Tag Archives: planet

What If You Lit a Match on Jupiter?



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Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. It’s 300 times more massive than Earth. But it’s less dense than our home. Uh-oh. Looks like somebody left the gas running on Jupiter. Don’t do anything stupid, like lighting a humongous match. What would a match need to be made of to ignite the gas giant? How big would it have to be? And how much damage would this explosion do to our Solar System? Would phosphorous be enough to cause an explosion on Jupiter?

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#whatif #jupiter #cosmos #flammable #phosphorous

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What Is The Curiosity Rover Doing On Mars? | Cosmic Vistas | Spark



For decades, orbiters and tiny vehicles have roamed Mars, searching for signs of life. Get the latest scoop from Curiosity, a car-sized Mars rover with an impressive arsenal of scientific tools.

Season Five of Cosmic Vistas journeys into our solar system to experience unparalleled views of the sun, planets, and distant worlds. Cutting-edge scientific thinking and incredible imagery provide a brand new perspective on the cosmos.

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#Mars #Curiosity #AlienLife

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What Is Our Place In The Milky Way?



What is our place in the Milky Way? And our place in the Universe? In ancient times, many people had the idea our planet Earth to be at the centre of the Universe, as stated by Aristotle and Ptolomeus in their ptolemaic – aristotelic concept of universe: according to this model, Earth is at the center of the universe and all the other celestial bodies orbit around it. Today lots of people think the same. But is this really the case? To answer this question, let’s try to to a travel in the universe, through space and time; we will start our travel from our planet to reach, in the end, the extreme boundaries of the universe.
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During the 1600s, Galileo Galilei, the famous Italian astronomer, was one of the first people, during modern age, to have some doubts about the geocentric model of universe: thanks to telescopic observations, he was able to demonstrate our Earth is not at the rotation centre of planets and the Sun, but really it is the Sun itself. Moreover, observing planet Jupiter, he discovered that the giant planet is the rotation center for its moons. So, Galileo became aware that the center of the Solar System was the Sun, not the Earth!

The Solar System is made by a star, the Sun, eight planets and different types of minor celestial bodies, like comets, asteroids and dwarf planets.
Well, the Earth isn’t at the center of the Solar System, maybe is the closest planet to our Sun? No it isn’t, because it is only the third planet from the Sun: the closest planet to our star is Mercury, followed by Venus and then Earth. The Earth moves around the Sun, our star, just like all the other celestial bodies in the Solar System do: this implies that the Sun, and not our planet, is the center of rotation of the Solar System! The Earth takes a year, 365 days, to travel its orbit, and its average distance from the Sun is 150 million kilometers, which is the measure unit of distances in the Solar System known as the astronomical unit and abbreviated AU. Why do we talk about average distance? Because the orbit traveled by the Earth around the Sun is not circular but elliptical, and this means that there will be an aphelion (i.e. the point of the Earth’s orbit farthest from the Sun, just over 1 AU away from it) and a perihelion (the point of Earth’s orbit closest to the Sun, just under 1 AU). An alternative way to define the astronomical unit passes through the light time, in particular we can say that the average distance Earth – Sun is equal to about 8 light minutes: this means that sunlight takes 8 minutes to arrive on Earth, so that the sunlight we see at a certain moment is not that of that moment but it is the sunlight which left from the Sun 8 minutes earlier! In other words: if the sun went out for example at 2.30 pm, we would only notice it at 2.38 pm! Or again: if you could travel aboard the Star Wars Millennium Falcon it would take you only 8 minutes to travel from the Sun to the Earth (when in reality it takes a few years). To give a more concrete idea of the dimensions of the Solar System: if the Sun were a sphere with a diameter of 14 cm, Pluto would be at 700 m from the Sun, like seven regular soccer fields!

The nearest celestial body to Earth is the Moon, our satellite: to reach it you should take three days off! It’s the same time taken by Apollo astronauts to cover the distance of nearly 400 thousand kilometers that separate Moon and Earth. But if you had Star Trek Enterprise, and travel at maximum curvature, you would only take less than 2 seconds to reach the Moon!

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#InsaneCuriosity #MilkyWay #Galaxies

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Io: Jupiter's Volcanic Moon!



From the discovery of the moon, to what makes it so volcanic, and more! Join us as we explore Io: Jupiter’s Volcanic Moon!
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8. The Discovery Of Io
In many ways, Io is one of the more popular moons of Jupiter. It’s been referenced many a time as we’ll note later. But how did we learn about this very special moon?
The first reported observation of Io was made by Galileo Galilei on 7 January 1610 using a 20x-power, refracting telescope at the University of Padua. However, in that observation, Galileo could not separate Io and Europa due to the low power of his telescope, so the two were recorded as a single point of light. Io and Europa were seen for the first time as separate bodies during Galileo’s observations of the Jovian system the following day, January 8th, 1610 ( this is used as the discovery date for Io by the IAU).
The discovery of Io and the other Galilean satellites of Jupiter was published in Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610. In his Mundus Jovialis, published in 1614, Simon Marius claimed to have discovered Io and the other moons of Jupiter in 1609, one week before Galileo’s discovery. Galileo doubted this claim and dismissed the work of Marius as plagiarism. Regardless, Marius’s first recorded observation came from 29 December 1609 in the Julian calendar, which equates to January 8th, 1610 in the Gregorian calendar, which Galileo used. Given that Galileo published his work before Marius, Galileo is credited with the discovery.
But the end of the “discovery” did not end there. Because for basically 250 years various astronomers tried to learn more about Io. But because of its place in space all they could usually see was a ball of light. It would take a while for them to start to parse out the details of the moon.
Improved telescope technology in the late 19th and 20th centuries allowed astronomers to resolve (that is, see as distinct objects) large-scale surface features on Io. In the 1890s, Edward E. Barnard was the first to observe variations in Io’s brightness between its equatorial and polar regions, correctly determining that this was due to differences in color and albedo between the two regions and not due to Io being egg-shaped, as proposed at the time by fellow astronomer William Pickering, or two separate objects, as initially proposed by Barnard. Later telescopic observations confirmed Io’s distinct reddish-brown polar regions and yellow-white equatorial band.
Telescopic observations in the mid-20th century began to hint at Io’s unusual nature. Spectroscopic observations suggested that Io’s surface was devoid of water ice (a substance found to be plentiful on the other Galilean satellites).
So as you can see, this wasn’t just a discovery of trying to find the moon, but to try and understand what it was and what it was like in regards to its very nature. Which would be further expanded upon in the future via attempts to explore the moon with probes and satellites.
7. The Exploration of Io Part 1
In the late 1960s, a concept known as the Planetary Grand Tour was developed in the United States by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It would allow a single spacecraft to travel past the asteroid belt and onto each of the outer planets, including Jupiter, if the mission was launched in 1976 or 1977. However, there was uncertainty over whether a spacecraft could survive passage through the asteroid belt, where micrometeoroids could cause it physical damage, or the intense Jovian magnetosphere, where charged particles could harm sensitive electronics.

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Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks/Elon Musk/SpaceX/Esa
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Credits: JPL/ university of arizona/ DLR/goddard/scientific visualization studio/SwRi/MSSS/UCLA/USGS
wellcome images
burkhard mùche
horst frank -commonswiki
volcanopele at english wikipedia
rick guidice/Robbie Shade/ Lunar and Planetary Institute/Mailset

#InsaneCuriosity #IoMoon #TheSolarSystem

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What If Earth Was Spinning at the Speed of Light?



The Earth makes one full rotation on its axis every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds. And it’s not moving at the same speed everywhere. The rotational speed varies depending on your distance to the poles. This rotation makes Earth suitable for life. The diurnal cycle, or the shifting between day and night, helps keep the planet at a habitable temperature. Earth’s rotation is the driving force of weather patterns. Even tides are affected by the Earth’s spin.

So if we were to accelerate this rotation, would we completely destabilize the climate? What would happen to the length of our day? What geographical and climate changes would occur? And at what point would life on Earth cease to exist?

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#WhatIf #Earth #SpeedOfLight #Rotation #WeatherPatterns

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What If You Traveled to the Hell Planet?



We visit a lot of planets here on WHAT IF, but K2-141b is the most extreme one yet. Are you ready to jump on board this one-way space shuttle? If you’d rather stay safely Earthbound, I want you to take a look up at the night sky and find the constellation of Aquarius. Right there. Now imagine traveling 202 light-years in that direction, and that’s where you’d find the hell planet. What’s that stuff falling from the sky? Why is this planet so different from Earth? How did it get that name?

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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

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What If You Knew What Would Happen in 100 Years?



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A century of history flashes before your eyes. Not the past, but the future. And now you know how life would unfold over the next 100 years. What changes would happen to the planet over that time? What countries would become world leaders? And why would you not want to live in California? What will happen to the deep space probe Voyager 1? Will major earthquakes hit along the San Andreas Fault?

00:00 What would happen in 100 years?
02:37 Year 2025
03:37 Year 2037
04:24 Year 2050
05:10 Year 2060
05:47 Year 2068
06:22 Year 2090
07:13 Year 2100
07:38 Year 2121

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#Whatif #Population #ClimateChange #California #SanAndreasFault

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Discovered Two Super Earth Exoplanets Orbiting A Star! (Gliese 887b And Gliese 887c)

Discovered Two Super Earth Exoplanets Orbiting A Star! (Gliese 887b And Gliese 887c)

From what this new exoplanet is, to what it could mean for our understanding of the universe as a whole, and more! Join us as we reveal to you the discovered two super-Earth exoplanets orbiting a star! (Gliese 887b And Gliese 887c)
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Humanity has a goal to explore the stars, a goal that may find itself getting a boost in feasibility by the end of the decade. But we also know that to look outside our solar system is important because we can learn even more from the planets and stars that range across the solar system and see how it reflects what is near us. To that end, one of our greatest goals is to find and research as many exoplanets (a planet which orbits a star outside the solar system) as we can and see what they are like and what we can learn from them. Which is good, because we just found a major discovery which might just change things forever.
Because looking at the brightest red dwarf star in the sky may have presented the best chance astronomers have yet to analyze the atmospheres of alien worlds — and perhaps detect whether those worlds have life. This is according to a new study that was recently released.
Scientists focused on the red dwarf star GJ 887, also known as Gliese 887. (Red dwarfs are the most common kind of star in the galaxy, and weigh between 7.5% and 50% the mass of the sun.) At a distance of about 10.7 light-years from Earth, Gliese 887 is the twelfth-closest star. Furthermore, at visible wavelengths, Gliese 887 is the brightest red dwarf in the sky, and with nearly half the sun’s mass, Gliese 887 is the heaviest red dwarf star within about 20 light-years of Earth. That may sound like a lot of needless stats but when it comes to stars you need to know as much about them to fully understand their power, potential, and lifespan.
Previous work found that many red dwarfs host planetary systems, ones usually made up of multiple small worlds. Still, “we’ve been looking for exoplanets orbiting Gliese 887 for nearly 20 years, and while we saw hints of a planetary signal, it wasn’t strong enough to convince ourselves that it was a planet,” study lead author Sandra Jeffers, an astrophysicist at the University of Göttingen in Germany, told Space.com.
But that has now changed in a major way.
Pressing forward, the researchers examined Gliese 887 for 80 nights in 2018. They relied on the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) instrument at La Silla Observatory in Chile, combining this data with archival measurements of the star spanning nearly two decades.
Astronomers use two strategies to discover most exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system. One method relies on how distant worlds regularly block out a fraction of light from their stars as they pass in front of their stars from the observer’s perspective. However, this method will only spot planets that pass through the line of sight between Earth and their stars, meaning it will only detect a small fraction of exoplanets.
Instead, the scientists in this latest work looked for any wobbles from Gliese 887 due to gravitational tugs from orbiting planets. This was where their breakthrough came from. They found the red dwarf has at least two “super-Earth” exoplanets, dubbed Gliese 887 b and Gliese 887 c. The former is about 4.2 times Earth’s mass and orbits just 6.8% of an astronomical unit (AU) from its star (one astronomical unit is the average distance between Earth and the sun), whereas the latter is about 7.6 times Earth’s mass and orbits 12% of an AU from the red dwarf.
To be honest, finding even one exoplanet there after two decades of finding nothing would’ve been momentous in its own right, but finding two? That is something truly special. And yet, that wasn’t all.
The researchers also found evidence for a possible third planet farther out from Gliese 887. Although the red dwarf’s two confirmed planets are likely too hot for life as we know it on Earth, this potential third planet might lie within the star’s habitable zone, where surface temperatures are suitable to host liquid water. Which by our definitions is important to have life, which is one of the many reasons we search for exoplanets so we can see if there’s another planet of life out there.

#InsaneCuriosity #Exoplanets #Gliese887

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Protecting Mars from Earth Bacteria — Behind the Spacecraft — Perseverance

Protecting Mars from Earth Bacteria — Behind the Spacecraft — Perseverance

When NASA’s Perseverance rover travels to Mars to search for signs of life, it’s important that the spacecraft doesn’t bring along any Earth bacteria. That’s why NASA-JPL scientist Moogega Stricker is ensuring that the Mars rover is free and clear of microbial stowaways. So if we ever do find life on Mars, we’ll be sure that it didn’t originate on Earth.

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