#Solar System


A Vast “Magnetic Tunnel” May Surround Earth and Our Entire Solar System

A University of Toronto astronomer’s research suggests the solar system is surrounded by a magnetic tunnel that can be seen in radio waves. Jennifer West, a research associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, is making a scientific case that two bright structures seen on opposite sides of the sky – previously considered to be separate – are actually connected and are made of rope-like filaments. The connection forms what looks like a tunnel around our solar system.

Astronomers catch a preview of the Sun's grisly demise

Scientists have long known the fate of our Solar System — and likely the fate of Earth itself. In a few billion years, the Sun will run out of fusion fuel and expand to a “red giant” phase, likely swallowing everything in the solar system up to the orbit of Mars. But, some of the planets past that point could survive, like Jupiter and Saturn. Now, scientists have used the Keck Observatory to see a system that looks like what ours will after the Sun’s red giant phase for the very first time.

The curious incident of the star that wasn’t there

Climate change aside, Earth’s long-term future is bleak. When the Sun uses up the hydrogen fuel in its core, fusion will grind to a halt, the core will contract and the star’s outer layers will expand past the orbit of Mercury. Earth will likely be engulfed by the evolving red giant in about 8 billion years as the Sun eventually becomes a white dwarf.
The Mountaineer

Readers’ delight — new books arrive at library

Check out the new books available at the Haywood County Public Library. ”The House of Ashes” by Stuart Neville — For fans of Gillian Flynn and Tana French, a chilling story of a Northern Irish murder sixty years buried. ”The Lost Notebook of Edouard Manet” by Maureen Gibbon — Set...

The Sky this Week: Neptune

-Far out in the unfathomable reaches of our Solar System lies the last planet: Neptune. Neptune was first noted by Galileo back in 1612, but he did not realize it was a planet. Due to an incredibly unfortunate circumstance he viewed the planet when it was moving “retrograde” or backwards in the sky relative to the stars around it, making it very difficult to determine as a planet. He never observed it again.
Universe Today

The Early Solar System Had a Gap Where the Asteroid Belt is Today

Wind the cosmic clock back a few billion years and our Solar System looked much different than it does today. About 4.5 billion years ago, the young Sun shone much like it does now, though it was a little smaller. Instead of being surrounded by planets, it was ensconced in a swirling disk of gas and dust. That disk is called a protoplanetary disk and it’s where the planets eventually formed.

Report: The Lucy spacecraft is facing a crisis with its solar...

NASA continues to investigate the error in the Lucy Solar System, despite confirming that its spacecraft launched last week to visit Trojan asteroids is of high quality and is on the right track. Lucy launched on October 16th successfully without any problems, but hours after liftoff, there was a problem...

Scientists Need Your Help in Identifying New Exoplanets Out in Space

If you've always wanted to discover a planet for your very own, now's your chance. Researchers are calling on the public for help in identifying exoplanets – planets orbiting stars outside of our own Solar System. The Planet Hunters Next-Generation Transit Search (NGTS), run by an international group of astronomers, has five years' worth of digital footage that needs sifting through. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spot stars that briefly dim, perhaps suggesting a planet is passing in front of them. That's known as a transit by the experts, but you don't need any experience to get...