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Tag: moons

Jupiter will appear at its biggest & brightest, with moons visible this month

Jupiter will appear at its biggest & brightest, with moons visible this month

Science
facebook twitter Email linkedin pinterest reddit tumblr Linkhttps://intranet2.upi.com/wdb/cms2019/stories.php?storyid=6671559935460&st_year=2019&story_only=1&jwsource=clAuto 406p720p406p270p180pJupiter's Great Red Spot could soon disappear Some may think that June's short nights make it a bad month for stargazing, but this month will bring the best opportunity of the year to see one of our closest celestial neighbors. People around the world can look to the night sky this month to see Jupiter shining bigger and brighter than it will at any other point this year. This is because Jupiter will be at opposition, when it is opposite side of the Earth than the sun. This is also around the time when the two planets are closest to each other. The Jupiter opposition wil...
Ancient lunar collision explains the moon’s two faces

Ancient lunar collision explains the moon’s two faces

Science
May 20 (UPI) -- The moon has two faces -- the smoother, Earth-facing side and the rougher side, the dark side of the moon, which is marred by thousands of craters. Now, scientists know why the moon's hemispheres are so different. According to a new study, an ancient collision between a dwarf planet and the moon left half the lunar surface permanently scarred. Scientists have previously suggested Earth hosted two moons that merged billions of years ago. Planetary scientists have also previously floated the possibility of a collision between a dwarf planet and the moon. If the moon did crash into a dwarf planet during the solar system's earliest days, the structure of the moon's crust should reveal the signature of such a collision. Researchers were able to locate such a signature using s...
Astronomers identify 121 giant planets likely to host habitable moons

Astronomers identify 121 giant planets likely to host habitable moons

Science
June 14 (UPI) -- Astronomers have identified 121 giant planets that potentially host habitable moons. Scientists believe the next generation of telescopes will be able to target alien moons in search of signs of life. Scientists identified the candidates among exoplanet data collected by NASA's Kepler telescope. Kepler's main goal is to help astronomers locate habitable planets outside the solar system. Exoplanets are said to exist in the habitable zone when they orbit their host star at a distance that allows water to persist in solid, liquid and gas forms. Earth-like rocky planets are the first choice for astronomers searching for potentially habitable alien worlds, but as recent studies inside the solar system have revealed, moons surrounding gas giants also possess the potential for ...
Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Science
April 18 (UPI) -- The Martian moons Phobos and Deimos were formed after a large object struck the Red Planet a few billion years ago, according to a new model developed by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute.Scientists have considered a number of origin scenarios for Phobos and Deimos, including the possibility that the satellites are asteroids captured by Mars' gravity.The most promising formation theory is one involving an impact and an equatorial disk of debris. The two small moons formed from the disk of rocky fragments. But until now, attempts to model such a scenario have failed to convince."Ours is the first self-consistent model to identify the type of impact needed to lead to the formation of Mars' two small moons," Robin Canup, an associate vice president in the SwRI S...
Saturn's A ring contained by not one, but seven moons

Saturn's A ring contained by not one, but seven moons

Science
Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Until recently, astronomers assumed Saturn's A ring was contained by a single moon, Janus, the gas giant's largest. But new research shows the A ring, the outermost of Saturn's large, bright rings, is confined by seven moons.The orbital resonances of the seven moons, new research shows, prevents the A ring from diffusing into nothingness. Without the seven moons, the ring's material would spread out and dissipate entirely over time.The revelation was made possible by observations recorded by the Cassini probe."Cassini provided detail on the mass of Saturn's moons and the physical characteristics of the rings, so mathematically speaking, we concluded that the moon Janus alone cannot keep the rings from spreading out," Radwan Tajeddine, a research associate in astronomy at C...