Jaw-Dropping Jupiter: Juno Probe Snaps Dramatic Up-Close Views of Planet

New photographs by NASA’s Juno spacecraft catch the solar system’s largest planet in all its complex glory.

The four photos — that Juno took over an 8-minute interval on Sept. 1, during its most recent close flyby of Jupiter — reveal the gas giant’s many cloud bands and innumerable swirling storms (although not the famous Great Red Spot).




“In the times the pictures were taken, the spacecraft ranged from 7,545 to 14,234 kilometers (12,143 to 22,908 km) in the tops of the clouds of the world at a latitude selection of -28.5406 to -44.4912 levels,” NASA officials wrote in a description of these pictures. You may see more amazing photos of Jupiter from Juno here.

The new photos really represent a collaboration between Juno and citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt Sean Doran, who processed raw imagery collected by the probe’s JunoCam tool within these dramatic, color-enhanced viewpoints.

New photographs by NASA’s Juno spacecraft catch the solar system’s largest planet in all its complex glory.

The four photos — that Juno took over an 8-minute interval on Sept. 1, during its most recent close flyby of Jupiter — reveal the gas giant’s many cloud bands and innumerable swirling storms (although not the famous Great Red Spot).




“In the times the pictures were taken, the spacecraft ranged from 7,545 to 14,234 kilometers (12,143 to 22,908 km) in the tops of the clouds of the world at a latitude selection of -28.5406 to -44.4912 levels,” NASA officials wrote in a description of the pictures. You may see more amazing pictures of Jupiter from Juno here.

The new photos really represent a collaboration between Juno and citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt Sean Doran, who processed raw imagery collected by the probe’s JunoCam tool within these dramatic, color-enhanced viewpoints.

NASA encourages anyone to procedure Juno pictures in this way. If you are interested, visit the JunoCam page here: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.

Since that time, the spacecraft was analyzing the giant planet’s structure, composition, and magnetic and gravitational fields, collecting data that mission scientists say should shed light on Jupiter’s formation and development.

Juno is in a highly elliptical orbit which brings it close to the world once every 53.5 Earth days. The spacecraft collects all its information during these moves that are close; it’s now completed eight of these.

Juno is scheduled to keep studying Jupiter through July 2018, although the probe will not necessarily stop operations then; NASA could wind up granting an expanding assignment.

Credit: Nasa



Astronomers find a pitch-black planet

hubble capture
Image via HubbleSite.

The Hubble Space Telescope has observed an exoplanet — or planet orbiting a distant star — that seems as black as fresh asphalt. The planet is named WASP-12b, and it is one of a class of so-called hot Jupiters, colossal, gaseous planets orbiting close to their host stars and therefore heated to extreme temperatures. The astronomers say this planet is so black as it absorbs some 94 percent of the visible starlight falling into its own air, as opposed to reflecting it back into space. A statement from HubbleSite stated:




The planet’s atmosphere is so hot that many molecules are not able to survive on the blistering day side of Earth, where the temperature is 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, clouds probably cannot form to reflect light back into space. Rather, incoming light penetrates deep into the world’s atmosphere where it’s absorbed by hydrogen atoms and converted into heat energy.

This planet is about 1,400 light-years away. It contrasts a sunlike star, situated in our skies in the direction of the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. He said:

We didn’t expect to find this type of dark exoplanet.

WASP-12b is about 2 million kilometers (3 million kilometers) from its star. It’s a fixed day side and nighttime side; this is, it orbits so near its star that it is tidally locked to the star, much as our moon is tidally locked to Earth and thus keeps one face turned perpetually toward our world. Water vapor is present in the air on the night side, and clouds do form. Previous Hubble observations of this day/night border uncovered evidence of water vapor and potentially clouds and hazes in the atmosphere. Bell said:



This new Hubble research further shows the huge diversity among the odd population of hot Jupiters. You can have planets like WASP-12b which are 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit and a few which are 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and they are both called hot Jupiters. This prior study suggests that more heat is being pumped to the day side of Earth, but the procedures, like winds, that carry the heat to the night side of the planet do not maintain the pace.

These astronomers used the Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to hunt in largely visible light to get a very small dip in starlight as the world passed directly behind the celebrity. The amount of dimming tells astronomers how much reflected light is given off from the planet. However, the observations didn’t detect reflected light, meaning that the day side of the planet is absorbing almost all of the starlight falling onto it.

Bottom line: Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to study the exoplanet WASP-12b and discovered that’s absorbs most starlight falling onto it, so that it’s “as black as fresh asphalt.”

From HubbleSite



NASA wants to probe Uranus in search of gas

We hear a lot about Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, which is because we have exceptionally fancy hardware floating about and, in some instances, cruising on the surface of these planets. The planets that lie farther away from the Sun do not get quite as much attention, but they may soon, as NASA is presently spitballing some missions which will give us a much better look at Uranus than we have ever gotten.




The theoretical assignments, which would see NASA spacecraft heading into both Uranus and Neptune, are of huge scientific advantage. The idea is to ascertain what the planets are made of, have an idea of the atmospheric composition, and take a great deal of excellent photographs, too. Researchers expect to examine the weather and general climate of the planets, while determining how they fit into the general makeup of our Solar System.

A similar option exists for Neptune, although the actual details of the assignment(s) would have to be fully fleshed out before it comes anywhere near an official proposal.

The assignments are still a long way in reality, both in funding and in timeframe. NASA states that 2030 through 2036 will be feasible to get a Uranus trip, even though a Neptune mission would have to take place before 2030 or after 2040, because of the timing of a gravity-assisted increase around Jupiter.



“Holy Grail” Metallic Hydrogen Is Going to Change Everything

“Holy Grail” Metallic Hydrogen Is Going to Change Everything

Taken From Nasa Website

Two Harvard scientists have succeeded in creating an entirely new material long thought to be the “holy grail” of physics — metallic hydrogen, a substance of unparalleled energy that could one day propel people into deep space.

This broke down the molecule from its solid state and enabled the particles to dissociate into atomic hydrogen.

The ideal rocket fuel we now have is liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, burnt for propellant. The efficacy of these substances is characterized by “specific impulse,” the measure of impulse gas may give a rocket to propel it forward.

“People at NASA or the Air Force have advised me that if they could find an increase from 450 seconds [of particular impulse] to 500 minutes, which would have a enormous effect on rocketry,” Isaac Silvera, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard University, told Inverse by telephone. “If you are able to activate metallic hydrogen to recover to the molecular stage, [the energy release] calculated for that’s 1700 seconds.”

Metallic hydrogen could potentially enable rockets to get into orbit in one point, even allowing individuals to explore the outer planets. Metallic hydrogen is called to be “metastable” — meaning if you make it in a really significant pressure then release it, it is going to remain at that pressure. A diamond, for instance, is a metastable form of graphite. If you choose graphite, pressurize it, then heat it, it will become a diamond; should you take off the pressure, it is still a diamond. But if you heat it again, it is going to revert back to graphite.

Scientists first theorized atomic rust a century ago. Silvera, who created the material together with post-doctoral fellow Ranga Dias, was pursuing it since 1982 and working as a professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam.

Metallic hydrogen has also been called to be a high- or maybe room-temperature superconductor. There are no other known room-temperature superconductors in existence, meaning the software are immense — particularly for the electrical grid, that suffers for energy lost through heat dissipation.

It might also facilitate magnetic levitation for autonomous high-speed trains; considerably improve performance of electrical cars; and reevaluate the way energy is generated and stored.

But that is all still likely a few decades off. The next step concerning practical application is to find out if metallic hydrogen is really meta-stable. If the substance does prove to be meta-stable, it may be used to make room-temperature crystal clear and — by spraying atomic hydrogen on the surface –use it like a seed to grow longer, how synthetic diamonds are created.