The Cosmic Keyhole: How Astronomy Is Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe (Astronomers' Universe)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In the last thirty years humans have probed the Universe, explored the Solar System and visited with spacecraft some of the most incredible places humans have ever laid eyes upon. We have expanded our knowledge slowly and surely, but still now only see a glimpse of the bigger picture. The Cosmic Keyhole explores the big discoveries of recent years and asks what’s next? How prolific is life in the Universe? How far back to the Big Bang can we probe? And what hidden treasures still await us in the hidden corners of our Solar System?
Been one of the central players in planning and analyzing the myriad of hundreds of thousands of images sent back by one probe that has studied these regions – the Mars Global Surveyor. Images from MGS showed not only the outflow channels in incredible high-resolution detail but also gave clues about the origins of other valley-like features seen by some earlier missions. “Hints came from features described as networks of valleys,” explains Edgett. “In some cases these were arborescent.
Captured awesome views of the brightly lit rings. On inspection the JPL scientists realized that in some of the images a new, very faint ring could be seen close to a region where two of Saturn’s moons, Janus and Epimetheus, orbit. The scientists believed that it was likely that meteorite impacts on the surfaces of these two small moons were causing material to be thrown from them and out into the space around Saturn. As this happened, a faint ring made of this debris would slowly form; exactly.
Surface. Indeed, the majority of the jets studied were emanating from the very hottest areas that Cassini had measured. Yet while the idea of liquid water underneath the surface was a good explanation for the observed geysers the question still remained as to how a small, cold world like Enceladus could be so geologically active. How could it be warm enough to possess liquid water? With a few notable exceptions small frozen moons (like those around Saturn or Jupiter) are generally silent, cold.
Scientific treasure safely packed away inside the bus tire-sized capsule. Inside were the microscopic pieces of pristine cometary material brought back by the robotic spacecraft. From those samples, scientists would be able to study the origin and composition of the comet and also the history of the early Solar System itself. It would be their chance to study some of the most ancient materials left in the Solar System and directly examine tiny specks of material from a wanderer that had ventured.
Glowing at infrared wavelengths. The only difference with Vega is that Vega’s light is always beating down on the dusty disc, causing it to constantly radiate infrared light. One study, published in The Astrophysical Journal in October 1984, focused on trying to work out what Vega’s dusty disc was made of. In studying the glowing infrared emission from Vega, the astronomers calculated that the disc was roughly 160 times as large as the distance between the Sun and Earth. Analyses of the disc.