The Sun - Planets and the Solar System

 

 

The Solar System

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Solar Nebula and Planetary Formation

 

 

The Origin of our Solar System

Over time, there have been various theories put forth as to the origin of the solar system. Most of these have since been disproved and discarded. Today the theory scientists consider most likely to be correct is a modified version of the nebular hypothesis first suggested in 1755 by German philosopher Immanuel Kant and later advanced by French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace.

The modern solar nebula hypothesis states that the Sun and planets formed 4.6 billion years ago from the solar nebula—a cloud of interstellar gas and dust. Due to the mutual gravitational attraction of the material in the nebula, and possibly triggered by shock waves from a nearby supernova, the nebula eventually collapsed in on itself.

As the nebula contracted, it spun increasingly rapidly, leading to frequent collisions between dust grains. These grains stuck together to form pebbles, then boulders, and then planetesimals. Solid particles as well as gas continued to stick to these planetesimals (in what's known as the accretion theory), eventually forming proto-planets, or planets in their early stages.

As the nebula continued to condense, the temperature at its core rose to the point where nuclear fusion reactions began, forming the Sun. The protoplanets spinning around the developing Sun formed the planets.


http://www.scienceclarified.com/Ro-Sp/Solar-System.html   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Origin & Creation: Sun, Solar System, Planets, Life on Earth ( 20 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16zeA-c-3vw&feature=relmfu

 

Solar System Exploration

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/index.cfm

 

The Solar System - Documentary   (  42 mins)

From Time Zero to 700 Million Years...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li-7MA_fwAc

 

The Solar System HD  ( 16 mins)

Created a new video, this one is called  "The Solar System". This video took a long time to make from pictures I acquired From NASA. All the Beautiful pictures Except the Moon was downloaded from their web site...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT49AiYFV98

 

The Solar System

http://planetfacts.org/the-solar-system/





A schematic of the present-day solar system, showing the position of the planets' orbits around the Sun, comparative sizes (to each other, not the Sun), the direction in which they rotate, and the tilt of their axes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar System


The Sun, which keeps these objects in orbit with its gravitational field, alone accounts for about 99.8 percent of the mass of the solar system. Jupiter, the largest planet, represents another 0.1 percent of the mass. Everything else in the solar system together makes up the remaining 0.1 percent.

 

 

Planets and declared dwarf planets of the Solar System. Sizes are to scale. Distances are not to scale.

The asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter



The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium;  the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as "ice giants". All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane.

 

The Solar System formed 4.568 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud.[28] This initial cloud was likely several light-years across and probably birthed several stars.[29] As is typical of molecular clouds, this one consisted mostly of hydrogen, with some helium, and small amounts of heavier elements fused by previous generations of stars. As the region that would become the Solar System, known as the pre-solar nebula,[30] collapsed, conservation of angular momentum caused it to rotate faster. The centre, where most of the mass collected, became increasingly hotter than the surrounding disc.[29] As the contracting nebula rotated faster, it began to flatten into a protoplanetary disc with a diameter of roughly 200 AU[29] and a hot, dense protostar at the centre.[31][32] The planets formed by accretion from this disc,[33] in which dust and gas gravitationally attracted each other, coalescing to form ever larger bodies. Hundreds of protoplanets may have existed in the early Solar System, but they either merged or were destroyed, leaving the planets, dwarf planets, and leftover minor bodies.

 

The Sun is the Solar System's star, and by far its chief component. Its large mass (332,900 Earth masses)[38] produces temperatures and densities in its core high enough to sustain nuclear fusion,[39] which releases enormous amounts of energy, mostly radiated into space as electromagnetic radiation, peaking in the 400–700 nm band of visible light. ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System 

 

 

 

 

 

Voyager 1, which launched on Sept. 5, 1977, is 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun.
 


Voyager 2, which launched on Aug. 20, 1977, is close behind, at 9.3 billion miles  (15 billion kilometers) from the sun.
 

 

 

Voyager at the End of the Solar System

 

Twenty-eight years on and the Voyager spacecraft are still making discoveries as they hurtle out of our Solar System.

 

The probes are now more than 11.5 billion km from Earth and should leave the vast region of space under our Sun's influence in the next 10 years.

 

Scientists say this region, which they refer to as the heliosphere, has now been more closely defined thanks to data returned by Voyagers 1 and 2.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5012472.stm

 

Two Veteran Voyager Spacecraft Will Cross Into Interstellar Space

"It's Just A Question Of When!!!"

 

Two of three key signs of changes expected to occur at the boundary of interstellar space have changed faster than at any other time in the last seven years, according to new data from NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft.

 

For the last seven years, Voyager 1 has been exploring the outer layer of the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. - In one day, on July 28, data from Voyager 1's cosmic ray instrument showed the level of high-energy cosmic rays originating from outside our solar system jumped by five percent. During the last half of that same day, the level of lower-energy particles originating from inside our solar system dropped by half. However, in three days, the levels had recovered to near their previous levels.

 

A third key sign is the direction of the magnetic field, and scientists are eagerly analyzing the data to see whether that has, indeed, changed direction.

 

Scientists expect that all three of these signs will have changed when Voyager 1 has crossed into interstellar space.

A preliminary analysis of the latest magnetic field data is expected to be available in the next month.

 

"These are thrilling times for the Voyager team as we try to understand the quickening pace of changes as Voyager 1 approaches the edge of interstellar space," said Edward Stone, the Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

 

"We are certainly in a new region at the edge of the solar system where things are changing rapidly. But we are not yet able to say that Voyager 1 has entered interstellar space."

http://www.messagetoeagle.com/signschangevoyager.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sun and our Solar System

 

 

 

 

Solar Flares

 

 

 

 

Sun’s Rotations -

 The period of this actual rotation

 is approximately 25.6 days at the equator and it increases to 31 days  towards 

the poles...

 

 

 

How Far Away is the Sun?

92,960,000 miles (149,600,000 km)

 

 

 

12 Yrs. Measuring the Sun's Hidden Variability - An entire Solar Cycle

 

 

 

The Sun and our Solar System

 

Our Sun

Every 11 years, the sun undergoes a furious upheaval. Dark sunspots burst forth from beneath the sun’s surface. Explosions as powerful as a billion atomic bombs spark intense flares of high-energy radiation. Clouds of gas big enough to swallow planets break away and billow into space. It’s a flamboyant display of stellar power.

http://halfpasthuman.com/RadioSpecial.html

Measuring the Sun's Hidden Variability

http://spacefellowship.com/news/art13483/measuring-the-sun-s-hidden-variability.html



Sun’s Speed orbiting around the Milky Way Center


The sun circles the galactic center once about every 225 million years traveling at 483,000 mph.  



 
The sun isn’t standing still. Our star is one of several hundred billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, all of which are moving. Based on studies of the motions of stars in our neighborhood, astronomers have determined that the sun hauls it’s family of planets, comets and asteroids at 43,000 miles per hour in roughly the direction of the bright star Vega in Lyra.

In the course of a lifetime we will have moved 40 billion miles closer to the star. Unfortunately that huge figure will hardly begin to close the gap between the two stars. Vega is not only 25 light years away (150 trillion miles), but it’s not standing still either. If you’d like to see where we’re headed, face northeast around 11 o’clock the next clear night. The bright, twinkling star low in the sky is Vega.

The Milky Way is a gigantic starry pinwheel, where the speeds of stars vary with distance from its center the same as the speed of a planet varies with its distance from the sun. The spinning of the galaxy carries the sun and neighboring stars around the galactic center at 483,000 mph or nearly 7 times faster than Earth orbits the sun.

http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2012/03/27/buckle-up-for-the-cosmic-roller-coaster-ride-of-your-life/

 

Sun Rotating - Video  !!!!  ( 3 mins)

 

Live sun motion picture taken between April 9 - 17 2011 by the Ahead telescope of the NASA SOHO project.  - More than 6000 hi-res pictures are combined in this video.

 

Solar rotation is able to vary with latitude because the Sun is composed of a gaseous plasma. The rate of rotation is observed to be fastest at the equator (latitude φ=0 deg), and to decrease as latitude increases.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRyllDgaVlA

 

Rotating Sun from NASA - Video ( 1 mins)

Movie of the Sun rotating with jets of gas coming off. It shows Sun Spots and Sun Flares..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dfKoPsA8KQ

 

How Far Away is the Sun?

The Sun is the key to life on Earth, and yet it’s incredibly far away. How far away is the Sun? On average, the Sun is approximately 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles away from the Earth.

This number is an average, though, because the Earth follows an elliptical path around the Sun. Sometimes it’s closer and other times it’s more distant from the Sun. At the closest point of the Earth’s orbit, called perihelion, the Sun is 147 million km away from Earth. And then at the most distant point of the Earth’s orbit, known as aphelion, the Sun is 152 million km away from Earth.

Astronomers actually use the average distance from the Sun to the Earth as a standard measuring tool for calculating distances in the Solar System. 1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun; approximately 150 million km. So, Mars is 1.5 AU from the Sun, and Pluto is 39.5 AU from the Sun.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Universe: Secrets of the Sun ( 44 mins)

It is a fireball in the sky, a bubbling, boiling, kinetic sphere of white hot plasma, exploding and erupting. Its size is almost unimaginable--one million Earths would fit within its boundaries. In this violence is born almost all the energy that makes existence on Earth possible, yet, its full mysteries are only now beginning to be understood. From Sun spots to solar eclipses, solar flares to solar storms, the birth of the sun to its potential death, discover the science and history behind this celestial object that makes life on Earth exist.

The Universe is an American documentary television series. From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in this popular series THE UNIVERSE. With ground-breaking new discoveries and even more stunning high-definition computer animations, it's a wondrous yet deadly adventure through space and time. Fifty years have flown by since man first ventured into outer space, but the heavens are only now yielding their greatest secrets. Like the recent destructive impact on Jupiter reported to be by a comet or asteroid nearly the size of Earth, new phenomena are being discovered almost daily. Scientists are finding new planets and views into the deepest reaches of space, breaking new ground in understanding the universe and its mysteries. In this new season, viewers are transported to new and mysterious places including ones we didn't even know existed a year ago -- some harboring deadly forces that may forever impact life on Earth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHCLirFRo3M

NOVA: Secrets Of The Sun
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/apr/24/nova-secrets-sun/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA’s  - Mysteries of the Sun pt 1/5 - Space Weather ( mins )

 

Mysteries of the Sun
The new slickly produced 5 part series out of NASA is Top Notch. An impressive script alongside stunning visuals (both NASA animations and space craft photographs/videos) They delve into topics unknown by most, and explain them in a way that can be understood by astronomy fans slightly above layman.

In This Episode: Space Weather
This video describes the direct and dramatic effects that eruptions on the sun can cause at Earth. Earth's magnetic fields change shape and strength in response to an eruption on the sun, and these changes in turn can damage space born technology and disrupt communications traveling through space. They also cause aurora.

  • 2/5  Solar Variability

  • 3/5  Heliosphere

  • 4/5  Magnetosphere

  • 5/5  Ionosphere Troposphere and Mesosphere

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRHc3F4-050

 

 

 

 

 

Sun’s Magnetic Field

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun’s Magnetic Field Solar Storms - Sun Spots – Solar Flares And CMEs – Earth's Magnetosphere 

 

 

Flares are formed when intense magnetic fields from below the sun's surface link up with magnetic fields in the outer Corona in a process called "Magnetic Reconnection". Flares are powered by the sudden release of magnetic energy stored in the sun's Corona. The same energy release may also produce a CME, but not always. And, sometimes CMEs form without Flares. The connection between Flares and CMEs is not well understood.

http://www.outsidethisworld.com/solar_storm_page.html

 

 

Sunspot series


This was the largest sunspot group of this solar cycle as it moved with the Sun’s rotation. On 30 March 2001, the sunspot area within the group (called active region 9393) extended across an area more than 

13 times the diameter of the Earth It yielded numerous flares and coronal mass ejections, including the largest X-ray flare recorded in 25 years on 2 April 2001, the last image in the series. Caused by intense magnetic fields emerging from the interior, a sunspot appears to be dark only when contrasted against

 the rest of the solar surface, because it is slightly cooler than the unmarked regions.

http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/images/spotcollage.html

 

 

 

 

 

Sun’s Rotation in days
 

 

 

 

Sun’s Axis tilt is 7.25 deeg.
 

 

 

Solar Activity

 

 

 

 

The Sun rotates differentially, that is, different parts of the surface of the Sun rotate at different rates; the rotation period ranges from 27 days near its equator to more than 30 days near its poles. This uneven spin winds up the magnetic field lines of the Sun (as shown to the left). This has the same effect as one winds up a rubber band. As the winding becomes tighter, the field (rubber band) is stressed. This stress leads to the formation of Sunspots, prominences, and an active corona. When the field snaps (locally) to release the tension, flares can result. Eventually after ~ 11 years, the stress causes a global relaxation of the field which also leads to a polarity reversal. The winding process then starts over leading to another relaxation after 11 years with another polarity reversal to return to the Sun to its original state. Sunspots vary on the relaxation time scale while the total cycle seems to be twice this relaxation time.

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~imamura/122/lecture-6/solar_activity_cycle.html

 

 

 

 

SOHO - Solar and

Heliospheric Observatory
 

 

 

 

 

Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)  - Boulder, Colorado

 

The SWPC provides forecasting information for solar storms and also monitors events once a storm hits the earth's atmosphere. SWPC scientists incorporate satellite based sensor data, as well as data from optical observatories around the world. SWPC forecasts space weather on time scales of hours to days by analyzing current conditions, comparing current conditions to past conditions, and using forecasting models.

 

Solar Shield is a solar storm forecasting system for the North American power grid developed by NASA and EPRI.(Electric Power Research Institute) to forecast solar storms with enough warning to give utilities time to react. The goal of the project is to develop a forecasting system that can help mitigate damages from GIC currents on high voltage transmission systems. - It warns an hour or so before the storm hits .

 

http://www.outsidethisworld.com/solar_storm_page.html

 

SOHO - Solar and Heliospheric Observatory





Images taken from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

 

Best of SOHO -Gallery

http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/bestofsoho.html

http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/

http://lunaf.com/english/space-weather/soho/

 

 

 

The heliosphere is a bubble of magnetism springing from the sun and inflated to colossal proportions by the solar wind.

 

 

 

Interstellar WInds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heliospheric Current Sheet is a ripple in the heliosphere created by the Sun's rotating magnetic field. Extending throughout the heliosphere, it is considered the largest structure in the Solar System and is said to resemble a "ballerina's skirt".

 

Computer model of the Heliosphere -A computer-generated model of the key components of the inner heliosphere -

the Sun, the corona, the solar wind and

the heliospheric magnetic field -

viewed from approximately 45 degrees

 out of the ecliptic plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heliosphere of our Solar System & The Solar Winds…

The heliosphere is a bubble of charged particles in the space surrounding the Solar System, "blown" into the interstellar medium (the hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy) by the solar wind. Although electrically neutral atoms from interstellar volume can penetrate this bubble, virtually all of the material in the heliosphere emanates from the Sun itself.

For the first ten billion kilometers of its radius, the solar wind travels at over 1,000,000 km/h. As it begins to interact with the interstellar medium, it slows down before finally ceasing altogether. The point where the solar wind begins to slow is called the termination shock; then the solar wind continues to slow as it passes through the heliosheath leading to a boundary where the interstellar medium and solar wind pressures balance called the heliopause. …

Outer structure

The heliosphere's outer structure is determined by the interactions between the solar wind and the winds of interstellar space. The solar wind streams away from the Sun in all directions at speeds of several hundred km/s (about 1,000,000 mph) in the Earth's vicinity. At some distance from the Sun, well beyond the orbit of Neptune, this supersonic wind must slow down to meet the gases in the interstellar medium. This takes place in several stages …

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliosphere

 

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=24681

 

Solar Winds

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/23sep_solarwind/

 

Mysteries of the Sun pt 3/5 – Heliosphere ( 5 mins)

The solar wind streams out from the sun until it collides with material from the rest of space. This entire bubble defined by the solar wind is called the heliosphere and scientists study the very boundaries to better understand our place in space.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v47kXqTwEyc

 

 

 

   

NASA’s These 3D Heliospheric animated models -

Developed by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center based at the Goddard Space Flight Center, show how the CME cloud might appear as it sweeps past Earth. Credit: NASA/CCMC

 

              

 

 

Animation >>>
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News062111-solstice-cme.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oort Cloud: The Outer Solar System's Icy Shell

 

A giant shell of icy bodies known as the Oort Cloud encircles the solar system. When its inhabitants interact with passing stars, molecular clouds, and gravity from the galaxy, they may find themselves spiraling inward toward the sun, or cast completely out of the solar system into distant regions of space.

 

 Although this shell was first proposed in 1950, its extreme distance makes it challenging for scientists to identify objects within it.

 

  


Identifying the Oort Cloud

In 1950, Dutch astronomer Jan Oort suggested that some of the comets entering the solar system come from a cloud of icy bodies that may lie as far as 100,000 times Earth's distance from the sun, a distance of up to 93 trillion miles (150 trillion kilometers).

Two types of comets travel through the solar system. Those with short periods, on the order of a few hundred years, stem from the Kuiper Belt, a pancake of icy particles near the orbit of Pluto. Longer period comets, with orbits of thousands of years, come from the more distant Oort Cloud.

The two regions vary primarily in terms of distance and location. The Kuiper Belt orbits in approximately the same plane as the planets, ranging from 30 to 50 times as far from the Sun as Earth. But the Oort Cloud is a shell that surrounds the entire solar system, and is a hundred times as distant.

Comets from the Oort Cloud can travel as far as three light-years from the sun. The farther they go, the weaker the sun's gravitational hold grows. Passing stars and clouds of molecular gas can easily change the orbit of these comets, stripping them from our star or casting them back toward it. The path of the comets is constantly shifting, depending on what factors influence it.

Oort Cloud inhabitants

The estimated two trillion objects in the Oort Cloud are primarily composed of ices such as ammonia, methane, and water. Formed in the beginning of the solar system, they remain pristine chunks of its early life, allowing comets to provide insight into the environment in which the early Earth evolved. While gravity drew other bits of dust and ice together into larger celestial bodies, the residents of the Oort Cloud weren't as fortunate. Gravity from the other planets—primarily gas giants such as Jupiter—kicked them into the outer solar system, where they remain. [PHOTOS: Spectacular Comet Views from Earth and Space]

The population of the Oort Cloud is in a constant state of flux. Not only are some of its residents permanently booted out of the system through interactions with passing neighbors, the sun may also capture the inhabitants from the shells surrounding other stars. Some of the bodies plunging toward the sun may have been kidnapped early in the sun's evolution, when it was part of a more closely-packed cluster of stars.
 

When the comet Hyakutake passed within 9 million miles (15 million kilometers) of Earth in 1996, it was completing a journey of about 17,000 years from the distant reaches of the Oort Cloud. Hale-Bopp was another long-period comet that traveled in from the Oort Cloud. Visible for nearly a year and a half, it passed within 122 million miles (197 million kilometers) of the Earth. Both of these Oort Cloud objects had their orbits drastically changed as a result of their pass through the solar system. Halley's Comet is also believed to have originally come from the Oort Cloud, although it is now a Kuiper Belt object.


Scientists have identified four other objects that they believe are part of this distant group. The largest of the four, Sedna, thought to be three-quarters the size of Pluto, lies 8 billion miles (13 billion kilometers) from Earth and orbits the sun approximately every 10,500 years. The other three objects are known as 2006 SQ372, 2008 KV42, and 2000 CR105, and range between 30 to 155 miles (50 to 250 km) in size.

 

http://www.space.com/16401-oort-cloud-the-outer-solar-system-s-icy-shell.html

 

Comets and the Oort Cloud

 

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/daves-universe/archive/2013/07/01/comets-and-the-oort-cloud-an-excerpt-from-my-upcoming-book.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planets of the Inner Solar System

 

 

Size comparison of terrestrial planets (left to right): Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars in true-color.

 

 

 

Inner Planets Eccentric Orbits through Time of

DSM - Deep Space Maneuver

 

 

 

 

It only takes 88 days for Mercury to orbit around the Sun;

 

 

Mercury has the most eccentric orbit

in the Solar System

 

Mercury passing in front of Sun

 

Mercury compared to Earth' Size

 

 

 

Mercury

 

Mercury is the smallest and closest planet to the Sun. Mercury has no moons and has no special features other than impact craters and lobed ridges. Mercury’s thin atmosphere consists of particles blasted off by the solar wind from the Sun. It has a large iron core and a thin mantle layer, possibly due to constant impacts which prevent its layers from developing over time.

 

 

Mercury - Orbit and Rotation

It only takes 88 days for Mercury to orbit around the Sun;

The planet with the most eccentric orbit in the Solar System is Mercury. The eccentricity for the planet is 0.21 and its distance from the sun ranges from 46-70 million kilometers. It only takes 88 days for Mercury to orbit around the Sun; a typical year on Mercury would take 88 Earth days. Because of Mercury’s ever changing distance from the sun and its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance the temperature on Mercury’s surface is complex and varied.

A day in Mercury is twice as long as a year in Mercury. One solar day lasts 176 earth days, which is almost twice its orbital period, which means that one year is half a day. The axial tilt of Mercury is 0.027 degrees. This is the smallest axial tilt in the solar system with Jupiter coming in at second.

In some parts of the surface of Mercury, the sun rises halfway then sets again and then rises again. This happens is equivalent to one day in Mercury. The reason for this is that four days before perihelion, the angular orbital velocity of Mercury is equivalent to its angular rotational velocity. The apparent motion of the sun stops. When perihelion occurs the rotational velocity is less than its angular orbital velocity. After four days, the sun’s apparent motion will return back to normal.

It was once believed that only one side of Mercury faced the sun. It wasn’t until 1965 that it was discovered that the planet has a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. It rotates three times every two revolutions; a day on Mercury is equivalent to 58.66 (88×2/3) Earth days. The reason why they thought that only one side of Mercury faced the Sun was a mere coincidence as every time Mercury was observed, the same side is seen by astronomers.
 

 

 

Venus in true-color. The surface is obscured by a thick blanket of clouds.

 

Venus orbits the Sun every

 224.7  Earth days

 

 The Phases of Venus
 

 

 

Venus

 

The second planet is slightly smaller than Earth. It has a dense atmosphere and an iron core. It is the hottest planet with blistering surface temperatures (over 400 degrees Celsius). Venus’ atmosphere is very toxic due to clouds of sulfuric acid. The planet may have had water at one point of time, but these have evaporated over time due to the extreme heat. Volcanic activity have been observed on Venus’ surfaces, though there have been no signs of lava flow.

 

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows. Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun: its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8°. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it has been referred to by ancient cultures as the Morning Star or Evening Star.

Venus is classified as a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" owing to their similar size, gravity, and bulk composition (Venus is both the closest planet to Earth and the planet closest in size to Earth). However, it has been shown to be very different from Earth in other respects. Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth's. With a mean surface temperature of 735 K (462 °C; 863 °F), Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System. It has no carbon cycle to lock carbon back into rocks and surface features, nor does it seem to have any organic life to absorb it in biomass. Venus may have possessed oceans in the past, but these would have vaporized as the temperature rose due to the runaway greenhouse effect. The water has most probably photo-dissociated, and, because of the lack of a planetary magnetic field, the free hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the solar wind. Venus's surface is a dry desert-scape interspersed with slab-like rocks and periodically refreshed by volcanism.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus

 

 

 

 

 

Transit of Venus across the Sun

 

 

Venus Orbit around the Sun

 

 

Venus Transit of the Sun ( 4 mins)

The 2012 Transit of Venus

It won't happen again until December 2117. On June 5th, 2012, Venus will transit the face of the sun in an event of both historical and observational importance. The best places to watch are in the south Pacific, but travel is not required. The event will also be visible around sunset from the USA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWBc1P7ll28

NASA | SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit ( 3 mins)

Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun's atmosphere, magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth's atmospheric chemistry and climate. SDO provides images with resolution 8 times better than high-definition television and returns more than a terabyte of data each day.

On June 5 2012, SDO collected images of the rarest predictable solar event--the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. This event happens in pairs eight years apart that are separated from each other by 105 or 121 years. The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117.

The videos and images displayed here are constructed from several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light and a portion of the visible spectrum. The red colored sun is the 304 angstrom ultraviolet, the golden colored sun is 171 angstrom, the magenta sun is 1700 angstrom, and the orange sun is filtered visible light. 304 and 171 show the atmosphere of the sun, which does not appear in the visible part of the spectrum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9rM8ChTjY

Amazing video: Transit of Venus across the Sun 2012 ( 1 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DXqiQeHjVI
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 How small is Earth really? Will Blow your Mind!! (2 mins)

This video shows earth in comparison to the planets and suns/stars only that we know of, meaning there are even more larger masses out there.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D3ESx07QPY&feature=related

 

http://www.theozonehole.com/magnetic.htm

 

Earth's motion around the Sun, it is not as simple as We think ( 9:28 mins)

 

The Off-Center motion as Planet Earth as it rotates  around the Sun, it's Tilt, and the North Pole Direction to Polaris ....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-DYgGFjI

 

See  "The Earth and Moon" on Separate Page >

 

 

True-color of Mars seen through NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1999

 

Mars' Crater and Thin Atmosphere -

Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos

 

Axial tilt  25.19°

 

Mars North Pole Ice cap

 

Mars South Pole  Ice cap

 

Martian Dust Storm

 

 

 

Mars

 

This is the second largest planet and the fourth from the Sun. Mars has a carbon dioxide atmosphere. It has two moons: Deimos and Phobos. These are said to be captured asteroids. Its reddish color is due to the large amounts of iron-oxide on its surface. Its atmosphere is very thin and its surface is ridden with impact craters, like that of the Moon’s.

 

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.[14] Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These may be captured asteroids,...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars

 

Mars' Grand Canyon and Mars' Landscape

 

 

The global dust storm of 2001 before it started (left) and when it peaked. Photos from the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

       

 

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Planets of the Outer Solar System

 

 

 

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Jupiter with the larger 4 Galilean Moons:

Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto for a total of at least 67 moons...

 

 

 

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

 

Jupiter's Aurora -

Jupiter's northern aurorae, showing the main auroral oval, the polar emissions, and the spots generated by the interaction with Jupiter's natural satellites.

 

 

Jupiter

 

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian or outer planets. The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter.

 

Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium, although helium only comprises about a tenth of the number of molecules. It may also have a rocky core of heavier elements, but like the other gas giants, Jupiter lacks a well-defined solid surface. Because of its rapid rotation, the planet's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it possesses a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. Surrounding Jupiter is a faint planetary ring system and a powerful magnetosphere. There are also at least 67 moons, including the four large moons called the Galilean moons that were first discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede, the largest of these moons, has a diameter greater than that of the planet Mercury.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter

 

Jupiter is the size of 318 Earth masses. It is the largest planet in the Solar System with 2.5 the mass

of all the other planets combined. It is composed of mostly hydrogen and helium. Jupiter has 63 known satellites. Jupiter has a rapid rotation which has caused it bulge slightly around its equator. The  atmosphere of Jupiter creates lots of storms on its surface, the prominent result of which is the Great

Red Spot, which is actually a continuous storm which has endured since the 17th century (when it was first observed by telescope).

 

The biggest planet of our solar system with four moons  -  The gas giant Jupiter is two and a half times as massive as all of the other planets in our solar system combined.

 

The four Galilean moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto were discovered by Galileo Galilei and are named after the lovers of Zeus. The other approx. 60 moons of Jupiter are not shown.

 

 

 

Jupiter's Massive Levy-Shoemaker & 2009 Impacts

 

 

 

 

Jupiter was hit by Asteroid in 2009, not a Comet !!!!
http://www.phenomenica.com/2011/02/jupiter-was-hit-by-asteroid-in-2009-not.html


 

 

 

An impacting comet often 'falls apart' – 'is pulled apart by gravity' is a better description –

 into many pieces shortly before it/they hit(s) the planet. Remember comet 'Shoemaker-Levy'

that hit Jupiter in 1994? These are most of the larger pieces it disintegrated into just before impact.

 

 

The Levy Shoemaker impacts in 1991
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/03/mystery-of-objects-that-caused-jupiters-massive-levy-shoemaker-2009-impacts-impact-solved-1-1.html

Comet Hits Jupiter 1994 - Shoemaker-Levy 9 - BBC Guide ( 6 mins)

Late night short animated guide to the spectacular multiple impacts on Jupiter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXgq3Iq4wOk





 

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25191/ 


http://archaeologica.boardbot.com/viewtopic.php?t=1304&start=240

 

http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/sl9/top20.html

 

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 FAQ

 

 

 

http://www.midnightkite.com/sl9.html

 

 

 

Saturn imaged by the Cassini orbiter

 

Saturn eclipses the Sun, as seen from Cassini.

 

 

 

A  rough comparison of the sizes of

Saturn and Earth. - The average distance between Saturn and the Sun is over 1,400,000,000 km (9 AU).

It takes Saturn 10,759 Earth days

(or about 29½ years), to finish one revolution around the Sun.

 

Saturn Rings - Lord of the Rings 

Saturn Rings - Explained

The rings are made of billions of  chunks of nearly pure water ice,

 

Saturn Rings - A sophisticated rendering

of the icy fragments that compose the

rings of Saturn - painting by Don Dixon.

 

Saturn's rings backlit by the sun, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft

 

Saturn's North Pole Hurricane

 

 

 

Saturn

 

This planet is just beyond Jupiter and is known for its large ring, which actually consists of 9 bands of rings. Saturn is about 60% the volume of Jupiter and has the lowest density of all the planets. It has 62 satellites, including Titan and Enceladus. Saturn’s core consists of iron, nickel, silicon, and oxygen compounds, all surrounded by a thick layer of metallic hydrogen. The planetary magnetic field on Saturn has contributed to an electric current through the metallic hydrogen layer.

 

Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. It is named after the Roman god Saturn, its astronomical symbol (♄) representing the god's sickle. Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth. Whilst only 1/8 the average density of Earth, with its larger volume Saturn is just over 95 times more massive than Earth.

Saturn's interior is probably composed of a core of iron, nickel and rock (silicon and oxygen compounds), surrounded by a deep layer of metallic hydrogen, an intermediate layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and an outer gaseous layer. Electrical current within the metallic hydrogen layer is thought to give rise to Saturn's planetary magnetic field, which is slightly weaker than Earth's and around one-twentieth the strength of Jupiter's. The outer atmosphere is generally bland and lacking in contrast, although long-lived features can appear. Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/h.

Saturn has a ring system that consists of nine continuous main rings and three discontinuous arcs, composed mostly of ice particles with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. Sixty-two known moons orbit the planet; fifty-three are officially named. This does not include the hundreds of "moonlets" within the rings. Titan, Saturn's largest and the Solar System's second largest moon, is larger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in the Solar System to retain a substantial atmosphere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn

 

Saturn Rings - Explained

http://astroian.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/saturns-rings-explained/

 

http://www.black-cat-studios.com/planetparks/Saturns_Rings.html

 

 

Saturn’s Largest's Moons and Orbits

 

 

 

 

 

Mysterious Hurricane at Saturn's North Pole ( 2 mins)

 

Narrated video about a hurricane-like storm seen at Saturn's north pole by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HesYzfjQZ5U

 

 Uranus has 27 known moons and

has a "Side Axial Tilt"

 

 

 

Uranus

 

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both are of different chemical composition than the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. Astronomers sometimes place them in a separate category called "ice giants". Uranus's atmosphere, while similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, contains more "ices" such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of hydrocarbons. It is the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C). It has a complex, layered cloud structure, with water thought to make up the lowest clouds, and methane thought to make up the uppermost layer of clouds.

 In contrast, the interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.

Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere, and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration among the planets because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its revolution about the Sun. Its north and south poles therefore lie

where most other planets have their equators. In 1986, images from Voyager 2 showed Uranus as a virtually featureless planet in visible light without the cloud bands or storms associated with the other giants. Terrestrial observers have seen signs of seasonal change and increased weather activity in

 recent years as Uranus approached its equinox. The wind speeds on Uranus can reach 250 meters

 per second (900 km/h, 560 mph).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranus 

 

Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 Earth years. Its average distance from the Sun is roughly 3 billion km

 

Uranus is unique in that it orbits the sun on its side because of its axial tilt. Uranus has 27 known moons, including Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel, and Miranda. While Uranus is similar to Jupiter and Saturn in that its atmosphere contains hydrogen and helium, it also contains copious amounts of iced water, ammonia, and methane. Furthermore, it has the coldest atmosphere in the Solar System at -224 deg C. Uranus and Neptune are also termed “ice giants.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neptune

 

Neptune is smaller than Uranus but is denser. Neptune has 13 known satellites, including Triton. Neptune’s surface gravity is only surpassed by Jupiter, and the two are the only planets with surface gravities greater than Earth’s. Neptune contains iced compounds like those of Saturn’s as well as greater concentrations of volatile elements found on Jupiter and Saturn.

 

 

 

 

The planet Pluto has four known satellites:

 

 

Dwarf Planets

 

Pluto - It is now considered a Dwarf Planet

 

Pluto used to be considered a planet in the sense that the Mercury or Jupiter is. However, it is now considered a dwarf planet because it lacks characteristics that define the planets in the Solar System.

 

Pluto is a small planet (slightly smaller than the Moon), the second in size in the Solar System (after Eris). It also is a member of the group of objects orbiting in a region beyond the orbit of Neptune called the Kuiper Belt.


According to the researchers, the planet is composed mostly of methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxide (at the surface). Also, on its surface sit eems that rock and ice are the main elements. Overall, Pluto is the farthest planet from the Sun in the solar system (although in some ways it’s closer to the Sun than Neptune). Pluto measures about two thirds of the size of the moon.
 

it was decided that Pluto should not be called planet, but small planet or plutoid, like Eris. This was decided because the space around Pluto’s path around the Sun is not cleared by other objects, and this was required for a celestial body to be called planet. Along the orbit of Pluto there are plenty of other asteroids.

http://whatafy.com/pluto-not-a-planet-but-just-as-fascinating.html

 

Pluto’s Satellite System

 

The planet has four known satellites:  Hydra, Nix, S/2011 P1 and Charon.

 

 

 

 

 

( All of Above + more Info)

http://planetfacts.org/the-solar-system/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Asteroid Belt  -  Kuiper Belt  -  Oort Coud

 

 

 

 

 

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The Asteroid Belt - Orbits between Mars and Jupiter

 

 

 

The asteroid belt lies between the planets Mars and Jupiter. It contains lumps of rock and metal much smaller than planets. These lumps are called asteroids or minor planets. They are not visible from Earth with the naked eye, but many may be seen through binoculars or small telescopes.

The largest asteroid in the solar system is 2001 KX76. In the asteroid belt, the largest body is a dwarf planet called Ceres, which is 933 kilometers across. The next largest, which is called Vesta, is 530 kilometers across.

Some asteroids are less than a kilometer across. Unofficially the limit has been set at 50 meters, and anything smaller than that is going to be simply called a meteoroid. With advances in telescopes and particularly for objects that travel close to the Earth, some objects smaller than 50 metres have indeed been seen passing nearby the Earth.

There are probably several million asteroids in the solar system. Over 96,000 asteroids have been given numbers. Almost 12,000 of them have names. But even though there are a lot of asteroids, the asteroid belt is mostly empty space. Traveling through the asteroid belt in a space ship would not be very much like what you see in a science fiction film.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt

 

 

LINK To Our Asteroid Belt Page:

The Asteroid Belt & Asteroids – Comets – Meteorites - Meteor Craters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuiper Belt - Between Neptune and Pluto

 

The Kuiper Belt

 

Kuiper Belt (pronounced KY-per), a collection of frozen objects extending from just beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune to well beyond the orbit of the planet Pluto. The larger members of the belt are called Kuiper Belt Objects, or KBOs. Smaller members of the Kuiper Belt are usually referred to as comets. The orbits of these objects show that the belt is actually disk-shaped.

The existence of the Kuiper Belt was first predicted during the mid-20th century, most notably by Dutch American astronomer Gerard Kuiper. Kuiper and other astronomers expected that a debris belt, similar to the asteroid belt of rocky material that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter but composed of icy material, might lie beyond Neptune. The first searches for the Kuiper Belt, however, were unsuccessful. Astronomers now know the early searches failed because the photographic technology in use at the time was not sensitive enough to find KBOs. By the late 1980s, astronomers had access to a kind of electronic camera called a charge-coupled device (CCD). CCDs are much more sensitive than traditional photography, allowing them to detect fainter objects. In 1992 astronomers Jane Luu and David Jewitt found the first Kuiper Belt Object. This KBO, designated 1992QB1, is more than 1,000 times fainter than the planet Pluto.

Over 500 Kuiper Belt Objects had been found by 2002. Astronomers estimate that over 100,000 KBOs larger than 50 km (30 mi) in diameter may exist. The Kuiper Belt therefore likely contains a greater collection of objects than the asteroid belt. Including the billions of comets that are believed to orbit in the Kuiper Belt, it is estimated that the belt's total mass is about one-tenth the mass of Earth.

 

http://www.tebyan.net/newindex.aspx?pid=31159&BookID=23358&Language=3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oort Cloud: The Outer Solar System's Icy Shell

 

A giant shell of icy bodies known as the Oort Cloud encircles the solar system. When its inhabitants interact with passing stars, molecular clouds, and gravity from the galaxy, they may find themselves spiraling inward toward the sun, or cast completely out of the solar system into distant regions of space.

 

 Although this shell was first proposed in 1950, its extreme distance makes it challenging for scientists to identify objects within it.

 

  


Identifying the Oort Cloud

In 1950, Dutch astronomer Jan Oort suggested that some of the comets entering the solar system come from a cloud of icy bodies that may lie as far as 100,000 times Earth's distance from the sun, a distance of up to 93 trillion miles (150 trillion kilometers).

Two types of comets travel through the solar system. Those with short periods, on the order of a few hundred years, stem from the Kuiper Belt, a pancake of icy particles near the orbit of Pluto. Longer period comets, with orbits of thousands of years, come from the more distant Oort Cloud.

The two regions vary primarily in terms of distance and location. The Kuiper Belt orbits in approximately the same plane as the planets, ranging from 30 to 50 times as far from the Sun as Earth. But the Oort Cloud is a shell that surrounds the entire solar system, and is a hundred times as distant.

Comets from the Oort Cloud can travel as far as three light-years from the sun. The farther they go, the weaker the sun's gravitational hold grows. Passing stars and clouds of molecular gas can easily change the orbit of these comets, stripping them from our star or casting them back toward it. The path of the comets is constantly shifting, depending on what factors influence it.

 

 

Oort Cloud inhabitants

The estimated two trillion objects in the Oort Cloud are primarily composed of ices such as ammonia, methane, and water. Formed in the beginning of the solar system, they remain pristine chunks of its early life, allowing comets to provide insight into the environment in which the early Earth evolved. While gravity drew other bits of dust and ice together into larger celestial bodies, the residents of the Oort Cloud weren't as fortunate. Gravity from the other planets—primarily gas giants such as Jupiter—kicked them into the outer solar system, where they remain. [PHOTOS: Spectacular Comet Views from Earth and Space]

The population of the Oort Cloud is in a constant state of flux. Not only are some of its residents permanently booted out of the system through interactions with passing neighbors, the sun may also capture the inhabitants from the shells surrounding other stars. Some of the bodies plunging toward the sun may have been kidnapped early in the sun's evolution, when it was part of a more closely-packed cluster of stars.
 

When the comet Hyakutake passed within 9 million miles (15 million kilometers) of Earth in 1996, it was completing a journey of about 17,000 years from the distant reaches of the Oort Cloud. Hale-Bopp was another long-period comet that traveled in from the Oort Cloud. Visible for nearly a year and a half, it passed within 122 million miles (197 million kilometers) of the Earth. Both of these Oort Cloud objects had their orbits drastically changed as a result of their pass through the solar system. Halley's Comet is also believed to have originally come from the Oort Cloud, although it is now a Kuiper Belt object.


Scientists have identified four other objects that they believe are part of this distant group. The largest of the four, Sedna, thought to be three-quarters the size of Pluto, lies 8 billion miles (13 billion kilometers) from Earth and orbits the sun approximately every 10,500 years. The other three objects are known as 2006 SQ372, 2008 KV42, and 2000 CR105, and range between 30 to 155 miles (50 to 250 km) in size.

 

http://www.space.com/16401-oort-cloud-the-outer-solar-system-s-icy-shell.html

 

 

  

 

Comets and the Oort Cloud

 

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/daves-universe/archive/2013/07/01/comets-and-the-oort-cloud-an-excerpt-from-my-upcoming-book.aspx

 

       

 

 

 

Misc.

 

 

 

 

 

Exo-Planets

 

Stargazers spot first-ever planet forming in dusty disc - A Proto Planet

Gas giant growing by accretion

 

An international team of astronomers has spotted what appears to be the first sighting of a planet being born from stellar debris, possibly confirming theories about the origins of the Solar System.

 

The proto-planet is forming from a huge disc of dust and space debris orbiting the young star HD 100546, which is 355 light years from Earth. The star is already thought to have one gas giant in its orbit and the new planet is much further out in its planetary system, according to data from the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT).

Current theories of planetary formation postulate that after stars form they leave a huge disc of matter orbiting around them. This then coalesces into planets – rocky and gaseous – which begin to orbit their home star.

"So far, planet formation has mostly been a topic tackled by computer simulations," said ESO team leader Sascha Quanz. "If our discovery is indeed a forming planet, then for the first time scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and the interaction of a forming planet and its natal environment empirically at a very early stage."
 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/28/first_planet_forming_spotted/
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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