. 24/7 Space News .
Ejected moons could help solve several astronomical puzzles
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Jul 12, 2019

Runaway moons could explain several astronomical mysteries, according to a new study.

Models suggest at least 50 percent of giant moons ejected from their orbits around gas giants, which study authors dubbed ploonets, would survive their initial expulsion and achieve a relatively stable, but oblong, orbit around the sun.

The potential prevalence of ploonets could explain a variety of astronomical puzzles. For example, the research -- which will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Astronomical Society -- could explain why astronomers have found so many Hot Jupiters but not a single exomoon.

Models suggest gas giants should should host large moons. But scientists have yet to find any outside of the solar system.

The latest simulations showed moons that begin life in orbit around Hot Jupiter could become dislodged by the angular momentum between the two planetary bodies.

"These moons would become planetary embryos, or even fully-fledged planets, with highly eccentric orbits of their own," Jaime Alvarado-Montes from Australia's Macquarie University said in a news release.

Though hypothetical, the existence of ploonets could explain mysterious dips in the spectral outputs of unique stars like KIC-8462852.

"It's better known as Tabby Star," said Alvarado-Montes. "And the strange changes in its light intensity have been observed for years, but are still not understood. Ploonets could be the answer."

While scientists have yet to confirm the existence of an exomoon, they have found exocomets. Ploonets could explain those, too.

Now, scientists just need to find some. It's possible the lives of ploonets are extremely short, making them difficult to find. If the timescales are big enough, however, astronomers could track them down.

Astronomers spot a circumplanetary disk for the first time
Washington (UPI) Jul 12, 2019 - With the help of the ALMA observatory, scientists have identified a circumplanetary disk in a distant star system -- a first.

Astronomers found the moon-forming disk of dust and debris circling an exoplanet in orbit around PDS 70, a low-mass T Tauri star located 370 light-years from Earth. T Tauri stars are a class of young stars characterized by their optical variability.

During an earlier survey, scientists discovered two new Jupiter-like planets orbiting PDS 70 using the observational abilities of European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope.

For the new study, astronomers used Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a collection of high-precision dish antennas in northern Chile, to measure the faint radio waves emitted by the tiny gas particles surrounding the outermost body in the PDS 70 system. The observations -- described this week in the Astrophysical Journal Letters -- revealed the presence of a circumplanetary disk capable of producing multiple moons.

"For the first time, we can conclusively see the telltale signs of a circumplanetary disk, which helps to support many of the current theories of planet formation," Andrea Isella, an astronomer at Rice University, said in a news release. "By comparing our observations to the high-resolution infrared and optical images, we can clearly see that an otherwise enigmatic concentration of tiny dust particles is actually a planet-girding disk of dust, the first such feature ever conclusively observed."

Researchers were also able to spot a tail of dust trailing one of the two Jupiter-like planets. The tail is located far enough away to be considered a distinct body.

The outermost planet, the one with the circumplanetary disk, is located 3.2 billion miles from PDS 70. Analysis suggests the planet boast a mass between one and ten times that of Jupiter.

"If the planet is on the larger end of that estimate, it's quite possible there might be planet-size moons in formation around it," said Isella.

At optical wave lengths, spotting the dust surrounding exoplanets is difficult. The bright glare of the sun overwhelms the glow of the planets and their surroundings. But stars emit relatively little radiation at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, allowing ALMA to observe the distant solar system's more subtle details.

"This means we'll be able to come back to this system at different time periods and more easily map the orbit of the planets and the concentration of dust in the system," said Isella. "This will give us unique insights into the orbital properties of solar systems in their very earliest stages of development."

Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

A desert portal to other worlds
Tucson AZ (SPX) Jul 11, 2019
Ali Bramson clutched her neon pink umbrella as she trekked across the frozen lava that spilled from Amboy Crater in California's Mojave Desert. She and her fellow University of Arizona graduate students were tasked with identifying the boundaries of different eruptions of the extinct volcano, then unfurling their bright umbrellas to mark the spot. From an airplane overhead, her professor and another student photographed the sites to record the findings. "We compared where we had mapped the differe ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

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

Virgin Galactic seeks space tourism boost with market launch

Major shuffle at NASA in rush to meet Trump's moon deadline

Keeping NASA's Oldest Explorers Going

Branson's Virgin Galactic to go public: report

Pioneer satellites launched

NASA SLS rocket testing ensures astronaut safety, mission success

Vega rocket fails after takeoff in French Guiana

China to launch constellation with 72 satellites for Internet of Things

Sustaining Life on Long-Term Crewed Missions Will Require Planetary Resources

InSight Uncovers the 'Mole' on Mars

Mars 2020 Rover Gets a Super Instrument

Methane vanishing on Mars

From Moon to Mars, Chinese space engineers rise to new challenges

China plans to deploy almost 200 AU-controlled satellites into orbit

Luokung and Land Space to develop control system for space and ground assets

Yaogan-33 launch fails in north China, Possible debris recovered in Laos

To be a rising star in the space economy, Australia should also look to the East

Israeli space tech firm hiSky expands to the UK

All-alectric Maxar 1300-Class comsat delivers broadcast services for Eutelsat customers

Newtec collaborates with QinetiQ, marking move into space sector

Molecular thumb drives: Researchers store digital images in metabolite molecules

BAE nets $4.7M by DARPA to integrate machine learning into RF signals detection

Perseverance is key to NASA's advancement of alloys for bearings and gears

New high-definition satellite radar can detect bridges at risk of collapse from space

Astronomers expand cosmic "cheat sheet" in hunt for life

Discovering Exoplanets with Gravitational Waves

A desert portal to other worlds

Planet Seeding and Panspermia

Jupiter's auroras powered by alternating current

Kuiper Belt Binary Orientations Support Streaming Instability Hypothesis

Study Shows How Icy Outer Solar System Satellites May Have Formed

Astronomers See "Warm" Glow of Uranus's Rings

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.