The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced its upcoming Hera mission. The mission aims to follow up on the success of NASA’s DART mission. On September 26, 2022, the NASA DART team changed the orbit of an asteroid named Dimorphos. They did this using the DART spacecraft through a kinetic impact. This marked a significant milestone in asteroid deflection technology. NASA confirmed that the mission impact changed the asteroid’s motion in space. Debris blasted from the surface of Dimorphos was observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on October 8, 2022. ESA Hera mission aims to measure the impact of the DART mission on Dimorphos, enabling scientists to better understand how to protect Earth from potentially harmful asteroids. Additionally, it will help advocate for more planetary defense missions in the future.

Before we go any further, we should know,

Hera Mission Overview:

The Hera mission has a budget of €6 billion. The launch will be on October 2024 and will use an Ariane 6.4 launcher, with a Falcon 9 launcher as a backup. The spacecraft will perform a deep-space maneuver 2-3 weeks after launch. It will then fly by Mars in March 2025 at an altitude of 5000-8000 km before heading towards Didymos. There is also the possibility of an asteroid flyby during the cruise phase. Upon arrival at Didymos, Hera will also perform a capture sequence consisting of five maneuvers. This is expected to occur in January or early February 2027, with backup opportunities available in 2025 and also 2026. The arrival at Didymos will result in late 2030 or early 2031.

Hera Spacecraft

Five phases:

The Hera mission will consist of five phases after it reaches Didymos.  The first phase is the Early Characterization Phase, which will take six weeks and focus on determining the global shape, mass/gravity, thermal, and dynamical properties of both asteroids. The next phase is the Payload Deployment Phase, which will center on releasing the two CubeSats and supporting their early operations.

Moreover, the Detailed Characterization Phase comes first and lasts four weeks. In this phase, Hera and its CubeSats will map asteroids at a meter-scale and determine their thermal, spectral, and interior properties through measurements.

The fourth phase is the Close Observation Phase, which lasts six weeks. This phase allows for high-resolution investigations of a large fraction of the surface area of Dimorphos, including the DART impact crater. This will be accomplished through 12 close flybys, with a pericenter distance of 4 km. The final phase is the Experimental Phase, which lasts six weeks. This phase will demonstrate innovative navigation techniques to achieve flybys at lower altitudes, down to 1 km or less. The goal is to enhance the resolution of Dimorphos’ morphological, spectral, and thermal properties, specifically in selected targets such as the DART impact crater, to the level of decimeters.

The Hera spacecraft will land on Didymos, providing high-resolution data on the primary in the process, marking the end of the mission.

Hera Phases

Now, let’s find out the,

What are the objectives of the Hera mission?

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Safety Program is developing the Hera mission, scheduled for launch in October 2024, with the primary goal of exploring a binary asteroid starting in December 2026, as part of a planetary defense mission. The Hera mission will provide valuable insights into asteroid science. Moreover, it will help in improving our understanding of the asteroid impact threat mitigation, mining, and scientific purposes. It aims to investigate the subsurface and also interior properties of the binary asteroid and measure the outcome of a kinetic impactor test, which will provide valuable information for asteroid impact threat mitigation, mining, and scientific purposes. The Hera mission is based on the previous Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) concept and will contribute substantially to asteroid science.

Hera will characterize the first binary near-Earth asteroid. It will constrain the surface structure and regolith mobility on both Didymos and Dimorphos. This mission offers a unique opportunity to study the surface geophysics of two objects of different sizes and surface gravity. Regarding the deflection demonstration, Hera has several goals. These include determining Dimorphos’ mass to assess the momentum transfer efficiency from DART’s impact. It also involves studying the resulting crater to enhance our knowledge of the cratering mechanism. Additionally, Hera will examine both the exterior and interior of Dimorphos to enable scaling of the momentum transfer efficiency to other asteroids.

So, now let’s dig into the construction and features of,

Hera Spacecraft:

The Hera spacecraft is set to be equipped with advanced technology that will enable it to navigate safely through the double-asteroid system. Moreover, the spacecraft will utilize automated guidance, navigation, and control systems, which function like self-driving cars. The body of the spacecraft will be desk-sized and house a variety of instruments, including an optical Asteroid Framing Camera. Additionally, it will have thermal and spectral imagers, as well as a laser altimeter that will aid in surface mapping.

The Hera spacecraft consists of three spacecraft, which includes two CubeSats that are as small as shoeboxes, and will be transported near Dimorphos. One of the CubeSats, called Juventas, will carry out an extraordinary radar investigation of the asteroid’s internal structure. Juventas will also have instruments like a gravimeter and an accelerometer to measure the asteroid’s weak gravitational pull and its response to outside forces. Milani, the second CubeSat, will perform near-infrared spectral imaging and collect dust samples from asteroids. Through an innovative inter-satellite link system, the CubeSat duo will maintain communication with both their Hera mother craft and each other. This arrangement will provide valuable insights into managing multiple spacecraft in the unusual near-weightless environment. Ultimately, the CubeSats will land on Dimorphos.

Hera spacecraft
An illustration of ESA’s proposed Hera spacecraft scanning the moon of the asteroid Didymos with a lidar instrument. Credit: ESA

The Hera mission will provide significant knowledge about the makeup and arrangement of the binary asteroid system. With these advanced features, scientists hope to better understand how to defend against potentially hazardous asteroids.

So let’s sum up the whole mission in a short,

Conclusion:

On the whole, ESA’s Hera mission is a crucial step in better understanding how to protect Earth from potentially harmful asteroids. In October 2024, the mission will explore a binary asteroid and measure the impact of NASA’s DART mission. The spacecraft’s advanced technology will allow scientists to study the binary asteroid’s subsurface and interior properties. Additionally, the mission will perform the first comprehensive characterization of a binary near-Earth asteroid, which will contribute substantially to asteroid science.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

The “Juice mission” (Jupiter Icy moons Explorer) is an exciting and ambitious project by the European Space Agency (ESA) to explore Jupiter and its three icy moons – Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto – in depth. With a launch date set for April 13, 2023, the mission aims to explore these moons and gain insights into their composition, geology, and potential habitability. The “Juice mission” will help us unlock new insights about our solar system and the potential for life beyond Earth by utilizing advanced technologies and scientific instrumentation. 

First, let’s find out,

What is the Juice Mission?

The “Juice mission” is an ambitious project by the European Space Agency (ESA) to explore Jupiter and three of its icy moons – Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto – in depth. This mission aims to gather critical information about the composition and potential habitability of these celestial bodies. It is considered a groundbreaking effort because it will utilize advanced technologies and scientific instrumentation to unlock new insights about our solar system. Ultimately, the “Juice mission” will help us better understand the potential for life beyond Earth.

An Ariane 5 rocket from the European Spaceport located in Kourou, French Guiana, will be utilized to launch this mission. Once launched, JUICE will embark on a 7 to 8-year journey to reach Jupiter. The spacecraft will utilize Earth and Venus gravity assists along the way. Upon arrival in 2031, JUICE will go into orbit around Jupiter. It will optimize its orbit using flybys of Ganymede and Callisto, as well as flybys of Europa.

JUICE spacecraft
Artist’s concept of JUICE spacecraft at Jupiter. Image Credit: ESA

The spacecraft will first be entered into a highly elliptical orbit around Ganymede. This orbit will gradually evolve into a 5000 km circular orbit. After that, JUICE will lower its orbit to 500 km and then to 200 km. It will conduct mapping and other investigations at each altitude. The nominal mission is set to last for approximately 3 years. However, there is a possibility of an extension to the mission of 200 or more days. Regardless, the mission will end with an impact on the surface of Ganymede.

The launch of this mission has raised hundreds of questions. People are wondering why the European Space Agency needs to send another spacecraft if they have already launched such spacecraft in space. However, the following question might answer a few questions,

What are the objectives of the JUICE Mission?

The “Juice mission” aims to explore Jupiter and three of its icy moons – Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto – to gain insights into the evolution and habitability of icy worlds around Jupiter. The mission takes advantage of the findings from earlier expeditions such as Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, and Cassini, which allowed us to examine the largest moons of the giant planets more closely. Once considered lifeless, frigid collections of ice and stone, these moons are now known to be planet-like bodies with fascinating pasts.

The exploration of icy moons has expanded our scope in the search for life in the Universe. Scientists used to focus their search for extraterrestrial life on planets with Earth-like environments, such as Mars, but recent discoveries suggest that icy moons may also have the potential to support life, as they could contain liquid water oceans beneath their icy crusts. The question remains whether life could exist in the seabeds of these distant moons, similar to life on Earth around hydrothermal vents.

This is where the “Juice mission” comes in. With its advanced technologies and scientific instrumentation, Juice will explore the icy moons of Jupiter and gather critical information about their composition, geology, and potential habitability. By studying the subsurface oceans, Juice will help us unlock new insights into the conditions necessary for life to exist beyond Earth.

Juice’s data may also be useful for systems around Jupiter-like exoplanets, expanding our search for life in the Universe. In summary, the Juice mission is the European Space Agency’s boldest mission to date, with the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of our solar system and the potential for life beyond Earth.

Now you probably might be wondering,

How will the JUICE spacecraft achieve its objectives?

JUICE is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in 2031. This will mark the beginning of its ambitious mission, which is to study Jupiter’s icy moons in detail. The solar-powered spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for 2.5 years. It will also make close flybys of the planet’s three largest moons: Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Thanks to the spacecraft’s ability to fly within 200 to 1,000 kilometers (about 120 to 620 miles) of the moons, close studies will be possible. This will allow for unprecedented detail in the study of these moons.

JUICE Mission
JUICE Mission Milestones. Image Credit: ESA

In the first phase of the mission, JUICE will fly by Europa twice and Ganymede and Callisto 12 times each. During the last phase of its mission, JUICE will enter the orbit of Ganymede. This will make history, as it will be the first spacecraft to orbit a moon other than Earth’s. JUICE weighs 4,800 kilograms (about 10,600 pounds). This means that it requires nearly 3,000 kilograms (roughly 6,600 pounds) of fuel to execute the complex trajectories necessary for its mission. JUICE’s 10 cutting-edge instruments weigh only 104 kilograms (230 pounds) thanks to the European Space Agency’s past missions.

Hopefully, this mission will also be a great success. However, we got some insights for you on,

How will JUICE study the Galilean moons?

The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or JUICE, is designed to study the icy moons of Jupiter in unprecedented detail. During its journey, JUICE will only conduct two flybys of Europa, approaching as close as 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the moon’s icy terrain on each of these passes. This is because Europa orbits Jupiter at a distance of 417,000 miles (671,000 km), and any spacecraft that stays that close to the planet would survive only a few months, at best, due to Jupiter’s extreme size and powerful magnetic field.

Similarly, JUICE will perform 21 flybys of Callisto, getting as close as 120 miles (200 km) from its surface. Callisto and Europa are two distinct worlds with noticeable differences. Callisto has a surface covered with numerous craters, and scientists believe it is the oldest surface in the solar system. Currently, it is not clear whether Callisto contains a subsurface ocean, which is present in Europa and Ganymede. Fortunately, JUICE will provide insight into this question.

 

JUICE will perform 12 flybys of Ganymede and approach as near as 250 miles to the moon, which is magnetically active, before finally achieving an orbit around it. Ganymede, 665,000 miles (1.07 million km) from Jupiter, is less likely than Europa to support life. JUICE may discover something unexpected. JUICE will orbit Jupiter for 2.5 years. It will often be within 200 to 1,000 kilometers (120 to 620 miles) of the icy moons. During the mission’s final phase, JUICE will closely study Ganymede for a minimum of nine months. The spacecraft will orbit a moon other than ours for the first time. JUICE’s 10 state-of-the-art instruments will provide valuable data on these distant moons’ composition, geology, and habitability.

Let’s conclude this discussion,

Conclusion:

On the whole, the ESA’s Juice mission is expected to bring valuable information about Jupiter’s moon. The spacecraft is ready to study Jupiter’s icy moons.  This groundbreaking project will unlock new insights into our solar system and the potential of life beyond Earth. The Juice spacecraft will utilize advanced technologies and will enter into orbit around Jupiter in 2031. It will surely provide unprecedented detail to make close studies possible. JUICE will help us understand the evolution and habitability of icy worlds around Jupiter and expand our scope in the search for life in the Universe. Cosmologists are counting on JUICE to bring more valuable insights from the mission.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

The space race has always been a source of excitement and awe, with every new development pushing the limits of human knowledge and technology. NASA’s CAPSTONE Mission is no exception, representing a new era of innovation and exploration. This spacecraft is set to make history by testing cutting-edge systems and technologies in space, paving the way for future lunar missions and human exploration of the moon. CAPSTONE will change our understanding of the universe and space exploration with its mission objectives and goals.

Come along as we delve into the specifics of this astounding mission and the future it could unlock. So,

What is NASA’s CAPSTONE?

The CAPSTONE, or Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, is one of NASA’s first spacecraft to fly in a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO). This innovative spacecraft, developed by Advanced Space and propelled by Stellar Exploration, is a 12U CubeSat type. So, it will take on the role of a trailblazer by demonstrating cutting-edge technologies and operations in space. With a total cost of around $30 million.

NASA's CAPSTONE
Credits: Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

CAPSTONE’s primary mission is set to last six months. But it has the potential to continue operating for an additional year or more in an extended mission. Scheduled to launch on June 28th, 2022, aboard an Electron/Photon HyperCurie rocket from Rocket Lab’s Mahia Launch Complex in New Zealand, CAPSTONE has entered the Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) around the moon on November 14th, 2022.

You should also know,

What is the purpose of the CAPSTONE satellite?

CAPSTONE’s mission objectives are extensive and include many significant accomplishments for future lunar missions. One of its key objectives is to verify the characteristics of a cis-lunar near rectilinear halo orbit. Also, it will help determine its usefulness for future spacecraft. The main goal of CAPSTONE’s mission is to test out new systems and technologies in space as part of a technology demonstration. In addition to its role as a trailblazer, CAPSTONE will also serve as a vital component of NASA’s larger Lunar Gateway program. Moreover, it aims to establish a permanent human presence on the moon.

Artemis Moon Program!
Image Credits: Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

Anyhow,

One of CAPSTONE’s main goals is to test a new navigation system that will allow it to measure its position relative to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) without relying on ground stations. This system will help pave the way for future lunar missions by enabling spacecraft to navigate autonomously and more efficiently in space. With its arrival in lunar orbit on November 14, 2022, CAPSTONE is about to finish its six-month mission to orbit the moon, collect data, and test new technologies that will help us learn more about and explore our neighbor in the sky.

Now you might be thinking,

Did CAPSTONE reach the Moon?

The CAPSTONE mission operations team verified that the CAPSTONE spacecraft entered the Moon’s orbit on November 13, 2022. At 7:39 p.m. EST, the CubeSat executed its first orbit insertion maneuver by firing its thrusters to place the spacecraft into orbit. CAPSTONE is currently in an NRHO or near-rectilinear halo orbit. This NRHO is the same orbit that will support the Artemis missions of NASA. CAPSTONE is the first spacecraft to fly an NRHO and the first CubeSat to function on the Moon.

NASA's pathfinding moon CubeSat
Image Credits: Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

Moreover, Let’s find out,

What is the current status of NASA’s Capstone?

The CAPSTONE spacecraft is currently operating successfully in a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) around the Moon, fulfilling its mission objectives. The spacecraft has completed approximately 12.5 orbits since its arrival on November 13th and has operated successfully through two lunar eclipses. So this presented challenges for its thermal and power systems. The spacecraft has also executed two maintenance maneuvers to keep it in its desired orbit.

The CAPSTONE team has completed interface testing with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ground systems and is preparing for further experiments. It includes crosslink experiments with LRO and technology demonstrations using the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System (CAPS). The spacecraft still has approximately 56% of its fuel remaining. Hence, it provides a significant margin to operate in the NRHO for the planned mission duration and beyond. The CAPSTONE mission team has satisfied its fourth mission objective of disseminating lessons learned from the mission by publishing several papers related to mission operations and program development. The team plans to publish additional papers in the future detailing their upcoming plans in the NRHO.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx is an ongoing mission that visited and collected a sample from asteroid 101955 Bennu, with the aim of returning the sample to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023.

 

What is so Exciting About the OSIRIS-REx Mission?

On Sunday morning, above the Utah desert, a parachute will deploy, gently lowering a capsule carrying approximately 250g of rubble to the ground. As it makes its descent, four helicopters, transporting scientists, engineers, and military safety personnel, will speed across the dry landscape to retrieve this valuable cargo.

Osiris-Rex mission
Nasa recovery teams in Utah participate in field rehearsals to prepare for the retrieval of the sample return capsule from the Osiris-Rex mission. Image: Keegan Barber/AP

This isn’t ordinary soil; it comprises chunks of space rock dating back 4.6 billion years. These fragments have the potential not only to provide insights into the formation of planets but also to offer clues about the origins of life itself.

Ashley King of the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, says:

“These are some of the oldest materials formed in our solar system. Samples from asteroids [such as this] tell us what all those ingredients were for making a planet like the Earth and they also tell us what the recipe was – so how did those materials come together and start mixing together to end up with [habitable environments]?”

The final act of NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission may resemble the opening scene of an action movie, but it marks the culmination of a seven-year journey. During this, a robotic spacecraft, roughly the size of a transit van, was dispatched to investigate. And subsequently, gather resources from – the debris heap that forms the asteroid Bennu.

Bennu Samples
Source: Nasa

Diving Down Towards Earth & Details About Its Speed:

The capsule carrying this collection is anticipated to be released from the spacecraft at 06:42 AM EDT (11:42 AM BST) on Sunday. It will hurtle into Earth’s atmosphere four hours later at a speed of 27,650 miles per hour. As it descends towards Earth, its trajectory will be closely monitored, and parachutes will be deployed to gradually reduce its speed to around 11 miles per hour upon landing.

After the team retrieves the capsule, it will be placed in a sturdy metal crate, securely wrapped, and transported by helicopter to a temporary facility. By Monday, it will be swiftly transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

While scientists assert that there is minimal risk of the samples posing a threat to Earth, they emphasize the importance of preventing any potential contamination in the opposite direction. To achieve this, filtered air will be permitted to flow into the capsule during its descent to Earth to prevent any potential leaks that might lead to contamination. Subsequently, the capsule will be connected to a stream of nitrogen.

One of the mission’s objectives is to gain a better understanding of how to predict and safeguard Earth from potential asteroid impacts. Analyzing the physical properties of the collected samples, such as their density and porosity, is expected to contribute significantly to this endeavor, according to King.

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the asteroid Bennu using its MapCam imager on Dec. 12, 2018. (Image credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

Spacecrafts Involved in the Examination of Asteroids:

The spacecraft was equipped with five instruments that conducted an exhaustive examination, mapping, and analysis of the asteroid, offering an unprecedented level of detail:

OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) – OVIRS carried out its investigations by gauging visible and near-infrared light, with a specific focus on identifying organics and other mineral compositions.

OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) – OTES, using thermal infrared technology, determined Bennu’s temperature and produced maps detailing the distribution of minerals and chemicals. The collaborative efforts of OVIRS and OTES covered a spectrum of wavelengths to pinpoint the optimal location for collecting samples from the asteroid.

OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) – OCAMS consisted of three cameras designed to map Bennu comprehensively. PolyCam, the largest of the cameras, captured the initial images of Bennu from a distance of 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) and also obtained high-resolution images of the chosen sample site. MapCam, on the other hand, scouted for satellites and dust plumes surrounding the asteroid, compiled colour maps of the asteroid’s surface, and took photographs essential for crafting topographic maps. SamCam documented the entire sample collection process, from its gathering to its secure capture.

OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) – OLA meticulously scanned the entirety of Bennu’s surface, transmitting data that facilitated the creation of exceptionally precise 3D models of the asteroid’s surface. During the primary mission, one of the two Canadian-manufactured lasers ceased functioning, but it had exceeded its anticipated instrument lifespan and had successfully collected all the necessary data for OSIRIS-REx’s landing, as confirmed by investigators.

Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (RExIS) – RExIS concentrated on studying X-ray emissions emanating from Bennu, with the goal of generating a comprehensive map illustrating the distribution of various elements on the asteroid’s surface. Unlike other imaging tools, RExIS delved into the asteroid’s composition at the level of individual atomic elements.

Will OSIRIS-REx hit Earth?

The team operating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, an acronym representing Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, has recently released fresh data. According to this data, there is an extremely low probability, specifically a one-in-2,700 chance, that the asteroid could collide with our planet. This potential impact event is estimated to occur nearly 159 years from now, specifically on September 24, 2182.

What did this mission discover?

The OSIRIS-REx mission journeyed to Bennu, an asteroid abundant in carbon, preserving the ancient history of our Solar System. This mission’s goal is to retrieve a portion of Bennu and return it to Earth. Bennu is believed to hold potential molecular building blocks that could shed light on the origins of life and even the formation of Earth’s oceans.

What is OSIRIS-REx and why is it important?

Indeed, OSIRIS-REx stands for “Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer.” The primary objective of this mission is to acquire a sample weighing a minimum of 2.1 ounces (59.5 grams) from the near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu, previously identified as 1999 RQ36, and subsequently transport this sample back to Earth.

Did OSIRIS-REx return?

On September 24, 2023, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission will achieve a historic milestone by bringing back samples from the asteroid Bennu to Earth following seven years in the depths of space. This mission, initiated in 2016, successfully reached the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 and obtained samples from the surface of this near-Earth asteroid.

What is this mission powered by?

OSIRIS-REx is equipped with two solar panels attached to the zenith panel of the spacecraft, which serve as power generators. When unfurled, these solar arrays provide the spacecraft with an impressive wingspan of 6.2 meters, covering a total active area of 8.5 square meters.

Who built OSIRIS-REx?

The spacecraft for the OSIRIS-REx mission is being constructed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. This mission represents the third instalment in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. Oversight and management of the New Frontiers Program on behalf of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington are handled by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, situated in Huntsville, Alabama.

How does this mission communicate with Earth?

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is equipped with a high-gain antenna located on its sun-facing side, which facilitates communication with Earth. On the opposite side of the spacecraft is the TAGSAM, short for Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism. TAGSAM is a 3.4-meter-long, folding arm designed to extend. And collect a sample from the mission’s target, the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

The exoplanet, TOI-3757 b is a gas giant planet that revolves around a K-type star. The mass of this exoplanet is about 0.27 times more than that of Jupiter and therefore it completes one circle around its star in just 3.4 days. If we talk about its distance, then it is located at approximately 0.038 AU from its K-type star, approx. Furthermore, if we talk about its discovery, then it was in 2022. 

This planet is unique because it has an incredibly low density, similar to that of a marshmallow. Even though red dwarf stars are cooler than stars like our Sun, they can still be very active and produce strong flares that could potentially strip away a planet’s atmosphere.

Planetary scientists suggested two ideas for the planet’s marshmallow-like atmosphere:

Gas giants like Jupiter initially form from rocky cores that are several times more massive than Earth. As the solar system takes shape, these central cores attract surrounding gas. However, in the case of TOI-3757 b, which orbits a red dwarf star with fewer heavy elements than other similar stars, the rocky core formation may have been slower. This delayed the process of accumulating the surrounding gas.

As a result, TOI-3757 b ended up with a less dense and fluffier atmosphere compared to other gas giants like Jupiter that orbit stars with more heavy elements. TOI-3757’s orbit around its red dwarf star could be elliptical.

NOIRLab explains:

“There are times it gets closer to its star than at other times, resulting in substantial excess heating that can cause the planet’s atmosphere to bloat”

The Reason Behind the Low Density of TOI-3757 b:

The exoplanet, TOI-3757 b, is very interesting to astronomers because it possesses unique and distinct characteristics. This makes it one of the relatively few gas giants (around 10 in total) found orbiting M dwarf stars.

What’s particularly intriguing about TOI-3757 b is its low density, which is approximately 0.27 grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³). The low density provides a valuable chance to study planet formation theories.

Two hypotheses are put forth to explain this low density:

  • Low Metallicity: The star hosting TOI-3757 b has a lower metallicity (around 0.3 dex lower) compared to the average metallicity of M dwarf stars that host gas giants. This lower metallicity might have contributed to the delayed formation of a solid core massive enough to trigger the rapid accumulation of gas.
  • Tidal Heating: It’s also possible that the eccentricity of TOI-3757 b’s orbit (solid estimation at 0.14 +/- 0.06) leads towards tidal heating, which could have expanded the planet’s radius. This, in turn, would result in the lower density observed.

Because of its low density and large scale height, TOI-3757 b is an excellent planet for studying its atmosphere using transmission spectroscopy. This research can reveal details about the atmosphere’s composition and how gases escape, with an estimated measurement of around 190 for transmission spectroscopy.

The Rocky Core & Elliptical Shape of TOI-3757b:

The unusually low density of TOI-3757b can be attributed to two key factors, as explained by astronomers.

Firstly, it’s related to the planet’s rocky core. Gas giants typically start as massive rocky cores, roughly ten times the mass of Earth. Cores quickly gather lots of nearby gas, becoming the gas giants we see now. However, TOI-3757’s host star has a lower concentration of heavy elements compared to other M-dwarf stars with gas giants. This difference may have caused the rocky core of TOI-3757b to form more slowly, delaying the initiation of gas accumulation, and consequently, influencing the planet’s overall density.

Secondly, the planet’s orbit is believed to be somewhat elliptical. At certain points in its orbit, it comes closer to its star than at other times. This proximity results in significant additional heating, causing the planet’s atmosphere to expand or bloat. This expansion contributes to the planet’s lower density.

What is TOI-3757 b?

TOI-3757 b is an exoplanet classified as a gas giant, and it orbits a K-type star. It has a mass approximately equal to 0.26838 times that of Jupiter. This exoplanet orbits its star in just 3.4 days and is very close, about 0.03845 AU away from it.

When was toi-3757 b discovered?

Discovered in 2022, TOI-3757 b is a gas giant orbiting a red dwarf star in the constellation Auriga, located about 580 light-years from Earth. It’s exceptionally low-density, akin to a marshmallow.

Is there a marshmallow planet?

TOI-3757 b, the lowest-density planet ever detected, has a density akin to a marshmallow. The measurement of this exoplanet is just 0.27 grams per cubic centimeter, which is less than half the density of Saturn.

Who discovered TOI-3757 b?

The discovery of TOI-3757b was possible through NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It was subsequently confirmed using the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF).

What is the diameter of TOI-3757 b?

TESS observed TOI-3757 b as it passed in front of its host star. It is enabling astronomers to determine that the planet’s diameter is approximately 150,000 kilometers (100,000 miles). Which makes it slightly larger than Jupiter.

Is the cotton candy planet real?

“Super-Puffs” might sound like the name of a breakfast cereal. But it’s a term which describes a special and uncommon category of young exoplanets. These planets are as light as cotton candy, and there’s nothing similar to them in our solar system.

Is there a pink planet?

GJ 504b is a fascinating magenta-colored exoplanet. This pinkish planet comprises of gases and looks somewhat like Jupiter, a huge gas giant in our solar system. However, GJ 504b is notably larger, with a mass approximately four times greater than that of Jupiter.

Significant Statements by Authors & Researchers:

TOI-3757b was discovered using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It is confirmed with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and the NEID instrument on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope.

Jessica Libby-Roberts is an author of the new research on TOI-3757 b and a postdoctoral researcher at Pennsylvania State University, She says in a statement.

“Potential future observations of the atmosphere of this planet using NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope could help shed light on its puffy nature,”

Dr. Jessica Libby-Roberts, a postdoctoral researcher at Pennsylvania State University, says:

“Potential future observations of the atmosphere of this planet using the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope could help shed light on its puffy nature.”

Dr. Kanodia says:

“Finding more such systems with giant planets — which were once theorized to be extremely rare around red dwarfs — is part of our goal to understand how planets form.”

Our solar system is the largest object in the universe, but the thought of how big is the solar system often causes us chills. But don’t worry, we have got you covered. Let’s have a look over some of the amazing facts about our solar system, and learn valuable content!

What is the Radius & Diameter of the Sun?

The sun is almost a perfect sphere. Its size is very similar at the equator and the poles, differing by only 6.2 miles (10 km). The sun’s average radius measures 432,450 miles (696,000 kilometers), which gives it a diameter of around 864,938 miles (1.392 million km). According to NASA, you could fit 109 Earths across the sun’s surface. The sun’s circumference is roughly 2,715,396 miles (4,370,006 km).

While it’s the largest object around, the sun appears quite ordinary next to other stars. For instance, Betelgeuse, a red giant, surpasses the sun significantly, being roughly 700 times larger and approximately 14,000 times brighter.

NASA says:

“We have found stars that are 100 times bigger in diameter than our sun. Truly those stars are enormous. We have also seen stars that are just a tenth the size of our sun.”

What is the Size of the Solar System in Light Years?

  • The Moon is located about 1.3 light-seconds away from Earth.
  • Earth sits approximately 8 light-minutes (around 92 million miles) from the Sun. This indicates that sunlight takes 8 minutes to travel to us.
  • Jupiter’s distance from Earth is roughly 35 light minutes. So, if you were to shine a light from Earth, it would take about 30 minutes for the light to reach Jupiter.
  • Pluto isn’t at the outermost boundary of our solar system. Beyond Pluto lies the Kuiper Belt, and farther out is the Oort Cloud. The Oort Cloud forms a round layer of icy objects encircling our entire solar system.
  • If you could travel at the speed of light, it would take you approximately 1.87 years to reach the edge of the Oort Cloud. This implies that our solar system spans about 4 light-years from one end of the Oort Cloud to the other.

How the Planets are Aligned in a Specific Way?

One of the coolest things to watch in the night sky is when two or more planets get really close to each other. Astronomers call this a “conjunction.” Sometimes, when we look at the way planets move around, we also see something called an “alignment.” It’s like the planets are lined up in a row. In the picture on the left, you can see this happening with Mercury (M), Venus (V), and Earth (E).

how big is the solar system
A planetary alignment is only what we perceive from Earth and not a physical line-up of planets in our solar system. Withan Tor/Shutterstock

When we look from Earth, Venus and Mercury can seem super close to the sun. If they match up perfectly, they might even look like black dots moving across the sun’s face at the same time. This is called a “transit.”

Now, let’s talk about how often these cool planet line-ups happen. Earth takes about 365 days to go all the way around the sun. Mercury takes 88 days, and Venus takes 224 days to do the same thing. The time between these line-up events needs each planet to finish a whole number of trips around the sun before they get back into the same pattern you see in the picture.

For a simpler example, let’s imagine that Mercury takes a quarter of a year (like three months) to go around the sun, and Venus takes two-thirds of a year (a bit more than half a year) to finish its trip around the sun.

How Big is the Solar System Compared to the Sun?

The sun is at the center of the solar system, and it’s the biggest thing around. It holds almost all the mass in the solar system, about 99.8%. It’s huge, about 109 times wider than Earth. So, if you are wondering how big is the sun, then let’s give you an idea. give you an idea.

how big is the solar system
One of the first images taken by the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter during its first close pass at the sun in 2020. (Image credit: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ ESA & NASA; CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL)

The sun’s surface is really hot, about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius). But deep inside, at the core, things get much hotter – over 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius) – because of nuclear reactions. Just to match the sun’s energy, you’d need to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite every single second. That’s a lot of power, as NASA tells us.

Our sun is just one of more than 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s about 25,000 light-years away from the center of the galaxy, and it takes about 250 million years to complete one trip around that center. The sun is still young compared to some stars. Scientists call it a “Population I” star, which means it has a good amount of heavy elements. There are older stars in the “Population II,” and there might have been even older ones called “Population III,” although we haven’t found any of those yet.

How Did we Come to Our Solar System Name?

We call our group of planets the “solar system” because we use the word “solar” to talk about things connected to our star. This comes from the Latin word for the Sun, “Solis”. Our group of planets is found in one of the outer curls of the Milky Way galaxy.

How big is the solar system in miles?

If we consider the Oort Cloud as a sort of rough edge, our solar system’s size reaches about 2 light years. To give you an idea, that’s nearly 12 trillion miles!

How big is solar system in light-years?

Imagine if you could move as fast as light. It would take you roughly 1.87 years to get to the outer edge of the Oort Cloud. This also means that our entire solar system spans around 4 light-years from one end of the Oort Cloud to the other.

Is 1 hour in space 7 years on Earth?

The tale goes like this: spending 1 hour on that specific planet equals 7 years out in space. Time dilation is a true concept, but thinking it could be that extreme in any normal situation is quite unrealistic. In reality, it’s just a tiny fraction of a second, not several years.

How big is the Universe solar system?

The part of the Universe we can see spans 93 billion light-years. But if we look at our own galaxy, the Milky Way, it’s much smaller, only about 100,000 light-years across. Exploring just our galaxy would take countless lifetimes, not to mention the whole Universe. Another really old structure is a giant group of galaxies called the Hyperion Supercluster.

Many people think that the model of the timeline of the Big Bang paves its way to explain a lot. And that is true! For instance, it tells us about the universe’s history and development. Moreover, the universe began as an incredibly hot and dense point.  Besides telling you some crisp information, it also tells you that the universe started around 13.7 billion years ago.

 But, here arise a question how did the universe change from being only a few millimeters in size to the immense expanse that we see today?

To make it easier to understand. Let’s break down the journey of this timeline to the present into some simple steps:

Timeline of the Big Bang – Is it a Space Exploration?

You will be very surprised to know that the Big Bang wasn’t a space explosion. Researchers clarify that it signaled the birth of space across the entire universe. As per the Big Bang theory, the universe came to exist as an incredibly hot and dense point in space.

Timeline of the Big Bang
An illustration of the timeline of the universe following the big bang. (Image credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

Furthermore, what happened before this moment remains unclear to cosmologists. However, using advanced space missions, ground-based telescopes, and complex calculations. Scientists have been working diligently to paint a clearer picture of the universe’s initial stages and how it formed.

Besides this, a significant part of this effort comes from studying the cosmic microwave background. This phenomenon tells us that the lingering glow of light and radiation that originates after the Big Bang. Spread throughout the universe, this can be detected by microwave instruments too. This phenomenon allows scientists to gather pieces of information about the universe’s early history, and how did the big bang happen!

The Inflation Stage – Where the Universe Timelines Underwent an Exponential Expansion!

During the universe’s early days, when it was extremely young. Around a hundredth of a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second (a really tiny fraction!). The universe went through an extraordinary phase of rapid growth. This occurrence, known as inflation, saw the universe undergo exponential expansion. Throughout this time, the universe doubled in size at least 90 times.

David Spergel is a theoretical astrophysicist at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.. He told that after inflation, the universe continued to grow, but at a slower rate.

“The universe was expanding, and as it expanded, it got cooler and less dense.”

The Formation of Different Compounds in the Timeline of the Big Bang

In the first three minutes after the universe came into existence. Thus, the lightweight chemical elements started to form. As the universe kept expanding, the dropping temperatures led to collisions between protons and neutrons. Which results in the creation of deuterium. It is an isotope of hydrogen. A significant portion of this deuterium then combined to produce helium.

Universe Origins
WMAP has produced a new, more detailed picture of the infant universe. Colors indicate “warmer” (red) and “cooler” (blue) spots. (Image credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

The Phase of “Recombination”:

Around 380,000 years after the Big Bang, matter had cooled down enough for electrons to join with nuclei, creating neutral atoms. This phase is called “recombination.” The free electrons come together and made the universe become see-through. The light that was released during this period still exists today. And it is detectable radiation known as the cosmic microwave background.

After recombination, there was a dark period before stars and other bright objects appeared.

Big Bang Theory Timeline – The Dark Era!

About 400 million years after the Big Bang, the universe started to move out of the dark period. This crucial phase in the universe’s development is known as the age of re-ionization.

While it was initially thought to have taken over half a billion years, you will be surprised to know about the recent observations. They have led scientists to consider that re-ionization might have happened faster than previously believed.

During this timeline of the Big Bang, the clusters of gas came together to form the very first stars and galaxies. Besides this, the ultraviolet light emitted from these energetic events played a part in spreading out. It has cleared away most of the nearby neutral hydrogen gas.

Cosmic Microwave Background Theory – Significant Events of Universe Timeline

Astronomers are tirelessly exploring the vast reaches of the universe to find the most distant and ancient galaxies. This pursuit helps them understand how the early universe was like. Furthermore, by studying the cosmic microwave background, astronomers can effectively trace back and piece together the events that happened before.

Timeline of the Big Bang
An image taken BY NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, showing a cluster of galaxies residing 10 billion light-years away. (Image credit: NASA/ESA/University of Florida, Gainsville/University of Missouri-Kansas City/UC Davis)

For instance, many insights gained from earlier missions like WMAP and the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). Both launched in 1989, as well as ongoing missions like the Hubble Space Telescope, which began its mission in 1990. They all work together to contribute to the scientific effort of solving long-standing mysteries.

The Formation of “Milky Way” in the Big Bang Timeline:

Scientists believe that our solar system formed a little more than 9 billion years after the Big Bang. Which makes it roughly 4.6 billion years old. Current calculations indicate that the sun is just one of an astonishing 100 billion stars that exist in our Milky Way galaxy. It follows a path around 25,000 light-years away from the central core of the galaxy.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
An infrared view of a developing star taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. It illustrates what our solar system might have looked like billions of years ago. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/AURA)

Different Galaxies & Seeing of the Distant Stars:

During the 1960s and 1970s, astronomers started considering that there could be more mass in the universe than what we can see. One of these astronomers was Vera Rubin, who worked at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She looked at how fast stars were moving at different places within galaxies.

According to basic physics by Newton, stars at the edges of a galaxy should move slower compared to stars closer to the center. However, Rubin noticed something different. She discovered that there was no change in the speeds of stars as you moved farther out from the center. In fact, she found that all stars in a galaxy appeared to be moving around the center at roughly the same speed.

Big Bang and the Universe's Origins
An illustration of Earth surrounded by filaments of dark matter called “hairs”. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

THE UNIVERSE IS’NT STANDING STILL!

In the 1920s, an astronomer named Edwin Hubble made a groundbreaking discovery about the universe. Using a newly constructed telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles. Hubble revealed something transformative: the universe isn’t standing still; it’s actually getting bigger.

Fast forward to 1998, and the famous Hubble Space Telescope, named after that same pioneering astronomer. He used on studying distant exploding stars known as supernovas. Its findings brought to light a remarkable insight: a significant time in the past saw the universe expanding at a slower rate than it is today. This discovery was important because it went against earlier beliefs. Where it is defined that the gravitational pull of matter in the universe would slow down its expansion or possibly even cause it to contract.

What is the timeline of the Big Bang theory?

  • The Big Bang. 10-43 seconds.
  • The Universe Takes Shape. 10-6 seconds.
  • Formation of Basic Elements. 3 seconds.
  • The Radiation Era. 10,000 years.
  • Beginning the Era of Matter Domination. 300,000 years.
  • Birth of Stars and Galaxies. 300 million years.
  • Birth of the Sun. 5 Billion Years Before the Present (BP)
  • Earliest Life.

What are two main eras in Big Bang timeline?

Since the Big Bang, the universe has gone through several eras distinguished by the behavior of the universe’s fundamental forces and particles.

  1. Planck Era.
  2. Grand Unification Era.
  3. Electroweak Era.
  4. Elementary Particle Era.
  5. Era of Nucleosynthesis.
  6. Era of Atoms.

What are the 7 steps of the Big Bang theory?

#1 – Inflation & the Beginning

#2 – A Hot Mess & a Jumble of Particles

#3 – Cooling Cosmos & Quarks> Protons + Neutrons

#4 – Dark, Hot, and Foggy Universe (EP)

#5 – Let There Be Light & Hydrogen + Helium

#6 – Giant Clouds, Galaxies, & Stars (by He & H)

#7 – Heavy Elements In/Become Stars

What are the 5 theories of the origin of the universe?

Throughout history, people have come up with different ideas to explain things they didn’t understand. These ideas ranged from thinking the Earth was flat to believing everything revolved around us, and then realizing the Sun was at the center. Later, we learned about the Big Bang and an even faster expansion called the Inflationary Big Bang. These ideas were based on what people knew at the time. Even though they might not be completely right, we shouldn’t just call them wrong. It’s more accurate to say they were a bit imperfect because they matched what people knew back then, but they might not explain everything completely.

Dark Matter & Dark Energy!

Even as our understanding of how the universe formed and grew has expanded greatly, there are still several unanswered questions that await solutions. One of the most prominent mysteries involves the puzzling realms of dark matter and dark energy. However, cosmologists continue their efforts to explore the complexities of the universe, aiming for a more complete understanding of where it came from.

The Contribution of JWST:

A significant stride in this ongoing journey was the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2021. This advanced telescope has the goal of advancing the search to uncover the elusive properties of dark matter. Additionally, its infrared instruments did poise to look both far into the distant past and forward through the unfolding story of the universe’s evolution. This could potentially shed light on crucial aspects of how the universe originated and developed.

The James Webb Space Images Black Hole is the talk of the town for some time. This is keep impressing us once more by making an incredible discovery. It has seen a supermassive black hole that’s actively doing its thing. Moreover, it’s even far away in the universe than anything we’ve seen before.

 
Are you finding this discovery interesting? So, Let’s keep hovering to know more about the James Webb Telescope, and its images of Black Holes.

What is CEERS 1019? Let’s have an interesting insight!

The James Webb Telescope images of black hole are surprising many humans out there. This black hole lives in a really old galaxy,  CEERS 1019. This galaxy is thought to have formed just 570 million years after the big explosion (the big bang). Which is why, it is more than 13 billion years old. What got scientists curious was that the black hole at the center of this galaxy is way smaller than they expected.

James Webb Images Black Hole
Stare deeply at this vast landscape. It was stitched together from multiple images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope in near-infrared light – and it is practically pulsing with activity. To the right of center is a clump of bright white spiral galaxies that seem to be twisting into one another. Threaded throughout the scene are light pink spirals that look like pinwheels twirling in the wind. The bright foreground stars, set off in blue, announce themselves with Webb’s prominent eight-pointed diffraction spikes. Don’t miss an unconventional sight: In the bottom row, find the square second from far right. At its right edge, a misshapen blue galaxy is outfitted in blue-and-pink sparkling star clusters.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, Steve Finkelstein (UT Austin), Micaela Bagley (UT Austin), Rebecca Larson (UT Austin)

According to a NASA news release:

“This black hole clocks in at about 9 million solar masses.”

A solar mass is a unit equivalent to the mass of the sun in our home solar system. Which is about 333,000 times larger than the Earth.

MOREOVER!

“That is far less than other black holes that also existed in the early universe and were detected by other telescopes. Those behemoths typically contain more than 1 billion times the mass of the Sun – and they are easier to detect because they are much brighter.”

What is Intriguing the James Webb Images Black Hole & Its Details the Most?

The ability to bring such a dim, distant black hole into focus is a key feature of the Webb telescope. Which uses highly sensitive instruments to detect otherwise invisible light.

Rebecca Larson, says:

“Looking at this distant object with this telescope is a lot like looking at data from black holes that exist in galaxies near our own.”

She mentioned that she got her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin this year. Larson, who led this cool discovery, now works as a researcher at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

James Webb Images Black Hole
This graphic shows detections of the most distant active supermassive black holes currently known in the universe. They were identified by a range of telescopes, both in space and on the ground. Three were recently identified by in the James Webb Space Telescope’s Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI)

The Birth of Black Holes After 1 Billion Years of Big Bang!

The scientists didn’t just find this really interesting black hole precisely, but they also stumbled upon two more nearby. These two new black holes seem to have formed about 1 billion years after the big bang. Compared to other black holes from back then, these were not that heavy.

Moreover, the James Webb Images black hole tells a lot about their formations. Webb’s survey called CEERS, which looked at how things in the universe changed over time. It has been fund eleven new galaxies. This survey was also led by the University of Texas at Austin.

Why the Center of CEER 1019 is So Small?

What’s confusing for scientists is that the black hole at the center of CEER 1019 is quite small. This is puzzling because during the early days of the universe, when things were just starting, usually. This is the time black holes formed.

The galaxy CEER 1019 is also interesting in other ways. Instead of looking like a flat round disk, it seems to have three bright spots in a row. This is different from most other galaxies we know about.

CEERS team members are passing a statement on these black holes. For instance, Jeyhan Kartaltepe of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, says:

“We’re not used to seeing so much structure in images at these distances. A galaxy merger could be partly responsible for fueling the activity in this galaxy’s black hole, and that could also lead to increased star formation.”

Baby Black Holes: James Webb Images Black Hole Deep Analysis:

In the CEERS spectra (which is like a special kind of light), a few galaxies stood out because they might have baby black holes. Which is why these are tiny versions of the big ones. These galaxies were different from the usual ones because the light they gave off wasn’t just one color for hydrogen.

Instead, the color looked fuzzy or spread out, like a bunch of different colors mixed. This happened because some of the light waves got squished together as gas clouds. And it got done around these galaxies sped toward the telescope (kind of like when a siren sounds higher as an ambulance gets closer). And other waves got stretched out as the clouds moved away. Kocevski and the other scientists realized that only black holes could cause this kind of movement in hydrogen.

Black Hole 13 Billion Year Journey
-Samuel Velasco/Quanta Magazine

Kocevski said:

“The only way to see the broad component of the gas orbiting the black hole is if you’re looking right down the barrel of the galaxy and right into the black hole.”

Has the James Webb telescope taken any pictures of black holes?

The Webb telescope found a really big black hole that came from more than 13 billion years ago. They made a big picture by putting together different pictures taken by the Webb Space Telescope using a special kind of light called near-infrared light.

Can the James Webb telescope see a black hole?

Webb is the first telescope that can take pictures of faraway and faint black holes like this. It’s quickly giving us information that agrees with what scientists have guessed in their theories about how things work. Scientists have known about smaller black holes from a long time ago when the universe was just starting.

Are there any actual photos of a black hole?

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, abbreviated as EHT, constitutes a worldwide array of telescopes that successfully obtained the initial photograph of a black hole. Over 200 researchers dedicated over a decade to this endeavor.

What is the nearest black hole to Earth?

The closest identified black hole is Gaia BH1, uncovered by a team headed by Kareem El-Badry in September 2022. Gaia BH1 resides at a distance of 1,560 light-years from Earth, positioned within the constellation Ophiuchus.

Are the images on the James Webb telescope real?

The James Webb Space Telescope delivered astounding images of the universe. But what are we looking at, exactly? It may go without saying, but these aren’t photographs. They are data visualizations!

Why is it impossible to view a black hole through a telescope?

These black holes are so far away that no normal telescope would ever be powerful enough to see them. You would need a telescope the size of the Earth—but scientists figured out that they could piece together images taken simultaneously from telescopes situated all around the Earth instead.

Has NASA seen a black hole?

The black hole is streaking too fast to take time for a snack. Nothing like it has ever been seen before, but it was captured accidentally by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

What did we recently discover in space black hole?

An ultra-massive black hole, understood to be one of the largest ever detected, has been discovered by astronomers using a new technique. The findings, published by the Royal Astronomical Society, show that the black hole is more than 30 billion times the mass of the sun – a scale rarely seen by astronomers.

James Webb Images Black Hole – Let’s Know a Formal Background About This Telescope!

The Webb Telescope was created through a team effort between NASA, the ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency. It’s designed to explore the farthest parts of space and discover amazing things about the really old universe. But it also looks at interesting planets in our galaxy, even the ones in our solar system.

NASA is now letting Astro-enthusiasts check about a comic wonder of “What did Hubble see on your birthday?”

Hubble Telescope is basically a telescope that glares at the stars. They do it with their wide lens wide open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each day of the year would surely look at something specific each day.

 

NASA is providing a feature to find your birthday:

A message on the webpage where internet users can check this out.

“What did Hubble see on your birthday? Enter the month and date below to find out.”

What did Hubble see on your birthday?
IMAGE: NASA

NASA says:

“Then share the results with your friends on social media using #Hubble30.”

Besides this, Netizens shared images using the hashtag, sharing magnificent images taken by NASA Hubble Birthday.

What is NASA Hubble Telescope? Let’s have a keen insights!

Since it took off in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has shown us lots of amazing pictures.  You can also check NASA images by date. These pictures are not just nice to look at, they make people excited about space.

But Hubble does more than take pretty pictures. Over the years, it has collected a ton of data, like a huge amount of computer files. Besides this, the data has helped us learn a lot about space. Hubble looks at things that are close, like the Moon, and things that are really far away. For instances, like galaxies that are super, super distant. It looks at different things, like exploding stars and cloudy areas in space called nebulas. All of these well curated data paves the way to answer your query of What did Hubble see on your birthday!

Let’s talk about the history of the telescope and what it has found out. We’ll also tell you interesting things about NASA Hubble archive pictures too.

A Brief Details About Hubble Telescope:

Back in 1610, a scientist named Galileo Galilei used a spyglass to look at the sky. He had a hard time seeing the rings around Saturn, which we can easily see with telescopes today. As time went on, scientists improved telescopes to see planets, stars, and faraway galaxies better. But the air around Earth still caused problems, making the views blurry. So, scientists put telescopes on high mountains where the air is thinner, making the views clearer.

After World War II in 1946, an astronomer named Lyman Spitzer had an idea. He wanted to put a telescope in space, away from Earth’s problems, to get even better views. But it took a while for people to agree with his idea. Finally, in the 1960s, a group of scientists wrote a paper about how useful this space telescope could be. They said it should be big and ambitious. The people who decide about space stuff, like NASA, heard about this and thought it was a great idea.

But it wasn’t until 1971 that things really got moving. A person named George Low, who was in charge of NASA at that time, said yes to the idea of a big space telescope. That was the time the idea of Hubble telescope came out. NASA then started asking for money from the government to make it happen.

How NASA answers your quest of “What did Hubble see on your birthday?”

In 2021, NASA made something special. They let people see how the universe looked on their birthdays. These pictures are on a website called the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). NASA and Michigan Technical University work together to run this website.

Here’s how they do it:

  • They use the Hubble Space Telescope to take all these pictures.
  • Furthermore, this amazing telescope is named after a famous astronomer named Edwin Hubble.
  • It was sent into space by a space shuttle called Discovery in 1990.
  • Hubble can see really well, and it gives us incredible views of space.
  • It goes around the Earth very fast, like 17,000 miles per hour.

How to see what the Hubble telescope saw on your birthday?

To view what the Hubble observed on your birthdate, simply visit the NASA website. Once there, pick your birth month and day, then click “submit” to access the image and accompanying details of what Hubble captured.

Hubble30
IMAGE: NASA

What did the Hubble see in 1997?

On June 27, 1997, the Hubble telescope captured images of Mars as part of the preparations for the Pathfinder spacecraft’s landing on July 4. Furthermore, these pictures unveil a dust storm in motion within the expansive Valles Marineris canyons, situated approximately 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) to the south of the designated landing site for the Pathfinder spacecraft.

What did Hubble see in his telescope?

Helped pin down the age for the universe now known to be 13.8 billion years, roughly three times the age of Earth. Discovered two moons of Pluto, Nix and Hydra. Helped determine the rate at which the universe is expanding. Discovered that nearly every major galaxy is anchored by a black hole at the center.

What is the most famous image from Hubble?

The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.

Eagle Nebula
The Eagle Nebula taken on September 2014. IMAGE: NASA.

What did Hubble see on May 22 2003?

In 2003, specifically on May 22, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) made an intriguing observation of enigmatic “jets” emanating from the planetary nebula known as Henize 3-1475. That is why, this celestial phenomenon has earned the playful moniker of the “Garden-sprinkler” Nebula among astronomers.

What is Hubble birthday?

Launched on April 24, 1990 by NASA’s Discovery shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope was shot into space to get a glimpse of distant and exotic galaxies and stars. Which is a promise it has lived up to. So, NASA has curated many educative and fascinating data to answer, What did the sky look like on my birthday?

Why is Hubble so famous?

By 1929, Hubble had fundamentally transformed our perception of our position in the cosmos. Besides answering what did Hubble see on your birthday, it also reveals other important discoveries too. The universe was no longer just a realm containing numerous galaxies; it was also undergoing expansion.

Was there any time that the launch of Hubble Telescope got delayed?

A space shuttle called Challenger exploded just a minute after it took off on January 28, 1986. This accident killed all seven astronauts on board. After this, space shuttles didn’t fly for more than two and a half years. During this time, NASA had to plan Hubble’s launch again.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery successfully launched Hubble into space. The next day, it placed the telescope into a low orbit around Earth, at a distance of about 340 miles (545 kilometers) above the planet’s surface. Moreover, the process of creating Hubble and sending it into space cost $1.5 billion. However, this marked only the beginning of the financial commitments, as additional costs continued to arise in the following years.

NASA’s James Webb Saturn pictures have been revealed on June 25, 2023. It has captured the famed ringed world Saturn for its first near-infrared observations of the planet. The initial imagery from Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) is already fascinating to researchers.

 

What has been Revealed in the James Webb Saturn Photos?

The image shows Saturn as dark as the methane gas nearly absorbs all sunlight. NASA notes that the ring is maintaining its brightness. In contrast to Saturn, it gives the planet an “unusual appearance.”

James Webb Saturn
Image of Saturn and some of its moons, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on June 25, 2023. In this monochrome image, NIRCam filter F323N (3.23 microns) was color mapped with an orange hue. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, M. Tiscareno (SETI Institute), M. Hedman (University of Idaho), M. El Moutamid (Cornell University), M. Showalter (SETI Institute), L. Fletcher (University of Leicester), H. Hammel (AURA); image processing by J. DePasquale (STScI)

If we look deeper into the images of James Webb Saturn 2023. Then, on the left side, you can spot Saturn’s moons:

  • Dione
  • Enceladus
  • Tethys

Meanwhile, the right side of the images reveals:

  • Cassini division
  • Encke gap
  • Rings A, B, C, and F

The Cassini division is the most visible gap in Saturn’s ring system. And it is also visible.

What are Some James Webb Saturn Moon Details?

The James Webb Telescope reveals the image of Saturn. It presents clear details within the planet’s ring system. And it is surrounded by some of its moons as mentioned above. Moreover, the dedicated team will be able to delve into the planet’s fainter rings. And it will be done by rough additional, and deeper exposures (not depicted here). It will be including the thin G ring and the diffuse E ring that are not visible in this picture.

Let’s Have a Clear Understanding of NASA Saturn Images & its Rings:

If we have a keen insight into the Saturn ring. Then it consists of a combination of rocky and icy fragments. And they are ranging in size from smaller than a grain of sand to some as large as Earth’s mountains. And you will be surprised by the recent findings too.

Researchers employed Webb to investigate Enceladus. And they did a discovery of a significant plume coming from the moon’s southern pole. This plume contains both particles and abundant water vapor which contributes to Saturn’s E ring. Thus, James Webb’s Saturn’s water details have also been found here.

What is the NASA’s Statement on James Webb Telescope Images 2023 of Saturn Rings?

According to NASA:

“The large, diffuse structures in the northern hemisphere do not follow the planet’s lines of latitude. So this image is lacking the familiar striped appearance that is typically seen from Saturn’s deeper atmospheric layers.”

Moreover,

Differences in the looks of Saturn’s northern and southern poles are normal. The northern region experiences summertime while the southern hemisphere is exiting winter darkness. But the darker-than-usual appearance of the northern hemisphere could be from “an unknown seasonal process affecting polar aerosols in particular.”

Is There Any Role of Saturn’s Atmosphere in the Recent Details of NASA’S Images?

The atmosphere of Saturn reveals unexpected and intriguing details. The Cassini spacecraft provides us with clearer observations of the atmosphere. This marks the first example of seeing the planet’s atmosphere with such clarity!

If you are wondering about the clarity of the image. Then it has been captured at the distinct wavelength of 3.23 microns. Which is a unique capability for Webb.

What is a Lacking Element in the Recent James Webb Saturn Images?

The images also lack some of the significant features too. It lacks the familiar striped pattern that is usually observed in Saturn’s deeper atmospheric layers. Moreover, the irregular pattern is the reflection of significant planetary waves in the stratospheric aerosols. And these are positioned high above the primary clouds. And it would also be a surprise that these patterns may be similar to those observed in the initial Webb NIRCam examinations of Jupiter. That is why James Webb Jupiter findings would also be related to these images.

Webb’s new photo is part of a series of deeply detail images. And scientists hope will reveal more about Saturn, including insights into its fainter G and E rings.

Matthew Tiscareno. A senior research scientist at the SETI Institute who did lead the process of designing the telescope’s observation of Saturn. He says in a statement.

“We look forward to digging into the deep exposures to see what discoveries may await!”

What are the Future Expectations of Scientists About the James Webb Saturn Images & Exploration?

Besides these, scientists have optimism that Webb will have the capacity to identify further moons orbiting the gas giant. And NASA’s blog post indicates it. Saturn has the highest number of known moons in the entire solar system. The recent unveiling of 62 new moons earlier this year has made another addition. And that is why now the total count is 145.

Firmly securing the planet’s position as the leader in the solar system’s “moon race.” In comparison, Jupiter, which is a runner-up, possesses 95 confirmed moons.

How do Saturn’s rings shine in Webb’s observations of a ringed planet?

Astronomers have discovered surprising details about Saturn’s atmosphere. Using a new image captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. In the image, Saturn itself appears extremely dark due to the near-total absorption of sunlight by methane gas.

Why do Saturn’s rings glow?

Methane gas absorbs almost all of the sunlight falling into the planet’s atmosphere. However, the icy rings stay relatively bright, leading to the unusual appearance of Saturn’s dark orb.

What does Saturn look like through a telescope?

Saturn’s rings give it a 3D appearance, more so than any other object you observe through a telescope. The shadows of the rings against the disc of the planet make it appear as a sphere, rather than a flat disc. You’ll also notice that the edges of Saturn appear darker than the center (limb-darkened).

Can the James Webb telescope see Saturn?

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured its stunning, first official image of Saturn and its rings.

What is the mystery behind Saturn’s rings?

The loss of the Moon was enough to remove Saturn from Neptune’s grasp and leave it with its present-day tilt. Wisdom and his team further hypothesize that fragments from the destroyed Moon settled into the planet’s orbit and formed its iconic rings.

How does Super Saturn keep its rings?

Having retrograde rotation means that the particles of the ring system are never too close to the star for too long, and thus can stay together.

What is JWST & Its Contribution to Saturn Images 2023?

The Webb Telescope is a scientific partnership between NASA, the ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency. Its purpose is to look into the studies of the cosmos. And they also reveal amazing revelations about the early universe.

They said:

“Saturn itself appears extremely dark at this infrared wavelength observed by the telescope, as methane gas absorbs almost all of the sunlight falling on the atmosphere. However, the icy rings stay relatively bright, leading to the unusual appearance of Saturn in the Webb image.”

What are Some Other Missions That have Revealed So Much About Saturn’s Atmosphere?

Exploratory missions such as:

They have diligently did the monitory of Saturn’s atmosphere and rings over several decades. Do you think these experiments of James Webb Saturn would further assist astronomers in doing space exploration? If yes, then how? Let us know in the comment section below.