Articles about solar system

alien

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

Astronomers have spotted an object that they believe came from another star system. The 400-metre-wide object – dubbed A/2017 U1 – was first spotted on October 19 after it slingshotted around the Sun. Analysis of its trajectory suggests it passed beneath Earth's orbit by about 24 million kilometers on October 14. Whatever it …
Iain Thomson, 27 Oct 2017
Saturn

Supercomputers crack Saturn's ice-cold ring

Supercomputing boffins may have solved the mystery of how it came to be that Saturn's rings are so bright in the night sky. The planet's rings are largely made of ice, making them so visible that Galileo first spotted them using a primitive telescope in the early 1600s. Meanwhile, similar ring systems around Uranus and Neptune …
Iain Thomson, 2 Nov 2016

Planet 9 a captured alien, astroboffins suggest

Astroboffins have boldly suggested that the hypothetical trans-Neptunian Planet 9 is in fact an exoplanet captured by our young Sun from another star. That's according to astronomers from Sweden's Lund University and the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, who questioned the plausibility of a planet some ten times the …
Lester Haines, 1 Jun 2016

Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

Astronomers have used observations from the Kepler space telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory to determine that the trans-Neptunian object "2007 OR10" is bigger than previously thought, and now ranks third in the solar system's dwarf planet size league table, behind Pluto and Eris. The distant body was first spied back …
Lester Haines, 12 May 2016
Ninth planet from the Sun

Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Pic Scientists at CalTech claim to have found proof that there is a ninth planet in the solar system, using computer modeling and historical astronomy data. The new planet has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and has a very eccentric path around our Sun, making one complete orbit every 10,000 or 20,000 years and travelling 200 …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jan 2016
Artist's impression of Dawn flying past the dwarf-planet Ceres

NASA probe snaps increasingly detailed shots of MOIST DWARF goddess

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has transmitted a series of images of the dwarf planet Ceres - part of its first ever mission to the biggest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. New images of Ceres from the Dawn vehicle Dawn will transmit increasingly sharp images of Ceres - named for the Roman goddess of agriculture …
Kat Hall, 21 Jan 2015
Unknown planets could exist beyond Pluto

OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Astroboffins believe at least two hidden planets may exist in our solar system – far beyond Pluto. If the claim from scientists at the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge is confirmed, the "results may be truly revolutionary for astronomy," said Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, who co-authored the study …
Team Register, 18 Jan 2015
Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Northern stargazers in low-light environments should be able to pick up a greenish-looking space rock in the night's sky – as Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) makes its closest approach to Earth in living memory. Comet Lovejoy expelling carbon So long, won't see you later Lovejoy, named after the Australian amateur astronomer …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jan 2015

Vid: Reg lecture launches readers from Clerkenwell to outer space

Reg Lectures If you’re at all concerned that the UK is falling behind in the race to space, Dr Geraint Jones’ Reg Christmas Lecture should put your mind at ease. A couple of dozen Reg readers bravely ascended the stairs to the upstairs room at the Craft Beer Company in Clerkenwell on December 9. Once there, a team of highly trained Reg …
Joe Fay, 24 Dec 2014
A NASA artist's impression of a miniature solar system

Aged star could give us clues to HOT TEEN's behaviour

A distant star could tell us exactly what our Sun was like as a teenager, as astronomers say that it could be like “looking back in time”. Rings of a distant star Kicking up dust The star, given the catchy name HD 107146, has whole a load of dust from Pluto-sized objects swarming around it. Scientists are studying the star …
Lindsay Dodgson, 12 Dec 2014

That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

Scientists believe that a "significant fraction" of water molecules found on this planet are older than Earth, the solar system and even the Sun. According to new research led by astro boffin Ilse Cleeves at the University of Michigan, a "significant fraction" of the big drink was created more than 4.5 billion years ago. The …
Team Register, 27 Sep 2014
isee3

It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

An international team of space geeks has successfully fired up the engines of long-defunct NASA satellite ISEE-3. Now the gang says it'll try to kick the bird into an Earth orbit that will enable it to carry on performing the mission it was launched for 36 years ago. ISEE-3 team celebrates Team celebrates the rocket's red …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jul 2014
Voyager 1 Explores the 'Magnetic Highway'

Voyager 1 'close' to breaking through to DEEP SPACE - boffins

Boffins still aren’t sure just when the deep-space Voyager probe will cross the line into interstellar space, but new data from the spacecraft makes them believe it’s close. Voyager 1 Explores the 'Magnetic Highway' Voyager 1, which is now more than 18 billion kilometres from the sun, has now experienced two out of the three …
The Register breaking news

Exotic proto-mineral 'panguite' from before the planets found in meteor

Boffins have discovered a primitive mineral in an ancient meteorite that pre-dates the formation of planets. The Allende meteorite's fireball tore through the atmosphere over Mexico in 1969, exploding thousands of pieces of itself across the state of Chihuahua, but it's just recently that Caltech scientists found a new mineral …
The Register breaking news

Sky boffins: The Moon is not Earth's only natural satellite

The Moon is not alone in its role as the Earth's natural satellite, although its companions are tiny fellows who usually don't stay long. "At any given time there is at least one one-meter-diameter object orbiting the Earth," three astronomers write in the abstract of their article, "The population of natural Earth satellites …
Rik Myslewski, 27 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

NASA: Solar system may have alien origin

The latest data from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) probe has found a curious disparity in the distribution of some of the key elements of our solar system, notably why there is so much oxygen in it. IBEX, launched in 2008 to study the composition of interstellar space, has been gathering data on the amount of …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Secrets of the asteroid belt: Vesta actually more like a planet

New images of the asteroid Vesta captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft indicate it’s more like a planet than a dead rock. Different rocks and minerals on the surface of Vesta Different rocks and minerals on the surface of Vesta. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA Vesta is a unique asteroid because of the wide variety …
The Register breaking news

New NASA site offers solar system and time travel

NASA is making many a child's dream come true by letting the public take a trip through the solar system – and you don't even have to leave your living room. Eyes on the Solar System NASA's new site: Eyes on the Solar System. The space administration is putting actual mission data on an interactive website, Eyes on the Solar …

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