“Galaxies in Collision” –GAIA Spacecraft Data Reveals Birth of Our Solar System

Milky Way Galaxy

 

ESA scientists observe that it cannot be proven whether the particular cloud of dust and gas that gave birth to our Sun collapsed as a result of the collision with the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, discovered in the 1990s to be orbiting our galactic home. It seems possible, they conjecture, that without the dwarf galaxy crossing paths with the Milky Way, Earth and life on it may not have been born.

(more…)

“4.5 Billion Years Ago” –Atomic Imaging of Asteroid Reveals Oldest Fluids in the Solar System

 

Asteroid

In January, 2000, an asteroid,  harboring some of the oldest fluids in the solar system, burst into Earth’s atmosphere, landing on the frozen surface of Tagish Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The now-iconic Tagish Lake meteorite appears to have originated in the middle of the asteroid belt as part of a meteoroid that, in its pre-atmospheric state, had a mass of about 200,000 kilograms, belonging to a rare class known as carbonaceous chondrites.

(more…)

Jupiter’s “Radio Light Show” –Reveals Most Gargantuan Storms in the Solar System

Jupiter's "Radio" Light Show Reveals the Most Gargantuan Storms in the Solar System

 

Imagine living on a planet with 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.” Welcome to gas giant Jupiter.

(more…)

Black Hole Near Our Solar System Discovered –“One of Hundreds of Millions Out There”

Black Hole Nearest Our Solar System Discovered --"One of Hundreds of Millions Out There"

 

“There must be hundreds of millions of black holes out there, but we know about only very few. Knowing what to look for should put us in a better position to find them,” says ESO astronomer Thomas Rivinius about the discovery of a black hole lying just 1000 light-years from Earth. Finding a black hole in a triple system so close by indicates that we are seeing just “the tip of an exciting iceberg.”

(more…)

“Outburst” –Gargantuan Black Hole Punches Two Holes in the Cosmos

 

Gargantua Black Hole

 

The outburst was equal to 1,038 nuclear bombs. “This is an extreme case…” said Michael Calzadilla, at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) of a massive black hole explosion in galaxy cluster SPT-0528 so powerful that it punched two holes in the cosmos. Even though the outburst happened billions of years ago, before our solar system had even formed, it took around 6.7 billion years for light from the galaxy cluster to travel all the way to Chandra, NASA’s X-ray emissions observatory that orbits Earth.

(more…)

“Alien Matter” –Makes Up 80% of Jupiter & Saturn

Saturn's Aurora

 

“It’s a shame we don’t have it naturally here on earth, but on Jupiter, there are oceans of metallic hydrogen. We want to find out how these oceans give rise to Jupiter’s enormous magnetic field,” observed Mohamed Zaghoo with the University of Rochester’s Laboratory of Laser Energetics (LLE) and colleague Gilbert ‘Rip’ Collins, director of the high-energy-density physics program. Astrophysicists have long thought that planets with magnetic fields are better able to sustain gaseous atmospheres and are more likely to harbor life.

(more…)