During the year 2012, astronomy has made huge progresses and has uncovered sensational things, which might have passed unnoticed by the masses, but they amaze astrologers every day. Most of these new theories come to contradict the previous beliefs, and although there have been a lot of discoveries recently, it seems that more and more questions about the nature of the Universe left unanswered.
We have a lot of amazing discoveries to talk about. The first one is probably the most amazing discovery in the last few decades! Scientists believe that a mysterious galaxy, which has a black whole in its center, exists. In addition it seems that the Kepler telescope has picked up three planets which orbit around the KOI-961 star.
Scientists have discovered traces of life on Mars
A recent study about the minerals hidden in the soil of Mars is considered the most convincing evidence that the planet can support life. Researchers from the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Aberdeen say that the ingredients for life can be found in a place, 5 km in the depth of the planet. The explanation would be that when meteors hit Mars, they act like natural probes and they contribute with important minerals to the martian soil.
Habitable Earth-like Planet
Scientists in charge of the Kepler telescope have discovered a new planet, 22 light-years away which is said to harbor life. Researchers have concluded that the planet is found in a place where temperatures are neither hot nor cold and as a result liquid can be found on the surface of the planet. In addition to this candidate, they have also found clear signs of a new hospitable planet, the GJ666Cc similar to Earth. However this planet receives less light than Terra, but it also has a better absorption rate of infrared rays.
Nanoparticles found in the lunar soil
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the soil on the Moon is special. The explanation is obvious: the Moon has no atmosphere which means it is a magnet for micrometeorites that have bombarded it every year. These meteors have created a layer of dust and rocks with unique attributes Technology in Brisbane, Australia, was used to study a soil sample taken from missions. As it turns out these microscopic beads contain nano particles which are chemically active and have an electrostatic charge.
Ocean discovered on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus
The Cassini spacecraft has discovered that Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus, has an Ocean of its own. As charming as this may sound, don’t get too excited about the prospect of a visit there because Enceladus is located 1.4 billion km from Earth. It is so cold up there, that the Ocean is covered with a strong layer of ice.
Dawn Spacecraft Heads off to Ceres
Ceres has been recently classified as a minor planet, and it is the largest asteroid in the solar system. While most of the asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter are the size of rocks, Ceres and Vesta are approximately the size of Texas and Arizona. In July 2011, the Dawn spacecraft was sent to study Vesta, where it stayed until September 2012, and after that it visited Ceres, where it will remain until 2015. It is the first ship to ever orbit two bodies and this is al thanks to the new propulsion systems developed.
Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars
It’s no innovation that Americans have put machines on Mars, but the new ones sent this year are quite ambitious. The SUV Curiosity rovers landed on the Gale Crater in August, and the event was streamed in the whole world. Although the machine is scheduled to study the surface of Mars for the next two years, the simple fact that it managed to get there in the first place, is already a triumph.
Another mystery resolved
Researchers say that one of the biggest mysteries of the Cosmos has been solved, with the help of meteorites. Chondrite are particles which can be found in meteors, they are no more than one millimeter wide and they only melt at over 1000 degrees Celsius. An international team of specialists is trying to figure out how these particles melted, and the answer might come to contradict previous ideas. „For a few decades people thought that only jets can form chondrite, when they are close to the sun. We believe that these particles managed to reach their melt point even if the nebula is cold.”
News About Andromeda
In approximately 4.5 billions of years, Andromeda will collide with our galaxy. The event will be undoubtedly be spectacular, but until then all we can do is try to learn more about our neighbor. Andromeda is the only galaxy with the form of a spiral. Initially scientists believed that it is a nebula, because it can easily be confused with a gas cloud. This beautiful galaxy has been the studied intensely over the years, and a lot of magnificent photos of it have been taken. The most recent one was taken by the Herschel Observatory, with the help of infrared technology.
Solar Probe Plus
NASA has announced new technology which will be sent into space to collect information about the solar winds and solar activity, and it will fly closer to the sun than ever before. The Solar Probe Plus is scheduled to launch in 2018. With the help of the data collected specialists will try to answer to two pressing questions : „How is it possible for the plasma surrounding the sun to be hotter then the surface of the sun?” and „What exactly fuels the solar winds, and the fluxes of particles emitted by the sun?”. Although scientists have managed to collect data from the sun before, this new project might lead to great breakthroughs in the field.