Blog Post 15: Jupiter’s Red Spot

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/jupiters-great-red-spot-11182014/

Jupiter’s red-spot is iconic and its so big that its even bigger than earth. It’s mystery captures everyone’s eye . Hurricanes and cyclone on Earth come and they go, but this red spot is a storm that has lasted for hundred, maybe thousands of years. Why is this Storm Red? The substance that they think it on Jupiter they had tested and understood that this substance absorbs blue light very strongly. This accounts for its reddish look. But without the reddish veneer on top of the main white cloud layer of the Storm, the Great Red Spot would look bland. The colors very over time due to the exposure of sunlight so, they in a way tan! I think that was cool to find out. I also think that its phenomenal how we can figure the substance of this storm and make in in a laboratory and test it on Earth. I just think its crazy how we can form a part of Jupiter on Earth and then explain the color of it.

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Blog Post 14: The Sun Will not go Supernova

 http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/03/the-sun-wont-go-supernova/

At the end of the stars phase for our sun, it will not become a supernova which is when a star gets a lot brighter because of an explosions that ejects pretty much most of it’s mass. I think that would be pretty cool if that was the fate of our sun. Apparently, our sun isn’t big enough for that. ?? Our sun is HUGE! Yes, it is huge compared to us, but not to lots of other high mass stars in the universe. In about 5 billion years it will enter a red giant phase and then it will steadily expand. Earth wont have to worry about the expansion of the Sun in the Red Giant Phase because earth will be gone in 1 billion years because the sun gets brighter by 10% ever billion years. In 1 billion years, the Earths surface temperature will with so hot that water wont be able to exist. So, yeah the fate of the Earth is pretty dark. So have no fear that the sun will explode into a supernova, it will go straight to the red giant phase before coming a  planetary nebula and the Sun will expand so far that it will exceed Earth’s path but don’t worry because earth will be dried up and no trace of human existence will ever be seen to exist. It is pretty cool the see the Suns fate, but, not the Earths!

Blog Post 13: Pluto was named by an 11 year old girl ?!

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/09/the-name-for-the-dwarf-planet-pluto-was-suggested-by-an-11-year-old-girl/

The name for the once considered planet, and now dwarf planet was suggested by an 11 year old girl! I wish I could have named a planet in the 5th grade. Venetia Burney of Oxford, England suggested the name for the two dwarf moons of Mars. Deimos and Phobos which mean fear and terror. She suggested the name Pluto and around the same time, the Disney Dog, Pluto appeared around the same time. It is a myth that she had came up with the cartoon dog when really she just named the planet. While the dog did appear in 1930 (the same year the Venetia  suggested “Pluto” for the ,then, 9th planet of our solar system, his original name was Rover so a year after the planet was named, the dogs name changed to Pluto.

How did she come up with it?

Apparently her and her family with eating breakfast at the table in 1930 when she came up with the idea while Venetia and her mom were living at her grandfathers house after her father had died. The topic at the table was the discovery of a new planet and Venetia was very familiar with Greek and Roman mythology. She said Pluto would be a good name because Pluto is the God of the underworld, who could make himself invisible and generally dwelt in a place that sunlight doesn’t reach. Her grandfather thought it was such a good name that he immediately suggested to a friend who was a professor of astronomy at the university of oxford. The feedback was obviously positive because that is now the actual name of the planet.

I think this is so amazing. I wish I could have name a planet when I was 11. Now all of the names of newly discovered planets are boring numbers. She had quite the knowledge and imagination!

Blog Post 12: Plate Tectonics on Other Planets?

http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/egeo2/content/ch02/article_2.htm

Planetary geologists have tried to discover plate tectonics in other terrestrial planets but they just haven’t found that type of structure, other than Earth. The Earth is the only body in the solar system with this structure which, to me, is amazing. The our solar system is HUGE! Why is our planet so special? We harbor life and now we are the only ones with plate tectonics? I thinks that’s pretty cool. Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Moon evidently have to active volcanoes, no continental drift, no sea floor spreading so, they cannot flow in the way the our plate tectonics do. Earlier in the solar System, when the universe was warmer, these planets did have such things but for example, on Venus, the patter of faults struggled to begin and never succeeding. The Jovian Planets are mostly gaseous  so, they don’t the rigid lithosphere that Earth has. The volcanoes of Jupiter reflect a melting process that isn’t plate tectonics. Things like this make me wonder why the universe worked in such a way that made Earth so special? Although, there may be life very far away, what made Earth such a special planet? Lots of bodies in space have their own unique characteristics but Earth seems so have the coolest ones, especially for such a small and commonly said insignificant planet compared to the rest of the universe!

Blog Post 11: Vega Will Be Earth’s North Star in 12,000 Years

Vega is just 25 light years away from earth and is visible in the Northern Hemisphere. Since Earth axis wobbles, north will shift to different stars over a 26,000 year cycle. Polaris’ time is almost halfway up and will not be the north star in 12,000 years. Vega was Earth’s North Star previously and now will be the next star that our axis will point to. From mid-northern latitudes like New York, Madrid, etc, Vega can now be seen on any night of the year because it only goes below the horizon for 7 hours a day. In Alaska, Northern Canada, and Europe, Vega never sets. This will still be the case in 12,00 years when it is the North Star and allude movement that the rest of the stars will because of Earth’s rotation. Vega was actually the first star to be photographed other than the sun. This happened at the Harvard Observatory in 1850! Not to mention, it was also chosen for the first spetrographic image in 1872. There are many cool things to learn about Vega. It will be a pretty significant star very soon in terms of the rate of the universe. I think that this is so cool that we know exactly what people in 12,000 years will learn about when learning about the north star in astronomy class (if Earth still exists/if people still exist). I also think its so interesting that we can find so much information on one spot in the sky, it shows how far technology has come and I wonder how far it will be in a few thousand years when Vega is that much closer to being Earth’s North Star again!

Blog Post 10: Planets Form Around a Star

http://news.discovery.com/space/astronomy/revolutionary-new-view-of-baby-planets-forming-around-a-star-141106.htm

This article is talking about a sort of solar system that we may have discovered. “HL-Tauri” is the name of it and it i just now being born. This is a system being observed in Chile and its kind of showing pictures of what our solar system or our sun may have looked like four billion years ago when we(our solar system) were born. They have discovered that this system is no more than a million years old. They also discovered that the bodies that they think are planets have cleared their track in the remaining dust of the star and they are vacuuming up the debris with their gravity to add to their mass. Who knows, maybe this will be a similar replica to our solar system and by the time the planets form and life begins our human race can communicate with them! ….or maybe not considering it is going to take millions of years for that to happen and our precious planet Earth is said to be doomed in thousands of years. I find it so interesting how fast our lives are compared to everything in space. In space terms, everything seems like its so long and slow when really its just our lives on earth that happen extremely quickly.

Blog Post 9: Rosetta

http://www.astronomy.com/news/2014/11/rosetta-the-dark-side-of-the-comet

The comet, Rosetta, has been faced away from the sun and not visible in the past few months. Just recently there has been enough light to catch a glimpse of it. The article from astronomy.com describes the comet as “most of its surface, revealing stunning structures such as steep ravines, sharp cliffs, and numerous boulders”. It also talks about how the southern side of the comet is still a mystery but, in my opinion, it probably isn’t much different from the northern side. The need a very special camera for this and scattered light had helped a lot with finding accurate images of the comet. The one thing that amazes me the most about this is that this comet, as of right now, probably has nothing to do with Earth yet, we have all of these people and all of this technology to keep track of things like this for months and then years just in case it does. I also like the mystery of things like this because they remind us that astronomy is just a huge mystery that we will always be wondering about for the rest of our lives because there are just some things we won’t be able to detect!