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An abandoned probe just discovered something weird about the atmosphere of Venus

An abandoned probe just discovered something weird about the atmosphere of Venus | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it

The fiery hellscape that keeps on giving.
DAVID NIELD 21 APR 2016

Just when we'd all forgotten about the second-closest planet to the Sun - what with Planet Nine taking up all our attention - an old, abandoned probe has come through with some weird data from the atmosphere of Venus.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Venus Express probe spent eight years collecting information on Venus before plunging down to the surface and out of range back in November 2014. But now we finally have the last batch of data it transmitted back to Earth before going offline, and there are some big surprises in all those recordings.

Turns out, the polar atmosphere of Venus is a whole lot colder and a lot less dense than we previously thought, and these regions are dominated by strong atmospheric waves that have never been measured on Venus before.

Maddie Stone from Gizmodo reports that the Venus Express probe found polar areas of Venus to have an average temperature of -157 degrees Celsius, which is colder than any spot on Earth, and about 70 degrees lower than was previously thought.

This is rather surprising, considering Venus's position as the hottest planet in the Solar System overall.

Not only is Venus much closer to the Sun than we are, it also has a thick, dense cloud layer that traps heat. However, Venus Express also found that the planet's atmosphere was 22 to 40 percent less dense than expected at the polar regions.

"The existing model paints an overly simplistic picture of Venus's upper atmosphere," said lead researcher, Ingo Müller-Wodarg, from the Imperial College London. "These lower densities could be at least partly due to Venus' polar vortices, which are strong wind systems sitting near the planet's poles. Atmospheric winds may be making the density structure both more complicated and more interesting!"

There's more too: the probe found these same regions to be dominated by strong atmospheric waves, which behave like ripples in a pond, except they travel vertically instead of horizontally.

These waves are thought to be key in influencing a planet's atmosphere, including the one we have here on Earth, but they've never been measured on Venus before.

What makes the discoveries even more interesting is that they were obtained using instruments that weren't intended for in-situ atmosphere observations: it was only after the launch of the Venus Express that scientists realised they could use accelerometer measurements to assess atmosphere density.

Finally, in its last moments, Venus Express proved that aerobraking – using atmospheric drag to slow down – is an effective way of making a controlled descent, and that's going to be very useful indeed when the ESA's Mars probe arrives at its destination.

"For Mars, the aerobraking phase would last longer than on Venus, for about a year, so we'd get a full dataset of Mars' atmospheric densities and how they vary with season and distance from the Sun," said Håkan Svedhem, a researcher for both the ExoMars 2016 and Venus Express missions. "This information isn't just relevant to scientists; it's crucial for engineering purposes as well."


Via Kim Frye
Samuel Viana's insight:
What a surprise ! Who would say that there is cold regions in Venus !?
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Special Supernova Iron found on Moon

Special Supernova Iron found on Moon | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
The remnants of iron coming from a supernova that blasted two millions years ago were found on the Moon.
Samuel Viana's insight:
The remnants of iron coming from a supernova that blasted two millions years ago were found on the Moon.
This iron is a rare isotope, and some of the debris were also found on Earth oceans'.
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Kepler marks 1,000th exoplanet discovery, uncovers more small worlds in habitable zones

Kepler marks 1,000th exoplanet discovery, uncovers more small worlds in habitable zones | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
How many stars like our sun host planets like our Earth? NASA's Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system, and to date has offered scientists an assortment of more than ...
Samuel Viana's insight:

Kepler is still on service: the 1000th has been found !!!
An more earth-like were found !

 

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Rocky Wolf 1061c Planet Sitting in the Habitable Zone of a Nearby Star

Rocky Wolf 1061c Planet Sitting in the Habitable Zone of a Nearby Star | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have discovered a rocky planet that sits perfectly in the habitable "Goldilocks" zone of a Sun-like star located just 14 light years away from Earth.

 

Just last month, astronomers from the Edinburgh University had found a planet-like object without any parent star about 75 light years away from Earth The new planet discovered, named Wolf 1061c, is about four times the size of Earth and is the nearest potentially habitable world, according to scientists. It has a rocky, solid surface which is usually considered to be necessary to support alien life. Presence of a planet in the "Goldilocks zone" makes the planet neither too hot nor too cold, meaning the planet could support life. Wolf 1061 lies in Ophiucus constellation and is the 35th closest star to Earth.

 

Lead researcher Dr Duncan Wright revealed in a statement that their team has actually found three planets revolving around a red dwarf star. These planets are of "low enough mass" and have a solid surface. Of these three planets, one is located very close to the star, while the other one lies too far out. The middle of these three planets, Wolf 1061c, "sits within the 'Goldilocks' zone where it might be possible for liquid water - and maybe even life - to exist."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Samuel Viana's insight:

Foi descoberto um potencial candidato de planeta habitável que orbita uma estrela anã vermelha "apenas" a 13 anos-luz da Terra.
Estima-se que o planeta se encontre na hipotética zona de habitabilidade da estrela.

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Sun Accused of Stealing Planetary Objects from Another Star

Sun Accused of Stealing Planetary Objects from Another Star | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
New study shows the sun may have snatched Sedna, Biden and other objects away from a neighbor
Samuel Viana's insight:

It is really possible the so-far away dwarf planet Sedna belonged to antoher star which in a very remote past have passed relatively close to our Sun !?

 

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Astrofísicos captam primeira imagem de exoplaneta mais próximo da Terra - SIC Notícias

Astrofísicos captam primeira imagem de exoplaneta mais próximo da Terra - SIC Notícias | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Astrofísicos captaram a imagem do planeta gigante VHS 1256b, que é o planeta extrassolar mais próximo da Terra do qual se conseguiu, até hoje, obter imagens e um espetro, divulgou o Instituto de Astrofísica das Canárias, Espanha.
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Exoplanet Spectrum in Visible Light

Exoplanet Spectrum in Visible Light | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
It’s the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of 51 Pegasi b, a ‘hot Jupiter’ that was the first planet to be discovered around a normal star. I always have to throw in that ‘normal’ qualifier be...
Samuel Viana's insight:
Agora foi efectuado o primeiro espectrograma de um exoplaneta, precisamente aquele que foi dos primeiros a serem descobertos, já lá vão 20 anos, o que nos permite ter a primeira ideia da composição atmosférica do exoplaneta.
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Diez instituciones trazarán mapa genético de Colombia - Ciencia - El Tiempo

Diez instituciones trazarán mapa genético de Colombia - Ciencia - El Tiempo | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
25 expertos en biotecnologías recorrerán el país para estudiar las particularidades de cada región.
Samuel Viana's insight:
Um país como a Colômbia já entendeu que ter uma referência para conhecer mais de perto o genoma dos seus cidadãos vai-se permitir planear mais de perto as enfermidades que os afectam.
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Gliese 832c – uma super-Terra na zona habitável, é o mais recente exoplaneta preferido

Gliese 832c – uma super-Terra na zona habitável, é o mais recente exoplaneta preferido | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Desde 1995 que as descobertas de exoplanetas são divulgadas como: "agora é que é", "esta descoberta mostra-nos um planeta mais parecido com a Terra", "este planeta habitável está 'perto' de nós
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Alien Planet-Hunting Telescope Tool Snaps 1st Amazing Images (Video, Photos)

Alien Planet-Hunting Telescope Tool Snaps 1st Amazing Images (Video, Photos) | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
A new instrument designed to give scientists a direct look at nearby alien worlds has seen its "first light" in Chile, astronomers announced today (June 4).
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With very explicative video.

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Acompanhamento de Planetas EXtrassolares (APEX)

Acompanhamento de Planetas EXtrassolares (APEX) | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Exoplaneta descoberto em Coma Berenices. Exoplaneta 1.040! http://t.co/hJYQ6lmmpf
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Did the Sun Eat a Primordial Super-Earth?

Did the Sun Eat a Primordial Super-Earth? | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Was there a so-called 'super-Earth' planet that formed inside the orbit of Mercury? If so, it might have been eaten by our sun.
Samuel Viana's insight:
After many exoplanets had been found very close to their mother stars, it's time to speculate why our own solar system does not have its own big-near-Sun own planet.
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How we'll find life on other planets

How we'll find life on other planets | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Astronomer Aomawa Shields searches for clues that life might exist elsewhere in the universe by examining the atmospheres of distant exoplanets. When she isn't exploring the heavens, the classically trained actor (and TED Fellow) looks for ways to engage young women in the sciences using theater, writing and visual art. "Maybe one day they'll join the ranks of astronomers who are full of contradictions," she says, "and use their backgrounds to discover, once and for all, that we are truly not alone in the universe."
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Rocky Planet Found Around Star with Least Metal Yet

Rocky Planet Found Around Star with Least Metal Yet | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it

Foi encontrado um planeta à volta de uma estrela com baixo teor de metais a cerca de 130 anos-luz da Terra. Mais uma vez, as teorias tradicionais de formação de sistemas estelares ficam postas em causa.

 

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Birth of Planets! Formation of Alien Worlds Photographed for 1st Time

Birth of Planets! Formation of Alien Worlds Photographed for 1st Time | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Scientists have photographed a gas-giant planet forming around a young, sunlike star called LkCa 15, which lies about 450 light-years from Earth.
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Where SETI should search for intelligent life

Where SETI should search for intelligent life | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Galactic interiors could host more suitable planets than their outskirts
Samuel Viana's insight:

Now astronomers have decided to create the notion of "habitable zone on the galaxy", where there is stellar systems old enough which possess the ideal conditions for the creation and evolution of Life, they said.

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Exoplaneta HATS-6b recém descoberto pode ser grande demais para sua estrela

Exoplaneta HATS-6b recém descoberto pode ser grande demais para sua estrela | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Ilustração do exoplaneta HATS-6b em trânsito. Crédito: ANU Investigadores da ANU (Australian National University) descobriram um exoplaneta incomum, que
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Kepler-432b - Os Astrônomos Descobrem Um Novo Exoplaneta Classificado Como Super Júpiter

Kepler-432b - Os Astrônomos Descobrem Um Novo Exoplaneta Classificado Como Super Júpiter | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Usando dados da missão Kepler da NASA, dois times de astrônomos liderados por Mauricio Ortiz, da Universidade de Heidelberg e Simona Ciceri do Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, descobriram de for...
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Descobertos dois exoplanetas parecidos com a Terra - SIC Notícias

Descobertos dois exoplanetas parecidos com a Terra - SIC Notícias | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Dois novos exoplanetas que podem ser
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Ajude a dar nome a um exoplaneta

Ajude a dar nome a um exoplaneta | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Ajude a dar nome a um exoplaneta
TeK.sapo
Os resultados alcançados serão divulgados em agosto do próximo ano, numa cerimónia pública, durante o encontro anual da União.
Samuel Viana's insight:

Em vez de nomes Gliese 832c ou KOI-323, etc., o espaço está aberto para todos poderem sugerir novos nomes para exoplanetas. Fico é a pensar... e que tal dar nomes de histórias bem conhecidas de ficção científica tal como Tattooine, Arrakis, etc. !?

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Nasa descobre 1° exoplaneta habitável do tamanho da Terra

Nasa descobre 1° exoplaneta habitável do tamanho da Terra | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
17/04/2013 A descoberta reforça a possibilidade dos cientistas encontrarem planetas semelhantes à Terra na Via Láctea O Kepler-186f tem o tamanho da Terra e está em órbita ao redor de uma estrela classificada como anã, menor e menos quente do que ...
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WISE J085510.83-071442.5 - uma anã castanha fria ou um exoplaneta errante gigante?

WISE J085510.83-071442.5 - uma anã castanha fria ou um exoplaneta errante gigante? | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Kevin Luhman (Pennsylvania State University) tem focado a maior parte de sua pesquisa na formação de estrelas de baixa massa e nas anã marrons (anãs castanhas, em Portugal) em regiões de formação estelar próximas do Sol.
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Estaremos próximos de encontrar vizinhos? - PT Jornal

Estaremos próximos de encontrar vizinhos? - PT Jornal | Another Earths in the Universe | Scoop.it
Estaremos próximos de encontrar vizinhos?
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