Showing posts from January, 2011

Liquid Acquisition: Two new scenarios ramp up debate over how Earth got its water

Source:   Ron Cowen,  Science News (subscription needed) Excerpt: Brad Hansen of UCLA began exploring a scenario in which the inner solar system's planets coalesced from materials confined to a width of 0.7 to 1.0 times Earth's distance from the Sun, a much narrower disk than normally considered. … Alessandro Morbidelli and his collaborators ... thought Jupiter's movement could be the culprit. …after the gaseous Jupiter was fully formed, a scant few million years after the birth of the solar system … gas from the planet-forming disk spiraled into the sun, Jupiter was dragged along plowing through and emptying the asteroid belt and entering the inner solar system…. Jupiter … would have placed icy outer solar system material on elongated orbits aimed into the inner solar system … bashed into Earth, baptizing the planet with water.

Astronomers Release the Largest Image of the Sky Ever Made

Source:   Paul Preuss, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Excerpt:  … the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) released the largest digital image of the sky ever made, and it’s free to all. The image has been put together over the last decade from millions of 2.8-megapixel images, thus creating a color image of more than a trillion pixels. ... so big and detailed that one would need 500,000 high-definition TVs to view it at its full resolution.