Space News #6

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There has been so much in the news regarding space that I have been challenged to keep up with it. These are some of the more recent items that I thought were interesting.

Planet 9

This is a new planet that astronomers have been predicting. It is believed that the orbit is 10 times farther from the Sun than Pluto. There is still not solid proof, but the evidence is mounting in the favor of a new planet. The indicators are that it may well be an exoplanet that was captured by our sun from another star millions of years ago.  Read more here, here and here.

SpaceX Turns to Unusual Designer

We all know that astronauts must have space suits. SpaceX turned to an unusual source of their yet to be revealed design, Jose Fernandez and Ironhead Studio. Fernandez has been the one who has created the ‘superhero’ outfits seen in recent movies. The new space suit is said to be ‘stylish’ and ‘heroic’, though we will apparently have to wait until 2017 to see it for ourselves.

Of Course Aliens Exist!

In “A leading physicist says it’s ‘childish’ to think there are no aliens” the arguments of Carlo Rovelli as to why aliens are out there are detailed. In short the universe is so large, with so many stars, it is impractical to think that intelligent life only developed on Earth.

More Exoplanets

In May of 2016, NASA announced that it has discovered another 1284 planets using Kepler. This brings the total exoplanet count to 2325. Not all in the habitable zone, but there are candidates that could support life. These and as yet confirmed exoplanets will form the target for future searches for life as we know it. Read “NASA just discovered 1,284 new planets — here’s how many could potentially support life” for more details.

Human Exploration Limited

In “Even with sci-fi tech, it may be impossible to explore the known universe” the limits of what humans may be able to practically explore of our universe  is suggested. Due to the constant expansion of the universe, we probably will never – even if we discover ‘Warp’ drive – be able to get to many of the other galaxies that we can see. We may be limited to exploring the Milky Way, Andromeda and 50 dwarf galaxies. Yet with that limitation, there will be billions of stars within our reach.

‘Snow White’ Third Largest Dwarf

I am not talking Disney here, but planets. The 955 mile diameter 2007 ORIO has been declared the third largest dwarf planet in the Solar System by NASA. Snow White is not the official name, but stems from the surface ice. The orbit is slow at 548 years and the small planet has 45 hour long days.

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