mrt 302013
Saturn's Moons and Rings are like Gently Worn Vintage Goods

  A new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that Saturn’s moons and rings are gently worn vintage goods from around the time of our Solar System’s birth. Saturn, the second largest planet in the Solar System, has a prominent ring system and at least 62 moons. This does not include the hundreds of [continue reading]

mrt 072013
Gas Giant Planets Can Handle It All

  New theoretical modeling by Carnegie’s Alan Boss provides clues to how the gas giant planets in our Solar System—Jupiter and Saturn—might have formed and evolved. His work was published recently by The Astrophysical Journal. Jupiter, the largest planet — a gas giant — in our Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/U.S. Geological Survey New stars are [continue reading]

nov 032012
Our Solar System Not as Unique as Once Thought

  Some 4.567 billion years ago, our Solar System’s planets spawned from an expansive disk of gas and dust rotating around the Sun. While similar processes are witnessed in younger solar systems throughout the Milky Way, the formative stages of our own Solar System were believed to have taken twice as long to occur. Now, [continue reading]

nov 022012
Asteroid Belts at the Right Place Needed for Complex Life?

  Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.  [continue reading]

okt 242012
Voyager 1 Leaves the Solar System For Good

  “A new chapter in civilization’s quest to travel to the stars may have begun quietly this month,” writes Lawrence Krauss, Foundation professor and director of the ASU Origins Project, in the Oct. 19 Wall Street Journal. The Voyager 1 satellite, launched in 1977, appears to have exited the Solar System, making it our first [continue reading]

okt 232012
Most Planetary Systems 'Flatter than Pancakes'

  Our Solar System looks like many others, “flatter than pancakes,” report UCLA astronomers who were able to statistically determine the properties of planetary systems using the latest data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. An artist’s concept of a  very young solar system, with its swirling flat planet-forming disk. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle The number [continue reading]