They can locate a planet 100 light years away but my GPS still wants to send me the wrong way up a one way street on my morning commute.
In images, it doesn’t look like much: just a blue dot against the black of space. What’s exciting about this little planet is that it has somehow manage to escape its star. Even getting an image of the object, dubbed CFBDSIR2149, is a pretty good trick: CFBDSIR2149 is only visible in the infrared, and then, only just (it …
"I think you meant Mondas from 'The Tenth Planet' [...]"
Aaargh, yes. Right story, wrong Cyber-planet. In my defense, I'm not old enough to have seen the broadcast and it's been decades since I read the novelization.
Getting my coat because clearly my anorak privileges will be suspended.
Blish (who is completely out of favour as an SF writer - too intellectual) pointed out that drives which manipulate gravity or space need not be attached to a vehicle - they can just be attached to anything that you want to move. His "Cities in Flight" series describes whole commercial cities which specialise in specific services - often mining or refining - traveling the galaxy looking for work.
At one point a small planet is provided with propulsion in this way. Perhaps.....
(a) The planet originally developed around the star, but was torn loose due to gravitational interactions.
(b) It's a planet, why can't it have an atmosphere? If you mean why has it's atmosphere not frozen solid, well Jupiter emits more energy than it absorbs from the Sun due to gravitational contraction (it shrinks about 1 cm in radius per century).
There's also a grey zone between a wandering gas giant planet and a brown dwarf star. Jupiter emits more energy than it receives from Sol, because something (probably a very small amount of hydrogen fusion) is going on in its core.
"Torn loose by gravitational interactions" implies some sort of catastrophic interaction such as another star passing close to a solar system. That's not necessary. Any solar system with more than two bodies is stable only in a statistical sense. A 3,4, ... N body gravitationally bound system is chaotic, and it is always possible that what appears to be a stable orbit will in fact end up with one of the planets ceasing to be gravitationally bound to its sun.
You'll be unsurprised to know that the future of the solar system has been carefully modelled. Earth is safe for the next 200M years or so. Beyond that, we can't say. The observations aren't good enough to distinguish longer-term stability from its opposite. Such is the nature of a chaotic system. An unmeasurably small difference today may be the difference between earth remaining in orbit or not, 300M years hence. "Past performance may not be a reliable guide to future performance"!
Back to mini brown dwarfs or large wandering planets, it's possible that these might be the last habitable places after all the universe's stars have burned themselves out. Has anyone ever written a far-future SF story set on or within one?
(a) is just a naming convention. Doesn't fit neatly into any other category, exo-planet will do for the moment.
(b) atmsophere is dependent on the planet's own gravity and composition, only slightly affected by suns and neighbouring planets
What's really curious for me is the temperature of 430C - it's out in deep space and can't be absorbing heat from anywhere else, in fact even considering a thick pea-soup atmosphere it must be losing heat to it's surroundings, and must have been doing so for a loooooong time. So is it possible that it's producing energy through very low-level fusion only happening deep in the core?
"So is it possible that it's producing energy through very low-level fusion only happening deep in the core?"
Not necessary. It's even bigger than Jupiter and both Jupiter and Saturn produce more heat than they receive. The steady compression of all that mass + slow natural radioactive decay produce more than enough heat to reach a few hundred degrees.
"Not necessary. It's even bigger than Jupiter and both Jupiter and Saturn produce more heat than they receive."
True, but even so they're still bloody cold.
"The steady compression of all that mass + slow natural radioactive decay produce more than enough heat to reach a few hundred degrees."
There would have to be an unfeasible amount of radioactivity to heat a gass giant planet 7 times the mass of jupiter up to 430C given that the majority of its mass (if it is a gas giant) won't be made of anything radioactive. More than likely it is just gravitation compression as you said + residue heat from its formation.
According to NASA website, Jupiter's surface temperature is -145C. Core temperature is unknown but "may be about" 24,000 C. Also found this nugget on universetoday: "Jupiter would have to add about 80 times its current mass in order to become massive enough to ignite fusion"
Since this planet is 7 times Jupiter's mass likely no fusion, just compression, and if surface temp is around 400C, core most be rather hot enough to warrant a few beers
It's very young so its going to be generating a lot of internal heat as it compacts under gravity and then differentiates according to density. And we're talking about an enormous amount of energy - the Earth obtained something like 2.5 * 10^32J from compression and another 1 * 10^31J during the formation of the Core.
Sadly a missed opportunity for an update at the appropriate time.
(i.e. You could of had the big explosion in the first episode creating a big sucky worm hole type thing. The worm hole obviously slurps the moon to a random piece of space for adventures to occur and disappears. But then ,because it's a weird worm hole, it reappears, (maybe 50 minutes TV time later), and continues it's suckage. Gives the writers quite a lot of scope for random encounters, political infighting, and killing off of expensive characters/actors when needs must. )
The Enterprise Bridge view screen fills and when the 1701 is groaning trying to break away.
Of course, what would all that be without the pointed eyebrows and tha command "DEEFLEKTOR SHEELDS -- FULLLL INTENSITEEEE!" :-)
"DEFLEKTORS SAY THERE'S SOMETHING THERRR --- SENSORS SAY THERE'S NOTTT??? READINGS GO OFFFF MY SCAYUL!" (WNMHGB)
It's just a matter of definitions. It might avoid a lot of arguments if it were done by mass, with a planet being a body more massive than an asteroid and less massive than a brown dwarf star, and with precise numbers setting the boundaries.
Note, any object gravitationally bound to our galaxy is orbiting at least one star. If it's wandering in interstellar space, it may be orbiting many tens or even hundreds of millions of them.
It can only be a planet if its roughly spherical (big enough to collapse to a sphere under its own gravity) AND its significant enough of a mass in its own orbit to have (largely) cleared it of debris. (Hence Pluto and Ceres don't count).
So, an exoplanet wouldn't actually be a planet by this definition. Perhaps they'll have to come up with a formal definition of exoplanet vs. dwarf planet. The good news is no kiddies are going to have to memorize exoplanets so no-one much will have to car or notice.
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Notice how circumlocutious everyone has to be since the Pluto-not-a-planet-anymore triumph?
How much wear and tear would have been saved on a dozen thesauruses if they could have just said "planet" instead of obsessing over the fact it isn't in a discernible orbit and therefore cannot clear one out?
Well done, "scientists". Another leap forward.
I thought the same :-) Thankfully Startrek, larry Niven (and to a lesser extent university) helped out.
A full, solid, dyson sphere is 'considered' impossible by the current beard and elbow patch brigade. Largely due to the amount of building material required given a nominal 1 au radius. However, given that four hundred years ago a cig lighter would have earned you a swift burning for withcraft, who knows what could be possible? I would suggest considering the amount of energy required to fabricate a sphere (as opposed to a net or swarm) by converting energy to matter plus propulsion requirements vs the amount of energy harvested would be the best way to work out if an advanced race would do it. Just because we cannot do it doesn't mean it cannot be done. Seriously, in 1000 years whos to say we cannot build a giant centre parcs around sol? One big discovery could be all it takes. Perhaps if the beards spent a little less time ranting at each other about exactly what is a planet and a little more time on original thought we might get there a little quicker!
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NASA is finally ready to launch its unmanned Orion spacecraft and put it in the orbit of the Moon. Lift-off from Earth is now expected in late August using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
This launch, a mission dubbed Artemis I, will be a vital stage in the Artemis series, which has the long-term goal of ferrying humans to the lunar surface using Orion capsules and SLS technology.
Earlier this week NASA held a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) for the SLS vehicle – fueling it and getting within 10 seconds of launch. The test uncovered 13 problems, including a hydrogen fuel leak in the main booster, though NASA has declared that everything's fine for a launch next month.
Sadly for NASA's mission to take samples from the asteroid Psyche, software problems mean the spacecraft is going to miss its 2022 launch window.
The US space agency made the announcement on Friday: "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11."
While it appears the software and testbeds are now working, there just isn't enough time to get everything done before a SpaceX Falcon Heavy sends the spacecraft to study a metallic-rich asteroid of the same name.
Amazon Web Services has proudly revealed that the first completely private expedition to the International Space Station carried one of its Snowcone storage appliances, and that the device worked as advertised.
The Snowcone is a rugged shoebox-sized unit packed full of disk drives – specifically 14 terabytes of solid-state disk – a pair of VCPUs and 4GB of RAM. The latter two components mean the Snowcone can run either EC2 instances or apps written with AWS’s Greengrass IoT product. In either case, the idea is that you take a Snowcone into out-of-the-way places where connectivity is limited, collect data in situ and do some pre-processing on location. Once you return to a location where bandwidth is plentiful, it's assumed you'll upload the contents of a Snowcone into AWS and do real work on it there.
China is claiming that as of Wednesday, its Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter has officially photographed the entire Red Planet. And it's shown off new photos of the southern polar cap and a volcano to prove it.
"It has acquired the medium-resolution image data covering the whole globe of Mars, with all of its scientific payloads realizing a global survey," state-sponsored media quoted the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announcing.
Among the images are one of Ascraeus Mons with its crater, shots of the South Pole whose ice sheet is believed to consist of solid carbon dioxide and ice, the seven-kilometer deep Valles Marineris canyon, and the geomorphological characteristics of the rim of the Mund crater.
NanoAvionics has unveiled a 4K satellite selfie taken by a GoPro Hero 7 as the company's MP42 microsatellite flew 550km above the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef.
Space selfies are hardly new. Buzz Aldrin snapped an image of himself during 1966's Gemini 12 mission, and being able to get a picture of spacecraft can be invaluable when diagnosing issues.
The MP42 microsatellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 earlier this year and the camera (mounted on a space-grade selfie stick) sprung out to snap shots to demonstrate techniques to check for payload deployment, micrometeoroid impacts, and general fault detection.
South Korea's Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) yesterday succeeded in its endeavor to send the home-grown Nuri launcher into space, then place a working satellite in orbit.
The launch was scheduled for earlier in June but was delayed by weather and then again by an anomaly in a first-stage oxidizer tank. Its October 2021 launch failed to deploy a dummy satellite, thanks to similar oxidizer tank problems that caused internal damage.
South Korea was late to enter the space race due to a Cold War-era agreement with the US, which prohibited it developing a space program. That agreement was set aside and yesterday's launch is the culmination of more than a decade of development. The flight puts South Korea in a select group of nations that have demonstrated the capability to build and launch domestically designed and built orbital-class rockets.
An asteroid predicted to hit Earth in 2052 has, for now, been removed from the European Space Agency's list of rocks to be worried about.
Asteroid 2021 QM1 was described by ESA as "the riskiest asteroid known to humankind," at least among asteroids discovered in the past year. QM1 was spotted in August 2021 by Arizona-based Mount Lemmon observatory, and additional observations only made its path appear more threatening.
"We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became," said ESA Head of Planetary Defense Richard Moissl.
Scientists at top universities in China propose sending a spacecraft powered by nuclear fission to orbit Neptune – the outermost planet in our solar system – in 2030.
Astronomers have not yet been able to look at Uranus and Neptune in much detail. The best data collected so far comes from NASA's Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to have flown by the big blue orbs way back in 1986 and 1989.
Now, Chinese academics believe it may be possible to launch a spacecraft to orbit Neptune.
Dundee Satellite Station's home turf at Scotland's Errol Aerodrome is to host an Optical Ground Station to test and demonstrate satellite quantum secure communications.
The name may sound familiar. Dundee Satellite Station Ltd. is a phoenix rising from the ashes of the University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station (DSRS), which was axed in 2019 after more than 40 years of operations.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) cut funding for the facility in 2019 and, despite protestations from the likes of NASA, the lights went out when Dundee University refused to underwrite the annual costs of £338,000. As a reminder, the Principal of the University (paid nearly £300,000 including pension contributions) departed later that year under somewhat of a cloud.
The Japanese outpost of Indian services giant Tata Consultancy Services has revealed it is working on the "Internet of Actions" – an effort to bring the sense of touch to the internet.
Tata has paired with a Japanese upstart from Keio University, Motion Lib, to spearhead the endeavor.
TCS said it will eventually deliver a "new social infrastructure" by commercializing Motion Lib tech. But first and more practically, the company will create a demonstration environment for "real haptics" technology at its Digital Continuity Experience Center (DCEC) showroom.
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