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Mission to Triton: the new and exciting destiny of NASA

Scientists believe that Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, could be an “aquatic world” with liquid water, and perhaps with alien life.

Triton

Exciting times are approaching as far as astronomy and knowledge of the universe are concerned. Soon we can enjoy new and revealing images of Triton.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed Tuesday at a conference in Texas to send a spacecraft named Trident to Triton, to investigate whether it harbors a docile or hostile habitat.

Instead of spending a billion dollars, Tridente aims to reduce costs for the American taxpayer, so that carrying out this mission involves an expense similar to what would be a routine mission to the Moon.

“Now is the time to do it at low cost,” said the director of the Houston Planetary and Lunar Institute and mission leader, Louise Prockter, during the Planetary and Lunar Science Conference that took place in Texas. “We will investigate and discover if Triton is a habitable world, which is of great importance . 

In addition to orbit Triton, Trident will also travel to the moon IO that orbits the giant Jupiter and is one of the most interesting moons of our solar system because of the adverse conditions it suffers from being so close to the planet.

During your trip through space, Trident will also pass through our neighbor Venus. This planet has not been visited since the Cassini spacecraft was literally squeezed by its atmosphere. Although Cassini was destroyed in a few seconds, it was able to send to NASA very relevant data on the conditions that occur there.

The last good image we got from Neptune was during a 1989 flyby of NASA’s Voyager 2, and it was also the first time a human-directed spacecraft visited this planet.

Triton

Thanks to Voyager 2 we discover immensity of data about our solar system and the bodies that orbit it.

Triton is 4500 million kilometers from the Sun. It is one of the coldest stars of the solar system (-235 ° C). and was discovered by William Lassell on October 10, 1846, only 17 days after Neptune’s own discovery.

It owes its name to the god Triton of ancient Greek mythology and has a diameter of 2,707 kilometers. Triton is the largest satellite of Neptune and the seventh of the solar system.

In addition, it is the only large moon that has a retrograde orbit, that is, an orbit whose direction is contrary to the rotation of the planet (something exceptional in a body of such size).

Because of this retrograde orbit and its composition similar to that of Pluto, it is considered that Triton was captured from the Kuiper belt by the gravitational force of Neptune.

“We are comparing this mission with the mission of Voyager in 1989, which was carried out with technology from the early 1970s, with a television camera connected to a fax machine,” added Karl Mitchell, project scientist. the proposed mission.

Mitchell augurs fascinating discoveries and surprising facts that will reveal new secrets and mysteries that still await in the confines of the universe.

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Space

Asteroid explodes on Earth and came from beyond Mars

Courtesy: Twitter / @pgbrown

An asteroid coming from beyond Mars, specifically the asteroid belt, it exploded on Earth recently.

According to its flight path, it was estimated that the space rock came from the asteroid belt in our solar system, and that it is located beyond Mars.

Astronomer Peter Brown published a status on Twitter explaining that the asteroid came from the asteroid belt. In addition, he commented that the rock had approximately 10 kilograms and the size of a softball.

Brown also explained that the rock was moving at a speed of approximately 15 kilometers per second, and produced a slightly lower brightness than the full moon.

The remains of the asteroid provided an impressive light show in the sky, to finally impact the lake huron, located between the USA and Canada

The incident that occurred on Mars on January 21 at night was corroborated by numerous witnesses who claimed to have witnessed a large ball of fire through the sky.

So far no damage has been reported to buildings or people affected due to the impact of the asteroid.

In 2013, a large meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, causing damage and several injuries in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.

Source: RT

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Mars water may have been excellent for life

Mars water appears to have been an especially good element for life, according to a new study.

Mars water may have been excellent for life
An illustration of what Mars would look like without and with water. PHOTO: JAMES MOORE

Mars is one of the most likely homes for alien life in our solar system, and water is believed to be an essential requirement for life, as we know it, to be maintained.

Previous studies have suggested that the red planet would have once been home to flowing water lakes, which could have harbored life.

But there is still no evidence to suggest that alien life lived on the planet – or that there is still some evidence of it.

In an attempt to understand what Mars would look like in ancient times and whether it was inhabited, scientists sought to understand the chemistry of water that would be found on the planet billions of years ago.

They did so by looking at the materials left on that planet today, which could offer a clue to what it was like before.

Recent measurements taken by the probe jeep Curiosity from NASA on the Martian surface suggest that the water that once covered its surface could have the right ingredients to support any microbial life that would have formed on the planet.

The new study looked at sediments that appeared to have been left in lakes in the Gale de Mars Crater. He found that they appeared to form in the presence of liquid water with a pH similar to that of Earth’s oceans.

This suggests that the initial surface of Mars would have been the kind of place that could have served as a home for life, like Earth.

An article detailing the discovery, entitled ‘Semiarid climate and hyposaline lake on early Mars inferred from reconstructed water chemistry at Gale‘(‘ Semi-arid climate and hyposaline lake in early Mars inferred from reconstructed water chemistry in Gale ’), was published in Nature Communications.

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Some potentially inhabited worlds may not have “zones of life”

An artistic representation of a tidal trapped potentially inhabited exoplanet, with the open ocean of liquid water surrounded by a global ice shell covering the rest of the extra-solar world on the day side.

They may be completely covered in ice and their oceans do not receive starlight.

Some of the potentially inhabited exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs may be completely covered in ice and not have open surface oceans of liquid water even on the side facing the star, which, under certain conditions, makes them unsuitable for life, scientists say in a study presented in Nature Astronomy.

planet

“Perhaps some of the tidal traps of extrasolar worlds that were previously considered potentially inhabitable are frozen snowballs and have no open areas with liquid water. As a result, the starlight necessary for photosynthetic organisms does not reach the ocean, sealed under a global ice shell, which greatly limits the chances of the development and prosperity of life, ”says Jun Yan, lead author of the study from Peking University (China).

Potentially inhabited tidal rocky extra-solar worlds in red dwarf systems, especially the Proxima b, TRAPPIST-1e, and LHS 1140b, which are especially close to us, are the main goals for future studies of exoplanetary atmospheres, which can provide clues about their ability to support life.

planet

Current models predict that if such a planet contains a vast surface ocean, then on its warmer day side there should be an ice-free area, locked on all sides by a global ice shell. However, as noted by Jun Yan, previous simulations did not fully take into account the important component of the climate system – ice dynamics – which did not allow revealing the issue of ocean resilience to global glaciation.

“In our work, we show that ice drifting from the night side of the exoplanet flows into an open area, gradually cooling, reducing, and ultimately completely sealing it.

It should be noted that such a scenario is applicable only to worlds living in the outer and, possibly, in the middle regions of the inhabited zone, but not to those located at its inner edge, since for them the flux of stellar radiation is high enough to melt ice and snow on the surface and maintain liquid water on the day and even night sides. In addition, the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere plays a small role, since a large number of them will save the exoplanet from turning into a snowball, ”Jun Yan explained.

But, in spite of the fact that planets completely covered with ice are extremely inhospitable for life, one should not put an end to their potential for habitability, because the Earth itself in the past twice experienced periods of global glaciation: 2.2 billion years ago and 630 million years ago.

“For example, photosynthetic organisms can develop in areas with thin ice, where stellar radiation nevertheless reaches liquid water, or in local unsealed areas where active geothermal processes occur, or, finally, in some“ bays, ”where access to drifting ice is limited.” – concluded Jun Yan.

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