Naiad was discovered in August 1989 by Voyager 2. This satellite orbits Neptune every seven hours, close to the equator. Further, Naiad’s orbit lacks eccentricity. This satellite is the innermost moon orbiting Neptune. Naiad is 48,230 kilometers from Neptune and has an equitorial radius of 29 kilometers. Its diameter is 56 kilometers and its orbit […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
Saturn’s second largest moon is Rhea, named for the mother of Zeus in Greek mythology. The satellite has albedo features, no atmosphere, and visible ice deposits. This moon has a diameter of 1530 kilometers and orbits 527,040 kilometers from Saturn. Rhea is believed to consist of a small rocky core with the rest made up […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
Harpalyke, previously known as S/2000 J5, is one of Jupiter’s 60+ natural satellites. This moon was discovered in 2000 by Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt, Yan Fernandez and Gene Magnier. Harpalyke has an eccentric, irregular orbit (see here) of 623.3 days. This moon has a diameter of 4 kilometers. Its mean distance from Jupiter […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
An interesting scientific theory regarding the origins of life on Earth involves asteroid and asteroid fragment impacts. The theory is that meteorites containing polyhydroxylated sugar compounds impacted Earth acting as “energy sources for all organisms.” In support of this theory, NASA’s Ames Research Center claims to have found polyhydroxylated compounds in two meteorites. Further complicating […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
While researching for some course work in Introduction to Astronomy for AMU, my six year old little boy was looking over my shoulder. So, I figured I'd explain to him that "Daddy is looking for information on asteroids for school." Well, much to my surprise, little man had heard of asteroids and even knew of […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
On June 1 and 2, 1998, two comets entered and burned up in Sol’s atmosphere. Interestingly, a coronal mass ejection of gas and magnetic energy occurred on June 2, 1998 following the entrance of the second comet. This solar eruption is believed to be coincidental. The comets (SOHO-54 and SOHO-55) that burned up in the […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
Neptune’s satellites all travel in one direction with the strange exception of Triton’s retrograde orbit. Triton is believed to have been a small planet like Pluto until it was “captured” by Neptune, instead of being a natural by-product of Neptune’s formation. Further, due to Triton’s retrograde orbit, Neptune’s gravitational pull is causing the moon’s orbit […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
Umbriel is the fourth largest satellite orbiting Uranus. Unlike the other moons orbiting Uranus, this moon is strangely dark. In fact, it reflects only about half the light of the other moons. Given the distance of Uranus from Earth, Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft has visited this planet. Further, Umbriel has two bright white […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
On October 25, 1999, the Hubble Space Telescope took a fascinating photo of mass transference between two galaxies. The two galaxies, located in the constellation Taurus, are known as NGC 1409 and NGC 1410. This mass transferance has created a stream of mass nicknamed an ‘integalactic pipeline’. The pipeline has been described as “a pencil-thin, […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
January 25, 2004 Our Fascination and Future on Mars American Military University SC104, Introduction to Astronomy by James Landrith Mars, also known as the Red Planet, has long fascinated humanity. From the people of ancient cultures to today’s scientists, conspiracy theorists and casual astronomers, Mars possesses a significant hold on our dreams and imaginations. In […]Continue Reading... No Comments.