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The Largest Centaur in the Solar System Has Rings

The most famous rings in the solar system encircle Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter, but they're not the only planetary jewelry. Chariklo may be small by comparison—in cross-section it's about the size of Sri Lanka—but the minor planet, known as a "centaur," has two little rings of its own. Show More Summary

Alien Life Could Jump Between TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets

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Tiny aliens on a TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet would have an easy time traveling to one of the neighboring planets in its solar system because they are so close together.

First global simulation yields new insights into ring system

(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) A team of researchers in Japan modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings. This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles. Show More Summary

First global simulation yields new insights into ring system

A team of researchers in Japan modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings (Figure 1). This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles while also taking into account collisions and gravitational interactions between the particles. Show More Summary

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars’ giant impact history

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history.

IEA: Global Installed PV Capacity Leaps to 303GW

A tariff-induced U.S. solar industry assault notwithstanding, there's some good news in solar this week. The International Energy Agency's Photovoltaic Power System Programme's latest report (Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2016,...Show More Summary

Recently discovered solar system could seed life between adjacent exoplanets

After NASA announced in February the discovery of a solar system with seven planets—three of which were deemed potentially habitable—UChicago postdoctoral scholar Sebastiaan Krijt began wondering: If a life form existed on one of these planets, could space debris carry it to another?

Jupiter and the theory of relativity blamed for course changes of celestial bodies

In the case of solar system bodies passing close to the sun, there are two important effects playing a crucial role in the orbital evolution. One of the effects is from the general relativity and the other effect is from Newtonian theory of gravitation.

A Distant Orb Named DeeDee Is Reigniting the Planet Definition Debate

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) triggered one of the biggest ever cosmic controversies when they changed the definition of a planet in 2006, kicking Pluto off the list of the most important orbs in our solar system. Planetary scientists and the public weren't pleased. Show More Summary

Distant Dwarf Planet DeeDee Stirs Up the Pluto Planethood Debate

Recent observations that a tiny object in our solar system is a likely dwarf planet has some planetary scientists grumbling again about Pluto's demotion to that status.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) Collaborate on Project to Supply Solar Power to UK Trains

TPS will be working with Imperial College London, 10:10, Network Rail and many other partners to investigate the use of track-side solar panels to power trains.

Prof Says Technological Aliens Once Inhabited Solar System

A prior indigenous technological species might have arisen on ancient Earth or another body, such as a pre-greenhouse Venus or a wet Mars. That’s the focus of a paper by Penn State University’s Dr. Jason T. Wright, an associate professor in astronomy and astrophysics. Published this week...

SunPower Oasis Platform Permits Faster, Less Expensive Solar Power Plant Installations

Based on its experience installing over 1,000 large scale solar power plants worldwide, SunPower has created a new business unit to provide customized, low cost solar systems for the utility industry. SunPower Oasis Platform PermitsShow More Summary

UFO hunter claims to have spotted an 'ancient tree stump' on Mars

If UFO hunters are to be believed, Mars is one of our solar system's most bustling ecosystems, full of wildlife and ancient history. Read more...

Modeling reveals how policy affects adoption of solar energy photovoltaics in California

One key goal for renewable energy in the United States is to promote the continued adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a clean energy workforce.

Team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history.

Sufjan Stevens, the National’s Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly Announce Planetarium Tour

Recently, Sufjan Stevens, the National’s Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan’s drummer James McAlister announced that they will be releasing a new album about the solar system. It’s called Planetarium and it’s due June 9. Today, the group has announced tour dates in support of the project. Show More Summary

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

(Southwest Research Institute) From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of...Show More Summary

ESA boosting its Argentine link with deep space

Thanks to some high-tech improvements, ESA’s radio dish in Argentina will be ready to receive the rising torrent of scientific data beamed back by future missions exploring deep in our Solar System.

Interdisciplinary studies reveal relationship between solar activity and climate change

Solar flux is considered to be the fundamental energy source of Earth's climate system on long time scales. In recent decades, some studies have noted that tiny variations in solar activity could be amplified by the nonlinear process in the climate system. Therefore, factors such as solar activity present intriguing and cutting-edge questions to better understand climate change.

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