Solar System | The highest, the deepest, the hottest, the weirdest: our solar system is a place of extremes. In new work, “The Most Extreme 50 Places in the Solar System”, researchers David Baker and Todd Ratcliff are taking their readers into a sensational cosmic tour of gaseous giants, frozen months and incandescent planets. Here is a sample of the most spectacular places that eclipses any terrestrial recordings.
The most bizarre rotation movement
Saturn Moon Hyperion is an irregular shape, measuring about 408 x 260 x 220 kilometres in diameter, along with its three axes. As satellites with such dimensions of the planets generally possess enough gravitational force to obtain the spherical shape, astronomers suggest that Hyperion could be the fragment of a larger month, shattered by a devastating impact. The unusual form of the astral body explains why this is, according to Baker and Ratcliff, “total chaos”.
Most of the big months are “tangled,” meaning the same face of the natural satellite is always geared towards the planet that governs it. Is the case of the “relationship” between Earth and the Moon. But Hyperion’s strange form prevents such a link because the gravitational forces of Saturn and the Titan moon are unequally exerted on him. The result is an unplayable rotation. Days are never the same on Hyperion. Not only does the rotation rate vary radically, but even the northern pole of this month consistently points to a different direction in space, making it even impossible for the most skilled astronomers to predict Hyperion’s axis of rotation over 300 days from now.
The deepest ocean in the Solar System
Here, on Earth, we are impressed by the Marian Pit in the Pacific Ocean, whose depth, the absolute record, is about 11,000 meters below sea level. But Europe’s ocean of Jupiter makes this record pale. Although Europe is covered with a thick layer of ice, the measurements made by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, as well as other probes, convincingly suggest the presence of a liquid ocean beneath that surface. And some of these measurements estimate the depth of the ocean at 100 kilometres.
The interior of the ocean would have been warmed, I think, by the tides produced in Europe by Jupiter and several other larger satellites of the planet, as well as radioactivity. The giant ocean of Europe is one of the most promising places to search and research alien life. NASA and the European Space Agency are currently working on a joint mission that could be launched in 2020 and whose purpose is the detailed examination of Jupiter and his moons Europe and Ganymede. A major goal is to determine the thickness of Europe’s ice layer, which has implications for the moon’s potential to sustain life.
The most pestilential place
Io, the Jupiter moon is fascinating from a certain perspective of planetary science – it is the most volcanic astral body active in our solar system, and its surface is sprinkled by volcanic craters. But visiting Io would not be really desirable. Baker and Ratcliff write that “the moon of Jupiter Io smells like a giant rotting egg”. The miasma is due to the hydrogen sulphide on the surface and the atmosphere of Io, the distinctive yellow and red colours of the moon coming from sulphur compounds. Volcanic eruptions are common on Io and are constantly restoring the atmospheric sulphur reserve.
The moon is very active because it revolves around Jupiter on a vague elliptical orbit. As it dances repeatedly, when closer to the giant planet, Jupiter’s gravity produces tidal phenomena inside the natural satellite that warms its mantle and causes violent explosions. In 2007, NASA’s New Horizons flew near Io and noticed a sulphurous volcanic eruption that expanded to an altitude of nearly 300 kilometres above the ground.
in comparison, the largest volcanic eruptions reach up to a height of about 20 thousand meters.
The toughest (and precious) rain of Solar System
The giant frozen planet Uranus and Neptune differ from the giant giants Jupiter and Saturn by composition; they contain especially “ice” made up of water, ammonia and methane. In the Neptune and Uranus shells, the elevated temperatures probably fragment the methane into its component parts, hydrogen and carbon. Astronomers believe that intense pressure could force such released carbon so forcefully that it turns into crystalline networks or diamonds.
As explained by Baker and Ratcliff, diamond stones, small or large grains of salt, such as rocks could cross a liquid and sprinkle rain jacket solid core. This core could be covered with a thick layer of diamonds, more massive than any Earth mine. So far, the Uranus and Neptune outer diamond rains are hypothetical, however, and astronomers need more data to accurately determine whether or not this strange phenomenon occurs. unfortunately, no spacecraft is currently scheduled to explore these worlds.
The largest canyon
Is enough to imagine a canyon whose crap stretches over a distance of about 4,000 kilometres, that is to say, from Bucharest, Romania, to Delhi, India, to make us an image as close as possible to the appearance and size of the Valles canyon Marineris on Mars. The huge hole was first observed by NASA’s Mariner 9 in 1972 and was later baptized in honour of it. The Martian crater splits four million meters of “red” land, reaching maximum depths of up to ten thousand meters. In comparison, the Great Canyon of the Colorado River in the United States has an “only” length of 446 kilometres and an absolute depth of about one mile, or 1.6 kilometres. It is assumed that the Valles Marineris is a sloping and sloping valley when the molten rock from Mars’ mantle expanded and forced the boundaries of the planetary crust.
The highest mountain
Mars is provided not only with the deepest valley of the Solar System but also with the highest mountain massif. The Martian volcano Olimp Mons reaches an altitude of about 25,000 meters, that is, more than three times higher than Mount Everest, the highest massive on Earth. The liquid piscine was probably formed like earthly volcanoes: being above a “hot spot”, from which the hot rock waves rose from the interior of the planet to the surface.
But this mountain could grow higher than any other volcano because Mars has no tectonic plates, explains Bake and Ratcliff in their book. On Terra, the tectonic plates “migrate” above the mantle eruption points, the two researchers write. “The volcanoes are formed, they are extinguished, and others are formed as the tectonic plates move over the hot spots, thus producing a long volcanic chain”. As on Mars, there are no moving plaques, Olimp Mons may have been over a volcano eruption for a very long time, which has led to an uninterrupted development.
The most powerful power discharges
When NASA Cassini was on its way to Saturn in the late 1990s, it swung over Earth to fall under its gravitational attraction to change its speed and trajectory. From a distance of 88,000 kilometres above Terra, the probe detected radio wave rays representing the terrestrial lightning signal (a lightning beam emits electromagnetic radiation with a variety of wavelengths, including visible light and radio waves).
As Cassini continued his trip to Saturn in the early 2000s, the mission’s coordinators had a shock. From a distance of 160 million kilometres away, the probe detected radio pulses indicating strong electric storms on Saturn. the radio signal was about a million times stronger than the one detected on Earth. For years, Saturn superheroes could not be seen directly, but radio eruptions indicated that they occurred in a region called the “Storm Alley” in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Finally, this spring, Cassini captured the first images of lightning on Saturn.
The most powerful magnet
The beautiful image shows our magnetically sunny sun, ornate with glowing rays, crowns and waves of plasma. electrically charged plasma from the outer layers of the Sun creates turbulent bubbles of the state of Texas, generating local magnetic fields. These magnetic field structures are often highlighted by shimmering plasma as the charged particles fly along the magnetic field lines. For this reason, the shimmering filaments give out the sunspot, regions where the plasma is held captive by intense magnetic and cold fields. where magnetic field lines intersect, they can release stunning energy rains, known as “solar flares,” and even more powerful explosions called coronary mass decompensation (CME). a single CME can break into space, at huge speeds, up to 10% of the solar crown (the Sun’s outer atmosphere).
The most destructive global warming
Our sister planet, Venus, has almost the same size, the same density and the same composition as the Earth, and when its dense atmosphere was discovered, the alien’s wonders wondered if this planet was inhabiting the lush jungle and exotic life. In fact, Venus is an incredibly hot world, governed by abundant clouds of sulfuric acid. Venus is 40 million kilometres closer to the Sun than Terra, but this is not the only reason the planet is so hot.
Venus was “ripe” by the global warming phenomenon. Under normal conditions, the solar radiation reaches the surface of the planet, and the latter releases some of that energy in the form of infrared radiation. But on Venus, the greenhouse effect created by thick clouds and a dense atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide capture the heat and prevent its leakage into space. the surface temperature of this planet is 460 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest planetary surface in our solar system.
The longest storm
It is a storm that does not give signs that it will stop too soon. The great red dot of Jupiter was first seen by Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini in 1665; while observations were sporadic in the later centuries, 18 and 19, many astronomers believe today that the storm has wrecked Jupiter’s land for 345 years since its first documentation. The huge storm is the size of three Earths, and its winds reach speeds of up to 650 km/h. How have you been active for centuries?
Baker and Ratcliff explain how the storm energy comes from inside the planet Jupiter and from smaller whirls from the surface. “Remarkably, Jupiter’s interior provides 70% more energy to the higher ceiling than clouds than the planet from the Sun”, the authors write. “Like a giant air compressor, gravitational contraction generates intense heat and heat inside the planet. Strong electric storms in the Jupiter atmosphere channel a good deal of this heat to the upper portion of the clouds.” Smaller storms are devoured by the Great Red Spot, which allows it to manifest itself further.
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