Hubble’s Jupiter Report –“Gargantuan New Storms Brewing”

 

Hubble's Jovian Weather Report --"Gargantuan New Storms Brewing"

 

The famed astrophysicist, Lord Martin Rees, suggests that gas giant Jupiter’s dense, terrifying atmosphere –with its constant storms with thunderheads reaching 40 miles from base to top — five times taller than those on Earth, and powerful lightning flashes up to three times more powerful than Earth’s largest “superbolts”– may be inhabited in the upper regions above by floating balloon-like creatures.

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“Moon Power”–Subsurface Tides on Jupiter’s Ocean Worlds Create Hotspots for Life

"Moon Power"--Subsurface Tides on Jupiter's Ocean Worlds Create Hotspots for Life

 

Ever since Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979 (where a day lasts 10 hours), NASA scientists have been captivated by the mysteries that have been unveiled. A new study argues that the four largest moons of the largest planet in the solar system –three of them harboring oceans believed to 100 kilometers deep or more–may have a bigger influence on each other’s tides than the gas giant itself does. The findings suggest that oceans on these moons could then generate more heat from friction and could be more suitable to hosting life than previously thought.

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Liftoff! –Perseverance Mission Heads to Mars Ancient Jezero Landing Site

Liftoff! --Perseverance Mission Heads to Mar's Ancient Jezero Landing Site

 

On Tuesday we wrote that Mars tugs at the human imagination like no other planet. “It’s there,” said astronaut Buzz Aldrin, “waiting to be reached.” Today, NASA launched the Perseverance rover that will, if all goes as planned, touch down at the Jezero Crater landing site in February 2021 as a robotic explorer. Jezero, a 45-kilometre-wide crater is home to the remains of an ancient river delta. NASA researchers have detected deposits of hydrated silica from previous flybys –a mineral that’s especially good at preserving microfossils and other signs of past life.

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“Is There Life There, HAL?” –NASA Announces Intelligent AI Systems Installed on Probes of Distant Planets

ExoMars Landing Map

 

In Space Odyssey 2001, HAL 9000, the Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer, consigned the crew commander to his death by refusing to open the pod bay doors. Leaping forward to today, with life hopefully transcending Arthur C. Clarke’s fiction, NASA has announced a visionary step: that intelligent computer systems will be installed on space probes to direct the search for life on distant planets and moons, starting with the 2022/23 ESA ExoMars mission, before moving beyond to moons such as Jupiter’s Europa, and of Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan.

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“Mapping Ghosts” — Ancient Pulsars, Objects So Dense They Warp Spacetime

NASA Pulsar

 

Astrophysicists are radically expanding our knowledge of image of pulsars, the ancient remains of exploded stars so dense their gravity warps nearby space-time, using NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray telescope aboard the International Space Station to create the first-ever map of million-degree hot spots on the surface of J0030 in an isolated region of space 1,100 light-years away in the constellation Pisces.

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“Stranger Than Imagined” –Weird Dynamics of Earth’s Star

 

NASA Parker Probe

 

Since it’s launch in 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has returned unprecedented data from near the Sun, culminating in new discoveries published on Dec. 4, 2019, in the journal Nature revealing that the dynamics of our star are even stranger than once imagined.

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