Bright and Spotty

12 Sep 2018

At ... bright surface features on the asteroid Ceres were discovered by the Dawn Mission in 2015. See image below ...

  ... At ... scientists find evidence of Worlds in Collision - back in the day. An unusual pair of asteroids seem to point towards a planetary re-arrangement at some point in the history of the solar system. They orbit around each other as they circles around the Sun - and are one of the targets of NASAs upcoming Lucy Mission. They are parft of the Trojan asteroids - two swarms that orbit the Sun at roughly the same distance as Jupiter (one orbiting ahead of Jupiter and the other, behind Jupiter). It is hypothesised there was once a skirmish between Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune - which took place within 100 million years of the solar system's formation.

At - ghost galaxies

At ... dark matter is clustering around galaxies and this stops them from spinning apart by lending them extra gravitational pull. Such a clustering effect is in opposition to dark energy - which is thought to be causing the universe to expand.

Finally, ... was sent in by Robert. The first map of Jupiter's magnetic field (at a range of depths). They say this is weird. Perhaps it is as it is unlike anything seen elsewhere. Jupiter's magnetic field is extraordinarily strong, some 20,000 times stronger than that of the Earth's magnetic field. It is also huge - and complex. This may account for Jupiter's rapid rotation. The Juno Mission is revealing the dynamics of the magnetic field ...

   ... the magnetic field emerges from the northern hemisphere, re-enters around the south pole and there is also a highly concentrated region just south of the equator. This has been christened the Great Blue Spot. Various theories about the magnetic field are doing the rounds.