ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "jupiter"

Life, Unbounded

Have we got Solar System Habitability Backwards?

(NASA)

Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Triton, Pluto, Eris…they may all have, or have had, large oceans of liquid water trapped beneath a frozen crust. That poses some interesting questions. I’ve written before on these pages (and elsewhere) about the wealth of evidence for internal bodies of liquid water in our solar system. Since the Pioneer, and [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Jupiter’s Moons Ascending

hs-2015-05-b-small_web

Some natural phenomena need few words to explain why they’re fascinating. Eclipses, transits, and phases in astronomy tend to fall into that category. Here’s a stunning sequence of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 showing the triple conjunction and transit of the large Jovian moons Europa, Callisto, and Io over [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

To Jupiter

Farewell Earth (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)

On October 9th, 2013, NASA’s Juno mission completed an Earth ‘flyby’ to gain a little extra velocity (a gravitational slingshot maneuver that steals a tiny bit of Earth’s momentum) to get it to Jupiter in 2016. Here’s the mission’s course trajectory in this first panel.   Right now the spacecraft is again moving away from [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Astrobiology Roundup

mosaic.001

                      Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in. No Methane [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Greeks, Trojans, and a Temporary Companion for Uranus

image_1348-QF99

A telescopic survey looking for trans-Neptunian objects has chanced across a 37 mile wide chunk of rock and ice that instead moves around the sun in the same orbit as Uranus, just further ahead of the planet. This discovery is notable because such objects cannot stay in place for long – unlike planets such as [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

A Jupiter Carousel: Hotspots Ride The Wave

Jupiter seen by Cassini (NASA)

New analysis of data taken by the Cassini mission during its encounter with Jupiter in 2000 reveal that exceptionally clear atmospheric ‘hotspots’ effectively ride up and down in the Jovian skies as they are formed by what’s known as a Rossby wave – a phenomenon familiar to us here on Earth. The authors of the [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Europa Gives Up Some Of Its Secrets

Europa: as the human eye might see it (colors adjusted, Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk)

Jupiter’s enigmatic moon Europa has long been thought to contain a huge ocean beneath its icy crust, but what is in that ocean and does it ever come to the surface? Since the Voyager and Galileo probes explored the Jovian system, its moons have presented an extraordinary and fascinating puzzle. The largest of the 67 [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

The Fastest Spacecraft Ever?

Who's the fastest of them all? (Credit: NASA)

Of all the spacecraft humans have launched, there have been some impressively fast movers. But which holds the record? It’s not an entirely idle question. Apart from the wow factor, it’s an interesting yardstick for gauging our capacity to explore the cosmos, from familiar planets to the icy depths of space. However, as I quickly [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Calling All Sentient Lifeforms

Galileo spacecraft images us (NASA/JPL)

You may notice that today is the one year anniversary of the Scientific American blog network. You may also notice that across the blogs this morning is a shared theme; time for the readers to speak up. Inspired by the blogger Ed Yong, the Sci Am blogs are asking for your thoughts. Consider this an [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Aurorae from Earth, Space, and on Other Worlds

Southern aurora (aurora australis) composited with NASA imagery

As we’re in the midst of experiencing some particularly stormy solar weather it seems appropriate to make a quick post with some nifty auroral images and time-lapse movies (see below). It’s also fun to point out that the phenomenon of aurorae (or auroras) is truly universal. Caused when high-velocity particles like electrons and protons expelled [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Looking for Life in Our Soggy Solar System

Hubble Space Telescope data revealing Ganymede's ultraviolet aurorae overlays a visible-light image of the icy moon taken by NASA's Galileo orbiter. The ultraviolet aurorae are rocking back and forth in synchrony with Jupiter's magnetic field, suggesting the presence of a large ocean beneath Ganymede's surface. Credit: NASA/ESA/J. Saur/JPL/The Galileo Project

Scientists are finding liquid water, the cornerstone for life as we know it, in surprising nooks and crannies of the solar system. Following Wednesday’s news that there seem to be hydrothermal vents churning away in the warm, alkaline seas inside Saturn’s moon Enceladus, researchers announced airtight evidence yesterday that Jupiter’s moon Ganymede also has a [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Something slammed into the rings of Saturn and Jupiter

PASADENA—This week I’m here at the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting. Much as I enjoy Pasadena, it’s rather a comedown from last year’s meeting place in Puerto Rico. Leave aside the natural attractions: even the freeways in Puerto Rico are in better repair than California’s. Then again, we don’t come here for the earthly [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Telescopes out: Earth making its closest approach to Jupiter since 1963

Jupiter as seen through an amateur telescope

Backyard astronomers, take note: Jupiter and Earth are approaching their near-yearly rendezvous, and this time the two planets will be closer together than they have been since 1963. The giant planet’s proximity should make for good viewing, weather permitting—Jupiter will appear especially bright in the sky for several nights around its closest approach on September [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Email this Article

X