The research, published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, notes more than a quarter of the 53 exoplanets — planets outside the Solar System — that were studied could potentially be “ocean worlds,” planets that have significant amounts of water.
“Plumes of water erupt from Europa and Enceladus, so we can tell that these bodies have subsurface oceans beneath their ice shells, and they have energy that drives the plumes, which are two requirements for life as we know it,” Lynnae Quick, NASA planetary scientist and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “So if we’re thinking about these places as being possibly habitable, maybe bigger versions of them in other planetary systems are habitable too.”
Europa and Enceladus, moons that orbit Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, are icy celestial bodies that could potentially be home to extraterrestrial life.
Quick, who specializes in volcanism and ocean worlds, and the other researchers looked at exoplanets similar in size to Earth, including a group of seven in the TRAPPIST-1 system, 39 light-years from Earth. A light-year, which represents distance in space, is the equivalent of about 6 trillion miles.
In addition to size, they looked at density, orbit, temperature, mass and how far the planets are from their star to come up with their conclusions.
According to their findings, these “ocean worlds” could release more energy than Enceladus and Europa, the researchers added.
The conclusions from the study could give researchers additional insight into which exoplanets are studied further.
“Future missions to look for signs of life beyond the solar system are focused on planets like ours that have a global biosphere that’s so abundant it’s changing the chemistry of the whole atmosphere,” NASA Goddard astrophysicist and study co-author Aki Roberge explained. “But in the solar system, icy moons with oceans, which are far from the heat of the Sun, still have shown that they have the features we think are required for life.”
Such future missions include the Europa Clipper mission (set to launch as soon as 2023), which will explore the surface of Europa and “possibly sense life.”
“Forthcoming missions will give us a chance to see whether ocean moons in our solar system could support life,” Quick added. “If we find chemical signatures of life, we can try to look for similar signs at interstellar distances.”
Another study published earlier this month suggested that there could be 36 alien civilizations in the Milky Way as well, though many of them could be thousands of light-years away.
More than 4,000 exoplanets have been identified as of June 2020, approximately 50 of which were believed to be potentially habitable as of September 2018. They have the right size and the right orbit of their star to support surface water, and at least theoretically, to support life.
Is Planet 9 Actually A Primordial Black Hole? – Forbes
Conventional theory has it that Planet 9 —- our outer solar system’s hypothetical 9th planet —- is merely a heretofore undetected planet, likely captured by our solar system at some point over its 4.6 billion year history.
But Harvard University astronomers now raise the possibility that orbital evidence for Planet 9 could possibly be the result of a missing link in the decades-long puzzle of dark matter. That is, a hypothetical primordial black hole (PBH) with a horizon size no larger than a grapefruit, and with a mass 5 to 10 times that of Earth.
How might it be detected?
In a paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the co-authors argue that observed clustering of extreme trans-Neptunian objects suggest some sort of massive super-earth type body lying on the outer fringes of our solar system. Perhaps as much as 800 astronomical units (Earth-Sun distances) out.
So, the authors propose that a unique wide-field survey telescope, now under construction in Chile, will soon allow them to set new limits on the possibility that Planet 9 may indeed be a PBH instead of just an ordinary planet. If they exist, such PBHs would require new physics and go a long way towards solving the mystery of the universe’s missing mass, or dark matter.
Our paper shows that if Planet 9 is a black hole, then comets residing in the outskirts of the Solar system (in the “Oort cloud”) would impact it, Avi Loeb, Chair of Harvard University’s Dept. of Astronomy and the paper’s co-author, told me. They would then be destroyed by its strong gravitational tide and within a second of accreting onto the black hole would produce a visible flare, he says.
For large enough comets, this flare of light would be detectable by the LSST’s 8.4-meter optical telescope.
The idea is that once in the vicinity of a black hole, small cometary bodies would melt as a result of Heating from the background accretion of gas from the interstellar medium onto the black hole, Amir Siraj, the paper’s first author and an Harvard University undergraduate, noted in a statement.
The authors calculate that they would be capable of detecting the first such accretion flare within a few months of the LSST’s operation which is now slated for first light in 2021.
Why the LSST?
The LSST will be unique in its ability to survey the entire sky about twice per week at a remarkable level of sensitivity, Siraj told me. We calculated that the flares from the accretion of a small body onto a Planet 9 black hole would be brightest near the optical band, where LSST operates, he says. And since Planet 9’s position is unknown, Siraj notes the fact that LSST surveys the sky so quickly maximizes its chance of catching a flare.
The authors say that such brief accretion flares would be detected at a rate of at least a few per year out to a distance of some 105 AU. And they expect to be able to rule out or confirm Planet 9 as a primordial black hole within the first two years of the LSST’s operation.
Why would our own solar system harbor such an exotic primordial black hole?
Simply by their sheer numbers in the cosmos. The authors estimate that it might be somewhat likely that our solar system gravitationally-captured at least once such primordial black hole over the eons.
What would the detection of such an exotic black hole mean for physics?
Loeb says that the formation of primordial black holes would definitely represent new physics. The process that made them in the early universe is not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics and cosmology, he says.
If Planet 9 is a primordial black hole, are there likely to be others within the galaxy?
If it is a black hole, there should be fifty quadrillions like it in the Milky Way alone, says Loeb.
Loeb says there’s nothing to lose in using the LSST to look for such primordial black hole relics. Over the past four decades, lab searches for dark matter searches consumed tens of millions of dollars, he says.
“Our paper proposes to use LSST as a dark matter experiment, searching for primordial black holes at no extra cost,” said Loeb.
The South Pole Wall: 100 Million Billion Stars Are Found Hiding in the Milky Way – haveeruonline
Astronomers recently uncovered Nyx, a dwarf galaxy discovered building its way toward the center of the Milky Way, revealing a history of merging stellar bodies. Researchers are now report hidden new galaxies hiding in the Milky Way recognized as the South Pole Wall.
(Photo : Downloaded From South Pole Wall official internet site )
The Milky Way Galaxy is centered on our star the Sunshine wherever planets, dust, and other room objects are bound collectively by way of gravitational forces. The spiral galaxy is composed of up to 100 billion stars.
Missions this kind of as the World Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics (Gaia) by the European House Agency has been managing for more than 6 many years to create a specific a few-dimensional map of the complete Milky Way. Present-day technologies makes it possible for experts to notice bodies in house up to tens of billions of gentle-a long time away from Earth.
Observing the galaxy has been doable with missions like Gaia, NASA’s Hubble Room Telescope, the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper (WHAM) in Chile, and lots of other individuals. Astronomers are highly anticipating the start of the James Webb Area Telescope into space wherever it will ‘hunt for the unobserved formation of the 1st galaxies, as perfectly as seem within dust could where stars and planetary methods are forming today,’ according to NASA.
On July 10, cosmographers revealed a report in The Astrophysical Journal of a new concealed selection of galaxies discovered in the Milky Way called the South Pole Wall. They identified the huge stellar assembly as cosmographers made new methods to detect and map astral bodies not noticed instantly.
The South Pole Wall measures about 1.4 billion light-many years throughout the total assortment of stars and planets that remained in hiding until finally now. The huge wall is noticed to be coincidental with Earth’s south celestial pole which the workforce compared ‘to the Sloan Terrific Wall at fifty percent the distance’ and lies opposite of the Shapley Supercluster.
Hidden in the Milky Way
The discovery was made by Daniel Pomarède from Paris-Saclay College along with R. Brent Tully and a crew from the University of Hawaii. Pomarède shared, ‘One might speculate how these a significant and not-so-distant composition remained unnoticed.’
‘This is due to its area in a area of the sky that has not been fully surveyed, and exactly where direct observations are hindered by foreground patches of galactic dust and clouds,’ Pomarède continued. ‘We have observed it many thanks to its gravitational affect, imprinted in the velocities of a sample of galaxies.’
Just one hindrance to their observations the South Pole Wall’s locale at the rear of the Chamaeleon cloud complex. The star-forming location incorporates Chamaeleon I, II, and II dim clouds or absorption nebulas that are dense sufficient to maintain the stellar gentle of the new collection of galaxies hidden in the Milky Way.
Go through Also: Proof of Stars Born Elsewhere Suddenly Merged With the Milky Way
100 Million Billion Stars
To map what the cosmographers could not see, they gathered information from former surveys, measured their motion absent from Earth and all the surrounding gravitational forces, then produced a 2D and 3D map. Their consequence was a colossal structure of full galaxies grouped alongside one another amounting to about 100 million billion stars.
It continues to be a mystery what the South Pole Wall would seem like if the dark clouds ended up eliminated in front of it or what all that special issue in fact has. The best educated guess the group produced is hundreds of countless numbers of galaxies comprehensive of stars and planets still to be discovered.
A view from space: Comet Neowise spotted after approaching the sun – CTV News
Newly released video from NASA shows the comet Neowise as it jets through space after it approached the sun.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe captured a view of the twin tails of the comet while on its mission to explore the sun’s atmosphere.
The comet was first discovered on March 25 by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. It was named after the mission that found it, C/2020 F3 Neowise.
“NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was at the right place at the right time to capture a unique view of comet NEOWISE on July 5, 2020. Parker Solar Probe’s position in space gave the spacecraft an unmatched view of the comet’s twin tails when it was particularly active just after its closest approach to the sun, called perihelion,” reads a statement on NASA’s website.
Since being identified, NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar, Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station have spotted the icy rock.
There’s been a number of sightings from Earth as well, as people have risen at the crack of dawn to catch a glimpse of the space spectacle before the comet fades into space as it travels further away from the sun.
“This very close passage by the sun is cooking the comet’s outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris. And yet the comet has managed to survive this intense roasting,” reads another article about the comet on NASA’s website.
Neowise is most visible in the morning sky right now – about an hour before sunrise – but as it continues to descend back into the outskirts of outer space, it will start to light up the Earth’s atmosphere shortly after sunset starting July 11 or 12.
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