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Planets and Gas with Rocks astronomy march39s planetary blossoms longmont times call Gas with Planets Rocks and

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A little interesting about space life.

Clearly, Triton is a bizarre moon-world, circling its giant parent-planet in the wrong direction. As Triton wandered away from its birthplace in the Kuiper Belt, during its journey through the darkness of interplanetary space, it at last ventured close enough to Neptune to feel the powerful lure of its gravitational embrace. As Neptune drew its adopted moon-child closer and closer, the frigid wanderer from afar experienced a sea-change from a comet-like inhabitant of the Kuiper Belt, to a moon of one of the major planets in our Solar System. So, now, Triton inhabits its new home, orbiting the planet Neptune, but orbiting it backwards. And like all moons, wherever they may be, it is now a dependent of its parent-planet. Indeed, Triton was given its name as an allusion to the demigod Triton's dependence on the sea-god Neptune in Greek mythology.



and here is another

Europa, an icy little moon that circles the giant planet Jupiter, probably sustains a global ocean of liquid water beneath a tortured, shattered icy crust. For a long time, weird and jumbled regions of ice disruption, called "chaos terrains", were seen only on Europa, and their origins remained cloaked in mystery. But astronomers now think that the "chaos terrains" formed as the result of a subsurface liquid saltwater lake, equal to all of the Great Lakes on Earth combined. Hidden about 1.9 miles beneath Europa's cracked eggshell-like frozen crust, the ice-embedded lake may be one of the latest potentially habitable environments discovered so far in our Solar System.



and finally

NASA's Galileo spacecraft imaged Europa during a flyby on September 7, 1996. In fact, so far there have only been flyby missions to this fascinating object. Galileo viewed Europa's surface much more closely than the Pioneers and Voyagers, and it revealed to astronomers a bizarre surface that looked like broken glass, repaired by an icy glue oozing up from below.

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In order to shed new light on the mysterious origins of the surviving duo of Martian moons, the researchers conducting this study combined their expertise in astrophysics, planetary science, computer science, and mathematics in order to create complex supercomputer models. The models ran a range of hydrodynamic and numerical simulations able to recreate the sequence of ancient events. Their findings strengthen the hypothesis that a horrific blast in the past formed the moons of Mars--originally a collection of moons and moonlets.



This revised birth date for the Moon comes from a new study that takes a detour from the long-standing debate about its true age, and is basically in agreement with those planetary scientists who suggest a late-forming Moon. The new method that the scientists used to arrive at their conclusion eliminates numerous problems with traditional methods for calculating the Moon's age.



In addition, this new study weakens certain theories that some planetary scientists suggest as explanations for the formation of other rocky, terrestrial planets like Venus and Mars, Dr. Jacobson believes.