Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




OUTER PLANETS
'Eyes' of Herschel Will Survey Trans-Neptunian Region
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Oct 09, 2009


While the dynamical architecture in this region (also known as the Kuiper Belt) is becoming relatively clear, the physical properties of the objects are only beginning to be revealed.

In the framework of the key program "TNOs Are Cool: A Survey of the Trans-Neptunian Region," Herschel will reveal the physical properties of the poorly known objects orbiting beyond Neptune.

The Herschel Space Observatory, one of the cornerstone missions of the European Space Agency with participation from NASA, was launched successfully in May this year. Herschel is the only space facility ever developed to cover the far-infrared to submillimeter parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to capture the thermal radiation of celestial objects.

Herschel is set up to start this month the phase of science demonstration, and afterwards the phase of routine observations. Scientists are looking forward to these scientifically exciting data in the years to come, including observations of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs).

Over one thousand objects have been discovered orbiting beyond Neptune. These TNOs represent the primitive remnants of the planetesimal disk from which the outer planets formed. They are the accessible analogs for unseen parent bodies in debris disks around other stars similar to the Sun.

Only in the outer region of our own solar system are direct observations of such parent bodies possible. Deriving dynamical and physical properties of these bodies provides unique and important constraints on formation and evolution models of the outer solar system.

While the dynamical architecture in this region (also known as the Kuiper Belt) is becoming relatively clear, the physical properties of the objects are only beginning to be revealed. In particular, fundamental parameters such as size, albedo, density, and thermal properties are difficult to measure. Measurements of their thermal emission, which peaks at far-infrared wavelengths, offer the best means available to determine those physical properties.

The project "TNOs Are Cool: A Survey of the Trans-Neptunian Region," described at the 41st Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, has been given one of the largest amounts of observing time (400 hours) in the worldwide call for open-time projects on the Herschel Space Observatory.

It will observe around 140 TNOs. Thomas Mueller, from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, is leading the project.

Several institutions are partners in this legacy program, including the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and the University of California. Dr. Miriam Rengel, team member and scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, said, "This project is considered as a benchmark for understanding the solar system debris disk, and extra-solar ones as well."

.


Related Links
Herschel Space Observatory
The million outer planets of a star called Sol






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





OUTER PLANETS
New Horizons Hits Halfway Mark Between Saturn, Uranus Orbits
Laurel MD (SPX) Sep 09, 2009
New Horizons has sailed silently through another milestone on the way to its historic reconnaissance of the Pluto system, reaching the halfway point between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The NASA spacecraft will reach 14.41 astronomical units from the Sun - 1.34 billion miles, or nearly 14 1/2 times the distance between the Earth and Sun - between 6-7 p.m. EDT "Only five operating space ... read more


OUTER PLANETS
LRO Sees Apollo 14's Rocket Booster Impact Site

Goddard Visualization Team Previews Lunar Impact

Masten Space Systems Launches X PRIZE Rocket

NASA blasts moon with rocket in search for water

OUTER PLANETS
Opportunity Finds Another Meteorite

China's First Mars Mission Delayed

Radial Channels Carved By Dry Ice

Seeking Life's Shadow

OUTER PLANETS
Marshall Completes Ullage Motor Development Test For Ares I Rocket

NASA Tests Load Limits For Ares I Rocket Main Parachute

A Woman In Space

Boeing And RSC-Energia Team To Develop Future Spacecraft Docking System

OUTER PLANETS
China to build, launch satellite for Laos

China says will push space programme to catch up West

China Begins New Space Center Construction

China breaks ground on new space launch centre: state media

OUTER PLANETS
Russia Set To Launch Space Freighter To ISS

No Break In Joint Work For Crew Members

Light Duties For Expedition 20; Soyuz On Its Way

Russia To Launch Orbital Lab "Oka-T" In 2015

OUTER PLANETS
ISRO To Launch YOUTHSAT In 2010

New USAF Weather Satellite Ready For Launch

Russia To Launch Two European Satellites

Space Systems/Loral Delivers Intelsat 14 Satellite To Florida

OUTER PLANETS
Simulation Suggests Rocky Exoplanet Has Bizarre Atmosphere

NASA's Spitzer Spots Clump Of Swirling Planetary Material

Spitzer Spots Clump Of Swirling Planetary Material

Mass And Density Of Smallest Exoplanet Finally Measured

OUTER PLANETS
Bacterium aids in formation of gold

E-reader sales soaring but Apple captures the buzz

Japan's tech titans ready for 3D tussle

Amazon debuts international Kindle e-reader




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement