12 Aug 2009
A quick up-date to what is happening in our busy Solar System right now.
1) Antifreeze on Saturn’s moon Enceladus
The discovery of ammonia adds more fuel to the fire of the debate as to whether there is an underground ocean or not. Last month, astronomers from the University of Leicester and the Max Planck Institute in Germany announced the detection of sodium chloride – in simple terms, salt – in Saturn’s E-ring, which is composed of material ejected by Saturn’s plumes http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n0907/23enc/
Ammonia has been discovered coming from inside Enceladus, strengthening the case for an underground ocean.
2) Repaired Hubble zooms in on Jupiter impact
The dark spot was first discovered on Jupiter by Australian observer Anthony Wesley on 19 July … Follow up images from the ground confirmed the scar as the likely result of a collision of a comet or asteroid.
3) The nights of the Perseids
The meteor season will explode into full swing over the next few days as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak over the nights of 11-12 and 12-13 August
4) Structures leap from Saturn’s rings as equinox approaches
As Saturn marches towards its 11 August equinox, the Sun’s angle to the ring plane lowers, causing out-of-plane structures to cast long shadows across the rings’ broad expanse, making them easy to detect.
5)Venus spot continues to puzzle
Over two weeks ago a bright white spot appeared in the atmosphere of Venus, but where did it come from?
That should keep you all busy reading for a while!