interstellar meteorite, shortest day ever, magnetosphere collapse

An interstellar meteorite could be hiding in the ocean. Why doesn’t Jupiter have rings like Saturn. The time when Earth’s magnetic field almost collapsed. The shortest day on Earth, and Planet 9 is running out of places to hide. All this and more in this week’s episode of Space Bites.

If you prefer to watch the most exciting space and astronomy news of this week, here’s a video version. They come in a bite-size format, so you can relax and watch them being videoed at you.

Why Jupiter Doesn’t Have Massive Rings

interstellar meteorite, shortest day ever, magnetosphere collapse

Saturn has vast rings made of water ice, while the rest of the giant planets have faint rings made of dust grains. Jupiter has icy moons and enough gravity to catch comets, so why doesn’t it have even more fabulous rings than Saturn? Jupiter has four large moons with enough gravity to disrupt a sizeable icy ring, while Saturn’s moon Titan accounts for almost all the moon mass in the system. Can you imagine what Jupiter would look like with Saturn-like rings? With more gravity and closer to us in the Solar System, they’d be spectacular.

More about Jupiter’s rings.

Searching for Interstellar Meteor Underwater

interstellar meteorite, shortest day ever, magnetosphere collapse

In 2014, an object crashed into the ocean off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Newly released data from the US Department of Defense confirmed that the object was following an interstellar trajectory, meaning it could have formed in another star system and traveled to the Solar System. A team of scientists has proposed that fragments of the meteorite could still be sitting on the bottom of the ocean and could be found by a coordinated search.

More about interstellar meteorite.

Chinese Long March 5B Has Fallen

interstellar meteorite, shortest day ever, magnetosphere collapse

Last week we reported on the launch of a new science module to the Chinese Space Station. We also said that the giant booster rocket that launched the module would return to Earth… somewhere. Well, the rocket did return, and fortunately, it didn’t hurt everyone. U.S. Space Command confirmed that the Long March 5B rocket re-entered over the Indian Ocean on July 30th at 10:45 am MDT. NASA sent an angry response since China didn’t share any trajectory information as the rocket returned to Earth.

More about falling rockets.

Black Hole’s Super Fast Feast

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Astronomers have come up with a detailed simulation of what should happen when a black hole meets a neutron star. Using this simulation they will be able to monitor the signals coming in the form of gravitational waves and distinguish between other forms of mergers. The simulation also shows that the entire process happens extremely fast. The whole star gets destroyed in under 2 seconds. Insane!

More about black holes ripping neutron stars.

Planet 9 Is Running Out Of Places to Hide

interstellar meteorite, shortest day ever, magnetosphere collapse

There’s indirect evidence of a massive planet – dubbed Planet 9 -in the outer Solar System, an object with approximately 5 Earth masses orbiting between 100 and 1000 astronomical units from the Sun. Astronomers used two infrared surveys of the outer Solar System, separated by 20 years, to see if any objects had moved in the right orbit during that time. They found hundreds of candidate objects, but they all turned out to be clouds of gas glowing in infrared. If Planet 9 is out there, it’s running out of places to hide.

More about the search for Planet 9.

How Earth’s Magnetosphere Almost Collapsed

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The Earth is surrounded by a powerful magnetic field that redirects solar flares and cosmic radiation to the poles, allowing life to thrive. We know this magnetic field can flip its polarity every few hundred thousand years, but about half a billion years ago, it almost completely disappeared. This happened at about the same time the Earth’s solid inner core of iron was starting to form. As the inner core formed, the magnetic field strengthened, protecting the planet again.

More about Earth’s magnetic field.

Citizen Astronomers Get Time on JWST

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You don’t need to be special to get time on the James Webb Space Telescope; you just need to prove the science case to the judging panel. A team of citizen scientists has been granted access to JWST so they can analyze a group of brown dwarfs that they discovered over the last few years. They’re part of the Zooniverse Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, which distinguishes real celestial objects from image artifacts in infrared data from a NASA satellite.

More about access to James Webb.

More Images from James Webb

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Are you sick of pictures from James Webb yet? Of course not! Here’s a new picture of the Cartwheel Galaxy imaged by Webb. A few hundred million years ago, another smaller galaxy punched right through the center, disrupting its spiral structure and beginning a new era of star formation. In other wavelengths from Webb, you can see the dust and new star formation at the core and outer ring.

More about Cartwell Galaxy.

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NEWS RELATED

NASA spacecraft buzzes Jupiter's moon Europa, closest in years

The complex, ice-covered surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during a flyby on September 29, 2022. /AP NASA on Friday released its Juno spacecraft’s first picture as it made the closest approach to Jupiter’s moon Europa in more than 20 years. The picture was ...

View more: NASA spacecraft buzzes Jupiter's moon Europa, closest in years

LOOK: NASA Juno Flyby to Europa Shares First Images of Jupiter's Icy Moon

NASA is now sharing the first images which the Juno spacecraft took on its recent flyby on Jupiter’s Europa, the famous icy moon and the smallest of the four Galilean moons of the gas giant. It is the clearest photo taken of the Europa moon ever, as the initial shots ...

View more: LOOK: NASA Juno Flyby to Europa Shares First Images of Jupiter's Icy Moon

Mysterious Europa Gets an Extreme Closeup From NASA’s Juno Probe

Over the course of a brief two-hour opportunity, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured a rare close look at Europa, an ice-covered moon of Jupiter that’s thought to harbor a hidden ocean — and perhaps an extraterrestrial strain of marine life. Juno has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, but this week ...

View more: Mysterious Europa Gets an Extreme Closeup From NASA’s Juno Probe

NASA, SpaceX to Send Crew Dragon and Help Hubble Telescope Extend its Life in Space

NASA and SpaceX are looking into a future mission that would bring a Crew Dragon towards the Hubble Space Telescope to “reboost” the spacecraft for further use in the future. It is known that the Hubble already served massive years for NASA and the world, bearing witness to many astronomical ...

View more: NASA, SpaceX to Send Crew Dragon and Help Hubble Telescope Extend its Life in Space

Scientists Identify the Source of the Planet Ceres’ Unexpected Geological Activity

Dwarf planet Ceres is shown in these false-color renderings, which highlight differences in surface materials. Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft were used to create a movie of Ceres rotating, followed by a flyover view of Occator Crater, home of Ceres’ brightest area. Credit: NASA/JPL Modeling reveals how Ceres powers unexpected ...

View more: Scientists Identify the Source of the Planet Ceres’ Unexpected Geological Activity

NASA Astronauts From International Space Station Witnesses Hurricane Ian Heading Towards Florida

Hurricane Ian landed on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a hazardous Category 4 storm last Wednesday as NASA and other astronauts observed the situation in real-time from the International Space Station. NASA cameras and astronauts on the ISS captured live video of Hurricane Ian as it approached the Florida coast on ...

View more: NASA Astronauts From International Space Station Witnesses Hurricane Ian Heading Towards Florida

The Moon was Pummeled by Asteroids at the Same Time the Dinosaurs Died. Coincidence?

It only takes a quick look at the Moon to see its impact-beaten surface. There are craters everywhere. Some of those impact sites apparently date back to the same time some very large asteroids were whacking Earth. One of them formed Chixculub Crater under the Yucatan Peninsula. That impact ...

View more: The Moon was Pummeled by Asteroids at the Same Time the Dinosaurs Died. Coincidence?

SpaceX, NASA look at launching Dragon to service Hubble Space Telescope

SpaceX and NASA will conduct a six-month feasibility study that looks at all the options.

View more: SpaceX, NASA look at launching Dragon to service Hubble Space Telescope

Senate confirms Saltzman as next chief of the U.S. Space Force

DART Impact Seen by Hubble and Webb

NASA and SpaceX Will Study Low-Cost Plan to Give Hubble a Boost

SpaceX wants to boost Hubble Space Telescope’s orbit with Dragon spacecraft

NASA swooped over ocean world Europa and captured stunning footage

First ViaSat-3 enters environmental testing

Hungary’s 4iG to buy a majority of Spacecom in stages

The First Telescope Images of DART's Impact are Starting to Arrive

Kendall: Power competition in space becoming more destabilizing

Super-Earth Found Near the Habitable Zone of Red Dwarf

North Korea fires ballistic missile after US VP Harris tours DMZ

HawkEye 360 awarded radio frequency contract by NRO

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