NASA telescope captures the explosive eruption on the small comet – CNET

NASA telescope captures the explosive eruption on the small comet – CNET

the hubble observation of comet 46p

traces of dust from the Jupiter family comet 46P/Wirtanen


NASA/ESA/D. Bodewits (Auburn University)/J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)

If SpaceX helped NASA launch, the Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite in April 2018 astronomers were excited to right: TESS, a state-of-the-art telescope that surveys a huge swath of the sky, on the hunt for new worlds, and even signs of extraterrestrial life. But TESS is already proving himself once again as a planet hunter. In September, the satellite kept a watchful eye on a small comet known as 46P/Wirtanen — and looked at life the comet to explode, spill, gases and dust from its icy body. 

The discovery, published in The journal Astrophysical Journal Letters published in November, by 20 days, the observations of TESS and focused on the tiny comet, orbits the sun once every 5.4 years. As TESS scans the sky, it looks for small changes in the brightness of a star, which can be a telltale sign that a new exoplanet. 

“While TESS is a powerhouse for the discovery of the planet, the nearby, bright stars, the observation strategy can be so much more exciting, additional science” Padi Boyd, a, TESS-a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement.

46P/Wirtanen burst.


Farnham et al./NASA

The comet’s explosive episode occurred on Sept. 26, 2018, and the researchers saw a huge flash of lightning, lasting for one hour, followed by a gradual onset, lasting 8 hours. When comets approach the sun, they begin to heat up, which can lead to expel gases and ice from your body, but random outbursts such as these are uncommon and poorly understood.

“With 20 days very often images, we were able to assess changes in the brightness very easily,” said Tony Farnham, an astronomer at the University of Maryland. “This is what was TESS for designed to be its primary task as an exoplanet surveyor.” 

a Study of the changes in the brightness of TESS of the images, the team could work backwards to understand better, Wirtanen big bang. TESS takes pictures around the clock in 30-minute intervals, provides a huge window of opportunity to study Wirtanen.

look over the images, the team that the comet may eject about 1 million kilograms (2.2 million pounds) of material. It can also be a crater about 65 feet wide produced. But what caused this particular outbreak is still unknown — and the team  hopes for further examples, see the cosmos piece of the puzzle together.

TESS has to find a number of exoplanet discoveries since the Start, strange worlds, three fascinating planet tucked in to a nearby star. and a super-earth, which could contain liquid water. His role as an asteroid-watcher is less explored, but there are many other comets in the solar system, which zipped through your field of view, so it is likely we will always be comet to an even better look at the explosive outbreaks in the future. 

Published on Wed, 04 Dec 2019 04:20:48 +0000

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