mercury and slightly larger than Moon. The planet lies very close to its star and is too hot to support liquid water.

Oldest Planet: At 12.7 billion years, PSR B1620-26 b is the oldest planet. It is 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter. Considering the universe is 13.8 billion years old, the planet is only a billion years younger.

Youngest Planet: V830 Tauri is a planet that has only been there for 2 million years. The planet is 3/4th the mass of Jupiter and still seems to be growing by frequent collision, making it unsafe.

Planet with the Worst Weather: Since lack of technology prevents us from seeing the weather of planets outside our solar system, Venus is the planet with most extreme weather with temperatures ranging to 462 degree Celsius, and hurricane speeds at 360 km/hr. The planet is made up of 95% Carbon dioxide.

Read the full article here

This is incredible. There are planet with such varied mass, temperatures and weather. We are but a small dot in the universe.

Diverse minerals found in Mars

#Mars #NASA #Curiosity #space #life #planet #minerals

Curiosity rover, the NASA’s rover on Mars, has found a variety of minerals on the red planet. These layers of rocks are predicted to have been deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, coinciding with a time on Earth when life was beginning to take hold. In fact, early Mars could have been very similar to early Earth.

Four samples were drilled near the base of Mount Sharp:

Telegraph Peak sample had minerals similar to quartz.

Buckskin sample had tridymite, which is rather strange considering that the mineral is found from partial melting of a planet’s crust (such as Earth’s crust), and Mars is assumed to never have had tectonic plates

Confidence Hills and Mojave 2 sample had clay minerals, generally formed in the presence of liquid water with a near-neutral pH.

Read the full article here

There were several other minerals found. So, since Mars had a habitable environment in the starting, could it be that there was life on Mars and was later wiped out? or rather life managed to reach Earth from Mars?

The new Hottest Planet discovered

#Exoplanet #space #KELT9b #star #planet #hottestPlanet #4300degrees

Exoplanet KELT-9b is the hottest planet discovered as of now, reaching temperatures as high as 4,300 degrees Celsius, almost 4/5ths that of the Sun. The hottest planet in our Solar System, Venus, reaches a maximum of about 460 degree Celsius. The planet is 650 light years away from the Earth.

KELT-9b is considered a hybrid between a star and a planet in regards to his atmosphere, however considering the planet does not have a nuclear core that fuses hydrogen into helium, it is not considered a star.

The planet is so close to it’s star that it only takes 1.5 days for a complete orbit. The Earth takes 365.25 days to complete one orbit around it’s star, Sun. Another strange thing is that KELT-9b, orbits it’s star around the poles, rather than at the Equator and does not rotate on its axis.

Read the full article here

We often try to find exoplanets that are habitable. In turn, often missing out these high temperature planets with their weird characteristics. This is interesting and let’s us know just how far can things go in this universe.

Juno findings of Jupiter

#Juno #Jupiter #space #spacecraft #planet #solarsystem #MWR #cyclones

After spending five years to reach Jupiter and settle itself into Jupiter’s orbit, Juno has completed 10 month long journey in the orbit. Juno has since been sending images and data on Jupiter.

Recently, Juno sent its first science results which shows Jupiter as a complex, giant and turbulent world, with cyclones as massive as the Earth itself and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field. Both of the Jupiter’s poles are covered in Earth-sized cyclones that are densely clustered and rubbing together.

Also, according to the data from Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR), Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones are mysterious, with the belt near the equator penetrating all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures. It also suggests that ammonia is quite variable and increases as we go farther down.

Read the full article here

It is amazing to know more about other planets in the Solar system, and considering we already built that capability a decade ago, and now we are looking forward to send a manned mission to Mars, just shows how technology has evolved and yet there is so much to achieve.


A Saturn moon with life

#Saturn #Cassini #moon #planet #Enceladus #extraterrestrialLife #space

Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus is suspected of having a habitable environment for microbes or other alien life. On earth at least, hydrothermal vents trhive with microbial life, offering up the potential that icy moons far away from Earth could be habitable.

Cassini, a spacecraft in its final months after 13 years of exploring Saturn and its moons, found that levels of Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen and Methane measured in the Enceladus plume were out of equilibrium, an imbalance that could provide an energy source that organisms could tap into for food. Since the atmosphere has Hydrogen in adequate quantities, it would have been released when the water molecules (two Hydrogen atoms and an Oxygen atom makes a water molecule) are broken down. Hence, the probability of microbial life is high.

Although the moon has an icy exterior, with the ice sheet going beneath the surface for up to 5 kms, the substance below it is liquid water. The tidal forces of Saturn pulling and squeezing Enceladus generates enough heat to melt the ice beneath. Enceladus is believed to have a global ocean.

Read the full article here

Glad to know that there is a possibility of life somewhere other than Earth, although life at Enceladus does seem to be at the very initial steps.


Another Great Spot on Jupiter

#space #Jupiter #NASA #GreatColdSpot #GreatRedSpot #planet

Another large spot with a length as much as 24,000 kms and a width of 12,000 kms was discovered by scientists. The spot lies in the upper atmosphere and is much cooler than the hot surroundings, a reason it is named Great Cold Spot, in contrast with the Great Red Spot.

The Great Cold Spot is much more volatile than the Great Red Spot and has reappeared for as long as over 15 years.

Jupiter’s upper atmosphere may hold other features. Scientists will be on the lookout for them while also studying the Great Cold Spot in greater detail, using ground telescopes as well as NASA’s Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter.

Read the full article here

Just discovering new things in Space everyday. 🙂

Atmosphere around Earth-like planet.

#Atmosphere #planet #Earth #habitable #star #GJ1132b #life #space

A planet 1.4 times the size of Earth known as GJ 1132b, is 39 light years away. It was observed that this planet is cloaked in a thick layer of gases which can be either water or methane or a mixture of both. However, the surface temperature of this planet is 370 degree Celsius, which makes it unlikely to sustain any life.

The planet lies in the Vela constellation in the southern hemisphere, and the star that this planet orbits is much smaller and cooler than our sun. Considering the high surface temperature, the distance between the star and this planet must be really small.

Researchers believe that even though life might not seem possible on GJ 1132b, they have been able to conclude that planets around low mass stars can have atmospheres, and because of the large possibility of such stars, there can be as many opportunities of finding a habitable planet or one with extra-terrestrial life forms.

Read the full article here

This makes it a step closer for finding a suitable location for humans to survive!

Watch Jupiter in the sky!

#planet #space #Jupiter #Earth #Sun #opposition

It is a known fact all planets revolve around the Sun. During the course of journey around the Sun, the position of Earth & Jupiter is that they will have face off which is known as Opposition. That is to say, an observer can easily located Jupiter by looking opposite direction to the sunset in the evening or sunrise in the morning. Jupiter will be at its closest approach and would appear more big and brighter than usual.

The opposition will be for only one day, April 9 (Mark your calendars!). The opposition occurs every 13 months, i.e. the previous one occurred on March 8, 2016 and the next one will occur on May 9, 2018. But really, why wait another year?

Read the full article here

Go watch some planets! 😀

Solar wind turned Mars into what it is today

#Mars #space #MAVEN #exploration #atmosphere #planet

Mars also had a dense atmosphere, similar to Earth’s, about 4 billion years ago. This atmosphere kept the planet warm and wet, but somehow the Mars atmosphere became vulnerable to the solar wind (probably because of the loss of the planet’s magnetic field), which resulted energized particles in the solar wind to strip off Mars’ atmosphere.

The atmosphere in Mars is still believed to be shrinking, considering that it has already lost 66 percent of the Argon in its atmosphere from the amount it had 4 billion years ago. Mar’s atmosphere was and is dominated by carbon dioxide.

The above information was collected by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is one of the eight satellites/rovers currently operating around/in Mars.

Read the full article here.