Adam Frank: That whole “average star” meme works great if you want to make it seem like we are nothing special at all in the Universe. But from a stellar census point of view, it’s just not true.
It’s curious how folklore can prevail for ages in science as long as it has a naturalistic origin. Maybe Top People shouldn’t count on everyone just forgetting that now.
At Nature: The researchers found that the objects’ orbits could be explained without the presence of a nearby planet.
Siegel thinks that a rocky planet of more than 30% greater radius than Earth stands a good change of becoming a gas giant in consequence of its size. Earth is the right size to avoid that.
From Max Planck Society: “There is as yet no explanation as to how a body as flat as Arrokoth could emerge from this process,” says Rezac. ” Note: No one has so far claimed that it an “extraterrestrial lightsail.” Or a space alien’s experiment. What’s going wrong here? 😉
But wait! Who’s claiming this? The second author of this paper is Abraham (Avi) Loeb. That rings a bell. Wasn’t he the one who suggested that the obvious space junk Oumuamua was an extraterrestrial light sail? Look, why does the name “Harvard” put all doubts about credibility to rest? Especially in these times?
Gonzalez: In the larger context of the Milky Way galaxy, our Solar System is in the best location to initiate interstellar missions. In summary, we here confirm and expand upon recent studies that argue that the Earth and the Solar System are rare in the degree to which they facilitate space exploration.
Christopher Graney: “… seen from Earth, stars appear as dots of certain sizes or magnitudes. The only way stars could be so incredibly distant and have such sizes was if they were all incredibly huge, every last one dwarfing the Sun. Tycho Brahe, the most prominent astronomer of the era and a favourite of the Establishment, thought this was absurd, … ” The true history is a warning to thoughtful people to avoid popular science written by the village atheist; he knows just enough to get it all wrong.
That may help us understand how the Moon formed, say researchers. Yes, that seems odd, but the we know surprisingly little about how the Moon—which plays a very important role in enabling life on Earth—was formed.
One team of researchers doesn’t think Jupiter has been doing all the heavy lifting.
Not Pluto (it was downgraded in 2006). What do you want to bet that the Big Ninth will turn out to be an instance of fine-tuning?
If the Moon was really formed when the early Earth was hit by a Mars-sized object, it should mostly be the detritus of that object. But it is mostly Earth stuff. So…
We know far more about that now than we did then.
Two independent teams of astronomers recently looked into the matter: Astronomers have detected and measured the mass and/or orbital features of 3,869 planets in 2,887 planetary systems beyond the solar system. This ranks as a staggering rate of discovery, given that the first confirmed detection of a planet orbiting another hydrogen-fusion-burning star was as recent Read More…
It turns out that other solar systems are not shedding much light on how ours came to be: But as the menagerie of young planetary systems grows, researchers are struggling to square their observations with current theories on how our Solar System and others formed. Such ideas have been in turmoil ever since astronomers started Read More…