Planets

Some data from the RPWS instrument (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Iowa)

The first results of the analysis of the data collected by the Cassini space probe during its dive into the space between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017 provided a remarkable surprise. The researchers discovered that Cassini’s instruments recorded very few particles during the crossing of that space and all of them were tiny, around a micron across. This is a mystery to which the researchers hope to find an explanation.

The storm at Saturn's north pole (Photo NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA started publishing the first photos taken by the Cassini space probe after its descent into the gap between the planet Saturn and its rings. These are the closest photos taken during a risky maneuver for Cassini, performed only because within a few months it will end its mission so it was decided that it’s worth taking risks to collect close-range data.

Artist's concept of the planet LHS 1140b about to pass in front of its star (Image M. Weiss/CfA)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of a super-Earth called LHS 1140b. A team led by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics used the HARPS instrument installed on ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile, to study that exoplanet after identifying it with the MEarth-South telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Its location in ​​its solar system’s habitable zone makes it particularly interesting.

2014 UZ224 / DeeDee seen by ALMA (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO))

An article accepted for publication in the “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes the research that followed the discovery of a possible dwarf planet called 2014 UZ224 and nicknamed DeeDee, as in Distant Dwarf. A team led by David Gerdes of the University of Michigan announced its discovery in October 2016 and thanks to a further observation carried out by the ALMA radio telescope they estimated other features.