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Dwarf Planet Ceres is Home to Mud Spewing Volcanoes

The unusual, and in my opinion unique planet Ceres hasn’t been in the news too often since the great bright spot mystery, but is back with news of having volcanoes that spew mud.

via astronomy.com:

The largest object in the asteroid belt is an active world unlike any other in the solar system.

Nothing is normal on Ceres — least of all its mud volcanoes.

In new research published in Nature Astronomy, a large team of astronomers has laid out a new view of the weirdest world in our solar system. It seems that Ceres has had a busy last few billion years — including random smatterings of volcanism, but of a type seen nowhere else in the solar system.

Ceres is the largest world in the asteroid belt, and is believed to be a remnant proto-planet, or the kind of small worlds that served as the building blocks of the planets we see today. There’s abundant evidence that Ceres may have once had an ocean that’s since frozen over, and the tantalizing clues to a geologically active history.

Ceres even appears to have a form of volcanism. There are two types of volcanism in the solar system, typically: the kinds of magma eruptions seen on Earth and Jupiter’s moon Io, where heated rock wells up from the core to the surface. And then there’s the kind of volcanism seen on Europa and Enceladus, where large plumes of frozen water erupt. Scientists call this cryovolcanism.

Ceres’ Mud Volcanoes

Hanna Sizemore, a Planetary Science Institute research scientist and author on the paper, says Ceres’ volcanoes are a weird mix of the two. “The big difference on Ceres is that you’re in this hybrid between the inner rocky solar system and the icy outer solar system,” she says. That means that while water may be a driving mechanism for the volcanoes, the actual material could include rock, salt, and heated material from the interior of Ceres, which is both a rocky and an icy world at once. When those volcanoes explode, “It would probably look superficially like lava extrusion on the earth, but it would be mud oozing out of cracks or fissures on the surface,” Sizemore says.

Sizemore says a new cryovolcano appears on Ceres roughly once every 50 million years, as indicated by data from the Dawn spacecraft, which has orbited Ceres for around three years. The craft has seen a series of “domes” dotting the world that have similar proportions to mountains, but are made of ices that have since settled after their volcanically active period ended, leveling them out a little.

These high-resolution images show Ceres’ mysterious bright spots. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

These high-resolution images show Ceres’ mysterious bright spots.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Bright Spots’ Origin

And those famous bright spots on Ceres could also be some of the more recent areas of cryovolcanism. The brightness is caused by large deposits of salts, which would be expected to come up from down below. We may have also “narrowly” (geologically wise) missed seeing an eruption, by anywhere from “hundreds to millions” of years, according to Sizemore.

So what’s causing it? Sizemore says one of the team’s suspicions is that an impact long ago drove deep into the mantle of Ceres. This could be a contact point between the surface and warmer materials near the core, which could still be geologically active today. “To some extent, we don’t fully understand the mechanisms to maintain heat in these icy bodies,” she says, pointing out other icy worlds that should be dead but which instead seem quite active, like Pluto.

In fact, there are a lot of unknowns about the whole thing—but this new study at least gets the conversation started.

“Our main question is where is the heat coming from that can mobilize these materials,” Sizemore says. “Frankly we don’t know the answer to that. It’s a field that’s opening up. This idea of cryovolcanism has been viewed skeptically over time.” But now, it’s a booming field of research. Yet even as we understand cryovolcanism on other worlds, it’s unlikely anything else we find will quite be like Ceres.

This article originally appeared on Discovermagazine.com.

Space

Mysterious green object spotted just above the surface of Jupiter

Intellihub

What appears to be a massive greenish-colored object was captured in an image above the planet Jupiter.

What looks like a “massive unidentified structure” can be seen in the image.

Tyler from Secure team explains in the following video:

What could it be? Please comment below and share

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US Air Force: Don’t Worry About Those Weird Lights and Booms Sunday, It’s Just a Spaceship

If you’re in the vicinity of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday evening (Oct. 7), you might hear some strange booming and see some weird lights in the sky. But the Air Force would like you to know that there’s no need to worry; something entirely normal is going on — a rocket that heaved its way up into space will be falling back to Earth, correcting its trajectory with “multiple engine burns,” and then (if all goes well) settling comfortably back on its landing struts in the vicinity of its launch site.

The Air Force released the warning because, while Floridians have had ample time to grow comfortable with the spectacle of SpaceX landings, this will be the first attempt to land a Falcon 9 rocket on the West Coast. It will not, however, be the first launch from Vandenberg:

The rocket is currently scheduled to launch at 7:21 p.m. local time, carry the SAOCOM 1A satellite into space, and return to Earth shortly afterward.

According to a Facebook post by the Air Force’s 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg, “local residents” can expect to see something of the rocket itself as it returns to the base, while people as far as Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear thunderclap-like sonic booms, depending on the weather.

US Air Force: Don't Worry About Those Weird Lights and Booms Sunday, It's Just a Spaceship

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Dec. 22, 2017, with bystanders on the ground getting a gorgeous light show.

Credit: Maxwell Harris/Getty Images

Source www.space.com

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Elon Musk shows off plans for a Mars outpost and says it could be complete by 2028

Elon Musk has revealed the first glimpse of a SpaceX base on Mars.

Musk tweeted the pictures with the simple caption ‘Mars base alpha’.

It shows the firm’s Big F***ing Rocket (BFR) on the surface of the red planet, with a dome base in the background, and what appear to be solar panels.

Musk tweeted the pictures with the simple caption ‘Mars base alpha’ giving no further details. It shows the firm’s Big F***ing Rocket (BFR) on the surface of the red planet, with a dome base in the background, and what appear to be solar panels.

It a response to a question about the base and when it could be build, Musk tweeted ‘Probably 2028 for a base to be built’.

It comes as SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, 54,confirmed SpaceX’s intentions to launch the rocket for the first time in 2020, with missions to the moon and Mars planned for 2022 and 2024 respectively.

‘We would like to put large cargo on the surface of the moon by 2022,’ she told the Air Force Association’s annual symposium in Maryland.

‘And we have our eyes on the prize to send people to Mars in 2024.’

She admitted those plans might ‘sound crazy, but everything we’ve ever done has sounded crazy to people.’

The top part of the BFR rocket has 40 cabins, which could hold up to six passengers each.

At nearly 348 feet (106 metres) tall, the BFR is a truly gigantic spaceship, towering over the 229-feet-tall (70 metres) Falcon Heavy rocket. The spaceship will take off and land vertically, powered by 37 ‘raptor’ engines, to produce a liftoff thrust of 5,400 tons, lifting a total mass of 4,400 tons. Pictured, the ship touching down on the red planet

The powerful launch vehicle will have the capacity to lift 150 tons into space and consist of two stages – both of which are reusable.

Shotwell said: ‘I hope to be doing hot tests next year with the second stage, the spaceship, and make an orbital flight in 2020.

Earlier this month Musk revealed a Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first man to fly on the BFR SpaceX rocket for an approximately seven-day trip around the Moon as early as 2023, and he plans to bring six to eight artists along.

Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveler since the last U.S. Apollo mission in 1972.

He paid an unspecified amount of money for the privilege.

Continue Reading: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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