A supposed extrasolar meteorite made a big splash in both the headlines and the Pacific Ocean. Today’s authors ask whether this object might not have been interstellar at all.
Pluto and Charon form a binary system. Around their barycenter, four recently discovered moons are orbiting: Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra. In this work, two separate approaches were utilized to model their orbits. At first, all bodies were simulated using an n-body integrator and then outcomes were validated by a theoretical model. The motions that the four small moons follow are a superposition of forced oscillations by the binary system and mutual gravitational interactions. Results indicated that we cannot use Keplerian elements to describe the circumbinary orbits, as the central potential by the dwarf binary planet forces the small moons into several oscillations. Even when demanding a zero-orbital eccentricity, distances appeared to have many fluctuations through time. Lastly, we noticed that the mutual effects induce many long period perturbations, especially for the lighter moons, whereas the binary effects mainly dominate in the high frequency region.
We interviewed @ASU planetary scientist and #MarsSampleReturn principal scientist Meenakshi Wadhwa who will be giving a plenary talk today at #AAS242!
The author’s of today’s paper found that planets are made of unappetizing slushies!
The authors of today’s paper decided to take a less radical approach into investigating the trans-Neptunian objects. Maybe we don’t need Planet 9 after all?
It is theorized that the radioactive decay of Aluminum-26 could provide enough heat to dehydrate terrestrial planetesimals as they form, leading to rockier exoplanets. But is this effect significant enough to alter how common we believe rocky exoplanets are in the Galaxy? Find out by reading today’s bite!