Posts Tagged ‘solar system’

Leaders posing as controllers of the weather demand impossible to achieve and damaging energy policies. Is this (cartoon) where net zero is taking us? Ignoring the sun won’t work.
– – –
According to the clerics of the Green Cult, once we blow up our last coal mine, send all diesel engines to the wreckers, stop using concrete, reinvent sailing clippers, cover the grasslands and hills with solar clutter and wind machines, and then slaughter all of our cattle… global climate will become serene – not too warm, not too cold, writes Viv Forbes (via Climate Change Dispatch).

Wild weather will cease, and there will be no more droughts, floods, cyclones, or snowstorms and no more plant and animal extinctions.

But the records written in the rocks tell a far different story about climate changes. Even when nature was in full control, it was not a serene place.


The lead researcher spoke of “a new and natural explanation for the unbiased observation, that the L4 asteroids are about 1.6 times more than the asteroids in the L5 swarm.” In other words, a ratio of 8:5. In 2018 another team, studying Jupiter’s poles, ‘found an octagon-shaped grouping over the north pole, with eight cyclones surrounding one in the middle, and a pentagon-shaped batch over the south pole. Each cyclone measures several thousand miles (kilometers) across.’ Again, a ratio of 8:5.
– – –
An international team of scientists, including NYU Abu Dhabi researcher Nikolaos Georgakarakos and others from the U.S., Japan, and China, led by Jian Li from Nanjing University, has developed new insights that may explain the numerical asymmetry of the L4 and L5 Jupiter Trojan swarms, two clusters containing more than 10,000 asteroids that move along Jupiter’s orbital path around the sun.

For decades, scientists have known that there are significantly more asteroids in the L4 swarm than the L5 swarm, but have not fully understood the reason for this asymmetry, says

In the current configuration of the solar system, the two swarms show almost identical dynamical stability and survivability properties, which has led scientists to believe that the differences came about during earlier times of our solar system’s life.


Jupiter [image credit: NASA]

Unexpected patterns and teleconnections. Some new light is shed on the workings of the solar system’s largest planetary atmosphere.
– – –
Scientists have completed the longest-ever study tracking temperatures in Jupiter’s upper troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere where the giant planet’s weather occurs and where its signature colorful striped clouds form, says Subaru Telescope.

The work, conducted over four decades by stitching together data from NASA spacecraft and ground-based telescope observations, found unexpected patterns in how temperatures of Jupiter’s belts and zones change over time.

The study is a major step toward a better understanding of what drives weather at our solar system’s largest planet and eventually being able to forecast it.

Jupiter’s troposphere has a lot in common with Earth’s: It’s where clouds form and storms churn. To understand this weather activity, scientists need to study certain properties, including wind, pressure, humidity, and temperature.


Solar system cartoon [NASA]

The theorised Oort Cloud in the outer solar system seems not to consist entirely of what was theorised to be there. This is described by one researcher as ‘a complete game changer’.
– – –
Researchers from Western have shown that a fireball that originated at the edge of the solar system was likely made of rock, not ice, challenging long-held beliefs about how the solar system was formed, says

Just at the edge of our solar system and halfway to the nearest stars is a collection of icy objects sailing through space, known as the Oort Cloud.

Passing stars sometimes nudge these icy travelers towards the sun, and we see them as comets with long tails.

Scientists have yet to observe any objects in the Oort Cloud directly, but everything detected so far coming from its direction has been made of ice.


Jupiter [image credit: NASA]

Even less feasible than permanently changing Earth’s climate with tiny amounts of trace gases, but theorists have ideas to test.
– – –
We have exactly one world, in all the Universe, that we know for a fact to be hospitable to life: ours, says Science Alert.

So when we’re looking for habitable planets in other planetary systems, beyond our own corner of the galaxy, we often use Earth as the perfect template.

But a new study has revealed Earth isn’t as habitable as it could be. In fact, it could be even more livable, if Jupiter’s orbit shifted slightly.



Something similar was also detected on Mars a few years ago. One researcher commented: “The sudden intensification of a ring current causes the main phase of a magnetic storm.” Coronal mass ejections from the sun were identified as a cause.
– – –
An international team of scientists has proved that Mercury, our solar system’s smallest planet, has geomagnetic storms similar to those on Earth, says Science Daily.

Their finding, a first, answers the question of whether other planets, including those outside our solar system, can have geomagnetic storms regardless of the size of their magnetosphere or whether they have an Earth-like ionosphere.

The research by scientists in the United States, Canada and China includes work by Hui Zhang, a space physics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Their finding, a first, answers the question of whether other planets, including those outside our solar system, can have geomagnetic storms regardless of the size of their magnetosphere or whether they have an Earth-like ionosphere.


Mars [image credit: ESA]

Wikipedia says: ‘Within the Solar System there are five candidates for Schumann resonance detection besides the Earth: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s biggest moon Titan.’ The frequencies reported from Mars in 2009 are also found on Earth.
– – –
The interaction of dust particles in Martian dust storms may cause electric fields that are powerful enough to have charges that induce standing electromagnetic waves known as Sсhumann resonances, reports

This is the conclusion drawn by physicists from HSE University, the Space Research Institute, and MIPT. The paper was published in the journal Icarus.

Mars has been a focus of active study over the last decade, with researchers looking at possible space missions to the planet. Knowledge about the Martian atmosphere increases the chances that such missions will be successful.

In particular, the behavior of dust particles and the plasma-dust system on the surface of Mars should be taken into account in planning space trips.


But what kind of volcanoes? One researcher has a theory.

Oct. 14, 2021: So you think you know what a comet is? Think again. Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is challenging old ideas. Astronomers call it a comet, but, really, “giant space volcano” might be a better description. It’s a 60-km-wide ball of ice orbiting the Sun beyond Jupiter, and it appears to be one of the most volcanically active bodies in the entire Solar System.

Comet 29P just blew its top … again. In late September 2021, 29P erupted 4 times in quick succession, blowing shells of “cryomagma” into space. Arizona amateur astronomer Eliot Herman has been monitoring the debris:

“Initially it looked like a bright compact object,” says Herman. “Now the expanding cloud is 1.3 arcminutes wide (bigger than Jupiter) and sufficiently transparent for background stars to shine through.”

When this object was discovered in 1927, astronomers thought they had found a fairly run-of-the-mill comet, unusual mainly because it was trapped…

View original post 434 more words

Credit: Institute of Physics

This looks like progress, although more research will be needed to try to better understand how the relevant effects work in practice.
– – –
A new study published in Nature Scientific Reports by researchers at the Danish National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggests that the Sun’s activity in screening cosmic rays affects clouds and, ultimately, the Earth’s energy budget with concomitant climatic effects, says David Whitehouse @ NetZeroWatch.

This research, by Henrik Svensmark, Jacob Svensmark, Martin Bødker Enghoff, and Nir Shaviv supports 25 years of discoveries that point to a significant role for cosmic rays in climate change.


Huge Comet Discovery

Posted: June 25, 2021 by oldbrew in Astronomy, News, solar system dynamics


It’s really big, but its vast orbit won’t bring it past Earth.

June 23, 2021: Astronomers have just discovered a comet so big, it might actually be a minor planet. The object is named 2014 UN271. Astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein found it in archival images from the Dark Energy Survey. It appears to be about 100 km wide, 2 or 3 times bigger than record-breaking Comet Hale-Bopp of the 1990s.

Above: A discovery image and orbit of huge Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein

Now for the bad news. Although 2014 UN271 is falling toward the sun, we may never see it with our naked eyes. At closest approach in early 2031, the behemoth comet will be just outside the orbit of Saturn, too far for naked-eye viewing. Some astronomers are estimating a maximum brightness near magnitude +17, about the same as Pluto’s moon Charon.

It’s still an amazing discovery. 2014 UN271 has an extremely elongated orbit stretching from ~the neighborhood of…

View original post 200 more words

Some carbonaceous chondrites from earlier finds [image credit: NASA]

This rare type of meteorite (less than 5% of all known falls) was also collected by the Japanese Hayabusa space probe from an asteroid in 2010, but these UK samples arrived free of charge. The linked report includes an interview with the ‘wobbly legs’ researcher who collected it.
– – –
Several rocky fragments have been recovered from the fireball that lit up the sky above southern England just over a week ago, reports BBC News.

They came down in the Winchcombe area of Gloucestershire.

A householder first alerted experts after noticing a pile of charred stone on his driveway. Other members of the public have since come forward with their own finds.

It’s 30 years since meteorite material was last retrieved in the UK.


Clouds on Mars [image credit: NASA]

Regarding the Earth’s equivalent Chandler wobble, Wikipedia says: ‘Since the Chandler wobble should die down in a matter of decades or centuries, there must be influences that continually re-excite it.’ Presumably the same will apply to Mars, but as relevant observations are all fairly recent no conclusion can be reached at present.
– – –
Spacecraft find that Mars oscillates 10 centimeters off its axis of rotation, says Eos.

In a first for a solar system body other than Earth, scientists have detected the Chandler wobble on Mars, a repeated movement of the poles on the surface of the planet away from its average axis of rotation.

The Chandler wobble arises when a rotating body isn’t a perfect sphere. This imbalance affects its spin.

The result is a wiggle resembling that of a swaying top as it loses speed, rather than the smooth spin of a perfectly balanced globe.



Greetings Earthlings, or should we say ‘habitable-zone-dwelling asteroid dodgers’? We even have the right amount of atmosphere — not too little (like Mars) or too much (like Venus), and the essential oxygen.
– – –
Pure chance is the reason that Planet Earth has stayed habitable for billions of years.

A new study has found that it’s nothing more than good luck that has kept our world full of life, reports I-news.

Scientists at the University of Southampton have carried out a mass simulation of climate evolution of 100,000 randomly generated planets.

Each planet was simulated 100 times with random climate-altering events occurring each time in order to see if habitable life could be sustained for three billion years like on Earth.


Model dinosaur

The lead author of the study puts the blame on “the largest cataclysmic impacts and massive volcanism, perhaps sometimes working in concert.” The study says: ‘The correlations and similar cycles in marine and non-marine extinction episodes suggest a common cause’. Note: this is a follow-up to a 2015 study with the same lead author, also featured at the Talkshop.
– – –
Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals—including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology.

The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava called flood-basalt eruptions—providing potential causes for why the extinctions occurred, reports

“It seems that large-body impacts and the pulses of internal Earth activity that create flood-basalt volcanism may be marching to the same 27-million-year drumbeat as the extinctions, perhaps paced by our orbit in the Galaxy,” said Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and the study’s lead author.


Cyclones in Jupiter’s atmosphere [image credit: NASA]

At the south pole of Jupiter lurks a striking sight—even for a gas giant planet covered in colorful bands that sports a red spot larger than the Earth, says

Down near the south pole of the planet, mostly hidden from the prying eyes of humans, is a collection of swirling storms arranged in an unusually geometric pattern.

Since they were first spotted by NASA’s Juno space probe in 2019, the storms have presented something of a mystery to scientists.

The storms are analogous to hurricanes on Earth. However, on our planet, hurricanes do not gather themselves at the poles and twirl around each other in the shape of a pentagon or hexagon, as do Jupiter’s curious storms.


Scientists report electric fields naturally occurring in the comet’s atmosphere in connection with its auroras. NASA calls them electromagnetic emissions.

Sept. 22, 2020: Imagine putting your thumb on a garden hose and sending a jet of water into the sky. At the apex of the stream, auroras form. It turns out, some comets can actually perform this trick.

In a paper published this week in Nature Astronomy, researchers described how comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko turns vaporous jets of water into auroras.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft observed the weird lights while it was orbiting Comet 67P in 2014-2016. At first researchers misunderstood what the glow was. It couldn’t be an aurora, could it? For one thing, the comet doesn’t even have a magnetic field–a key ingredient of geomagnetic storms. Also, the lights of Comet 67P are invisible to the human eye. They shine at far ultraviolet wavelengths, unlike the familiar red and green curtains that dance around Earth’s poles.

“Nevertheless, they are auroras,” says Marina Galand of Imperial College London…

View original post 267 more words

Sunspots [image credit: NASA]

But it should be a lot shorter than the famous Maunder Minimum, if the prediction in this editorial works out. There’s also a new paper, introduced here by the GWPF, which concludes:
“The fundamental oscillations of solar irradiance, in turn, may be linked to the oscillations of the baseline terrestrial temperature, independent of any terrestrial processes of radiative transfer and heating.”

– – –
In this editorial I will demonstrate with newly discovered solar activity proxy-magnetic field that the Sun has entered into the modern Grand Solar Minimum (2020–2053) that will lead to a significant reduction of solar magnetic field and activity like during Maunder minimum leading to noticeable reduction of terrestrial temperature.

Sun is the main source of energy for all planets of the solar system. This energy is delivered to Earth in a form of solar radiation in different wavelengths, called total solar irradiance.

Variations of solar irradiance lead to heating of upper planetary atmosphere and complex processes of solar energy transport toward a planetary surface.

The signs of solar activity are seen in cyclic 11-year variations of a number of sunspots on the solar surface using averaged monthly sunspot numbers as a proxy of solar activity for the past 150 years.

Solar cycles were described by the action of solar dynamo mechanism in the solar interior generating magnetic ropes at the bottom of solar convective zone.

These magnetic ropes travel through the solar interior appearing on the solar surface, or photosphere, as sunspots indicating the footpoints where these magnetic ropes are embedded into the photosphere.

Continued here.
– – –
Appendix 1: S-E distances from the ephemeris

Appendix 2: Solar irradiance variations based on the distance changes

Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit:]

The idea being proposed is described as a reverse piezo-electrical effect.
– – –
Ground-shaking earthquakes occur all across the globe. And according to a new study, many of them might be triggered by the Sun, says

Through decades of research, scientists have learned that large, powerful earthquakes commonly occur in groups, not in random patterns. But exactly why has so far remained a mystery.

Now, new research, published July 13 in Scientific Reviews, asserts the first strong — though still disputed — evidence that powerful eruptions on the Sun can trigger mass earthquake events on Earth.


Credit: NASA

Could there even be more than one black hole? The search for a significant extra planet has drawn a blank so far.
– – –
A coming sky survey will help test a wild idea — that a grapefruit-sized black hole lurks undiscovered in the outer solar system, says Mike Wall @

Over the past few years, researchers have noticed an odd clustering in the orbits of multiple trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which dwell in the dark depths of the far outer solar system.

Some scientists have hypothesized that the TNOs’ paths have been sculpted by the gravitational pull of a big object way out there, something 5 to 10 times more massive than Earth (though others think the TNOs may just be tugging on each other).

This big “perturber,” if it exists, may be a planet — the so-called “Planet Nine,” or “Planet X” or “Planet Next” for those who will always regard Pluto as the ninth planet.

But there’s another possibility as well: The shepherding object may be a black hole, one that crams all that mass into a sphere the size of a grapefruit.


The orbit of Triton (red) is opposite in direction and tilted −23° compared to a typical moon’s orbit (green) in the plane of Neptune’s equator [image credit: Wikipedia]

Triton orbits the ‘wrong’ way round Neptune, is far larger than all the other Neptunian moons, and has a high tilt angle, among other peculiar traits. In short, it has some explaining to do.
– – –
When NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune’s strange moon Triton three decades ago, it wrote a planetary science cliffhanger, says

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft ever to have flown past Neptune, and it left a lot of unanswered questions.

The views were as stunning as they were puzzling, revealing massive, dark plumes of icy material spraying out from Triton‘s surface. But how?

Images showed that the icy landscape was young and had been resurfaced over and over with fresh material. But what material, and from where?

How could an ancient moon six times farther from the Sun than Jupiter still be active? Is there something in its interior that is still warm enough to drive this activity?