Our Very Weird Solar System –“It’s Even Stranger Than We Thought”

 

“There are a few things that make the solar system kind of strange.” Lauren Weiss, an astrophysicist at the University of Montreal. “One of which is we have a giant planet. Only about 10 percent of sunlike stars have a giant planet. And there are probably even fewer that have two giant planets.”

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Saturn’s Rings –“Far More Complex Than Previously Thought”

 

“This is a new element of how our solar system works,” said Thomas Cravens, professor of physics & astronomy at the University of Kansas and a co-author of the new paper. “Two things surprised me. One is the chemical complexity of what was coming off the rings — we thought it would be almost entirely water based on what we saw in the past. The second thing is the sheer quantity of it — a lot more than we originally expected. The quality and quantity of the materials the rings are putting into the atmosphere surprised me.”

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“Scarce in Solar System” –NASA Astrobiologists are Tracking Phosphorus For Signs of Other Life

 

Phosphorus is one of the six main elements that make up the human body, and is a necessary building block for other organisms. However, unlike hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and calcium, phosphorus is rare. It is even more scarce in the rest of the Solar System.

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“Origins!” –NASA to Live-Stream Discussion of Dawn Spacecraft’s Discoveries on Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will host a live-streamed Science Chat at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Friday, Sept. 7, during which experts will talk about the role of the agency’s Dawn spacecraft in studying the beginning of our solar system, and the approaching end of its 11-year mission.

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