Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015: A SPACE ODYSSEY", part 3.

One More month we will have some of the closet images of dwarf planet Ceres.  NASA recently released black and white images of a small world that looks heavily bombarded with craters . Personally I am waiting for the color images . After examining Hubble Telescope images of Ceres I noted something not usually found in asteroids in images that are vary puzzling (see the image on the left ) there is what is called a blue limb in the photograph. This so called phenomenon is often associated with planetary (1)> bodies that have atmospheres . The white spot that has appeared in past photo's of Ceres is vary intriguing , we have also noted that there numerous white spots that have the look of frozen material in craters .  BUT the circular appearance can be a bit deceiving with this proto-planet as seen with old Hubble Images . Now we are only 52,000 miles away and things are just beginning to take shape in this small mysterious world . For a moment I was hoping for a small planet like body with hints of a atmosphere , but the black and white images from DAWN SPACE CRAFT reveal a different body than that we have imagined . This little world looks like the moon in may ways than one . But the pair of images, recently captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, are something pretty amazing: they're the best photos we've ever taken of the dwarf planet Ceres, which inhabits the asteroid belt, and orbits the Sun about 257 million miles away from
"size" does matter in
outer space.
Ceres is officially considered a dwarf planet — a technical designation for objects that are smaller than planets but bigger than most asteroids and comets. (Pluto was famously demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006.) Yet in many ways, Ceres and Vesta are similar destinations. When Dawn was launched, they were the two largest rocks in the inner solar system that we had yet to explore. If you look at Ceres now you can't get too confused ( see above , between Mars , Moon and Mercury are the two "dwarf planets" Vesta & Ceres compare in size ). Ceres may be considered a dwarf planet, but it's "the giant of the main asteroid belt,"taken when the probe was about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) from Ceres, show craters and what NASA calls mysterious bright spots. its surface is pretty beaten up and that the craters that are "scars from life in the rough and tumble asteroid belt."
Much has been made of Ceres's mysterious white dot. In the new photos, we can see pock-marked details of the crater-packed planet, and its single white spot has turned into a multitude of such features -- but it's still not clear what makes parts of its surface so brilliantly reflective. Perhaps Ice?
Scientists speculate that Made up of rock and ice, Ceres may even have liquid water deep beneath its surface -- "perhaps as ponds or lakes or even oceans," You judge for yourselves . The images pretty much reveal a world yet to be seen this March.

Possible MARS VOLCANO erupting ?
Obviously some amateur astronomers may have spotted mysterious plumes  erupting on Mars . Have have read home much speculation has been said on the web , and NASA scientists . I think all the scientists may have missed on crucial point in this plume theory .More than 155 miles (250 kilometers) high and hundreds of miles across, the baffling plumes were spotted by amateur astronomers in the spring of 2012. The plumes reflect
sunlight, which means they could be made of water ice, carbon dioxide ice or dust. But clouds made of those materials would be hard to explain with current models of the Martian atmosphere, scientists say Well have about (2)>  VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS? Mars has  gravity almost as equal to the moon , and it does not take much for any ejected material to shot up 155 miles high in the Martian sky , what ever the case it may be it is interesting . Images of Mars from the last 20 years reveal that shorter plumes, reaching heights of about 62 miles (100 km), occasionally flare up from the planet's surface. An image by the Hubble Space Telescope from 1997 revealed another abnormally high plume, similar to the one seen in 2012, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA). My "theory" is that we are seeing Martian volcanic material , perhaps "gases" erupting from the surface . It would be interesting to find out of any orbiters and Mars Rovers picked in spikes in gases in the atmosphere.  It's interesting that with all that advanced space craft around and on Mars,  no one was able to capture this mysterious event. PUZZLING .


While NEW HORIZON's heads out to visit PLUTO . It is expected to arrive in July , we have had some unexpected news about the possibility that our SOLAR SYSTEM at the farthest reaches may have two extra planets . The  MYTH of planet X may be not so , two scientists "predict" that these planets might be "larger" than Earth . Perhaps as big as Jupiter . Theory predicts a certain set of details for ***ETNO orbits, study team members said. For example, they should have a semi-major axis, or average distance from the sun, of about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU is the distance from Earth to the sun — roughly 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) These orbits should also have an inclination, relative to the plane of the solar system, of almost 0 degrees, among other characteristics.The quest for a "Planet X" beyond Neptune has been going on for more than a century. Recently, two dwarf planets Sedna and 2102 VP113 have been identified with orbits extending to distances hundreds of times further from the Sun than our own. Distant as these orbits are, they are too close to be part of the Oort Cloud, a collection of comets that mostly orbit at distances beyond 5000 AU.Yet all of these distant objects reach their closest point to the sun just when they are near the plane the planets circle in. The scientists considered this unlikely to be a coincidence, and speculate it might be a sign of a planet influencing all of their orbits.In Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters brothers Carlos and Raul de la Fuente Marcos of Complutense University of Madrid have taken this a step further. “The analysis of several possible scenarios strongly suggest that at least two trans-Plutonian planets must exist,” they conclude.This discovery could very well change the face of astronomy as we know it, as the data contradicts our contemporary solar models, which don’t account for planets past Neptune. But the paper’s authors were careful to mention that their research was conducted on only a handful of space bodies, and said they expect to examine a larger area in the coming months. 


(1)> The  ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered water vapour around Ceres, the first unambiguous detection of water vapour around an object in the asteroid belt.An alternative possibility is that geysers or icy volcanoes – cryovolcanism – play a role in the dwarf planet’s activity.Craters, and more mysterious bright spots in addition to the one already known, show up in the latest images of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The spacecraft acquired the images above on February 12, 2015 at a distance of 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) from Ceres, which is the largest and most massive object in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Dawn will reach the Texas-sized dwarf planet, never before visited by a spacecraft, on March 6, 2015. *** ETNO's are trans-Neptunian object (TNO; also written transneptunian object) is any minor planet in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater average distance (semi-major axis) than Neptune, 30 astronomical units (AU). Twelve minor planets[nb 1] with a semi-major axis greater than 150 AU and perihelion greater than 30 AU are known, which are called extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNOs). The "farthest" object in our solar system right now is “Sedna"  is a dwarf planet that is one of the most distant bodies found in our solar system. The object’s closest approach to the sun is far greater than Pluto’s distance away from Earth — at a spot where the sun is so tiny, according to NASA, that you could blot it out with a pin.” It's orbit is so elongated , it's a like comet . Sedna takes over 15,000 years to complete one orbit around the sun.(2)> The subject of Mars volcanism . The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter photographed lava flows that must have occurred within the past two million years and imply, scientists say, that volcanoes on Mars might still pump molten rock to the surface now and then.Scientists believe that volcanoes on Mars once might have been active and would have supposedly warmed the planet enough for the liquid water to exist on the Martian surface for a short period of time.

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