Worlds in Collision

31 January 2016
Astronomy

Gary Gilligan sent in this one – at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1302234.Jupiter-swallowed-planet… and www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727733-600-jupiter-swallowed-a-super-ea… … where we are told Jupiter swallowed up a planet ten times the size of the earth that just happened to be rolling around the solar system with nowhere to go and it just happened to bump into Jupiter causing a massive collision event. Jupiter is the biggest planet in the inner solar system so I suppose the thinking is it is much easier to hit than any other planet. Jupiter is 120 times the size of the earth but its core is just ten times the size of the earth.

It seems that scientists are quite happy with planetary ping pong balls just so long as the catastrophism is kept at arms length – 3 or 4 billion years ago. Another collision event is also on the agenda, something slamming into the Earth and creating our Moon in the process. Is this the height of hypocracy? Surely the New Scientist are a serious science magazine.

At http://phys.org/print373305176.html … the New Horizons spacecraft is showing water ice on Pluto's surface – but late last year all the talk was frozen methane, frozen nitrogen, and frozen carbon monoxide and it was supposed to be too cold for simple water ice. It looks like Pluto is beginning to get interesting.

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