Note that the water jetted out into space nearly 40 times longer than the actual size of the moon (about 500 in diameter, or as the Gurdian puts it “500-mile-wide” for those who forgot the meaning of “diameter).
Enceladus is probably the best bet for life elsewhere in the solar system due to its water — and while whipping around Saturn once per day, which is likely the reason for underwater volcanos and other vents that may provide the proper chemistry for life.
Mercury is a planet that just doesn’t make sense. It’s incredibly small yet hosts a relatively massive core. Mercury is so strange that astronomers have not been able to explain its properties with simulations of the solar system’s formation. But now, researchers have found an important clue, and Mercury’s weirdness appears to be the fault of the giant planets.
Basically, Mercury is nearly as dense as the Earth despite being less than 6% the size. This is due to the gas giants in our solar system yanking material (“planetesimals” and protoplanets) and ejecting it from the solar system, leaving Mercury with very little material left to form itself.
It is this subsurface ocean, or rather its interaction with the ice shell that covers it, that a team of researchers led by the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain) in Belgium hope to better understand. More specifically, they wish to understand how the ocean’s depth and the pressure exerted by the icy shell on the underground water body influence the formation of tidal motions and currents inside of it.
When I first heard of “Attack on Titan,” I was disappointed to learn that it didn’t take place actually on Titan. (The title in English is a mistranslation. It should be “Attack of the Titans” or “The Titans Attack” or even “Attacking Titans,” depending.) In any case, it’s a disgusting manga/anime with nothing to do with the icy moon of Saturn. Except for the name. And even that’s a misuse (they should have used “giant” as the storyline is very loosely based on Ymir and the frost giants of Scandinavian myth).
Anyway, “SAR2667” provided some cross-cultural entertainment for people living in England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Lots of photos and videos online.
Interesting note from ESA: they were able to detect it and notify everyone exactly where and when it would disintegrate.
Since there are more than 30,000 of these things that orbit the Sun relatively close to Earth’s orbit, it’s a good thing we’re getting better at detecting them. Maybe we’d better up the ante on deflecting them…
So basically the answer is simply that that’s the way they all started out.
Some moons, however, do have retrograde orbits. I.e., they orbit in the opposite direction around their respective planets. Some small asteroids and comets also have retrograde orbits due to their small mass being easily affected by larger cosmic objects.
A new study shows that massive volcanic eruptions over an extended period of time may be responsible for changing the planet into what it is today. If there was simple life on ancient Venus, volcanism was its doom. The study also shows how powerful volcanic activity has played a role in shaping Earth’s habitability and how Earth only narrowly avoided the same fate as Venus.
Venus is hot enough to melt lead, which is why no spaceship has ever survived to land on the surface.
And, no, there is nothing alive floating around in its toxic atmosphere.
But this is a neat article. Three future missions are planned for Venus (two by NASA – VERITAS and DAVINCI – and one by ESA – EnVision, which sounds more like a song and dance competition than a scientific probe).
The samples were extremely hydrophobic, and repelled water as if it were the most disgusting thing ever invented. Researchers labored to get the lunar soil to gradually soak up water. They also added a nutrient solution.
Note that the original title was “…toward the Inner Solar System”…and yet the article goes on to explain that it won’t come any closer than a billion miles from the Sun, “‘slightly farther than the distance of the planet Saturn,’ NASA said in a statement.“
Uh. The inner solar system is *no where near* Saturn. Try again, fear-mongers.
Anyway, it really is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg,” since this was seen with Hubble, and we have yet to see just what the new James Webb telescope can do. The Oort Cloud is a big place. There must be millions upon millions comets just waiting to be discovered.