Sky Tour Radio Presents: The Planets Killers From Outer Space
April 8th, 2018
In this episode of SkyTour Radio, we discuss 55 Cancri f, as well as Kepler 22 b in our weekly exoplanet roundup.
We will also continue our previous discussion on asteroids, in which we will highlight all the different types of asteroids, including Near Earth Objects, Centaurs, Kuiper Belt Obejects, Scattered Disc Objects, Sednoids and Oort Cloud Objects.
55 Cancri f
An extrasolar planet approximately 41 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cancer (the Crab), the star and takes 262 days to complete a full orbit and has half the mass of Saturn.
In July 2014, the International Astronomical Union launched a process for giving proper names to certain exoplanets and their host stars and in December 2015, the IAU announced the winning name was Harriot for this planet, which was submitted by the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy of the Netherlands to honor the astronomer Thomas Harriot.
It orbits in the so-called “habitable zone,” which means that liquid water could exist on the surface of a possible moon, though 55 Cancri f is thought to likely be a gas giant with no solid surface.
Kepler 22 b
Located about 600 light-years (180 pc) from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, it was discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in December 2011 and was the first known transiting planet to orbit within the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.
Though Kepler-22b’s size is roughly twice that of Earth, an Earth-like composition for the planet has been ruled out. It is likely to have a volatile-rich composition with a liquid or gaseous outer shell and has an orbit of 290 days.
An asteroid is a small rocky body orbiting the sun. Large numbers of these, ranging in size from nearly 600 miles (1,000 km) across (Ceres) to dust particles, are found (as the asteroid belt ) especially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits, and a few pass close to the Earth or enter the atmosphere as meteors. Such types include;
Near Earth Objects
A near-Earth object (NEO) is any small Solar System body whose orbit can bring it into proximity with Earth. By definition, a Solar System body is a NEO if its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) is less than 1.3 astronomical units (AU). If a NEO’s orbit crosses the Earth’s and the object is larger than 140 meters (m) across—about 460 feet (ft), it is considered a potentially hazardous object (PHO).
Centaurs are small solar system bodies with a semi-major axis between those of the outer planets. … Centaurs typically behave with characteristics of both asteroids and comets. They are named after the mythological centaurs that were a mixture of horse and human.
Kuiper Belt Objects
While many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water. The Kuiper belt is home to three officially recognized dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea and Makemake.
Scattered Disc Objects
Scattered disk objects are Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) with large orbital eccentricities. They have perihelia between 30 and 48 AU, aphelia greater than 60 AU, and were probably flung into their current orbits during the early Solar System through gravitational interactions with the giant planets.
A sednoid is a trans-Neptunian object with a perihelion greater than50 AU and a semi-major axis greater than150 AU.
Oort Cloud Objects
The Oort Cloud is an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system. It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorized its existence. The Oort Cloud is roughly spherical, and is thought to be the origin of most of the long-period comets that have been observed.
SkyTour Radio explores the Universe in a down to Earth manner explaining the science we know in fun and bite-sized terms. Science is for everyone and people shouldn’t require an advanced degree to understand as long as it is delivered in an easy to follow way. From Black Holes to Extraterrestrial Life, we will explore the Universe like never before. Join us to check out such things as how stars form, how they live and, how our fate is intertwined with theirs. On the extraterrestrial life front, we will be speaking to the UFO and science arena’s top researchers and bring UFOlogy into the 21st century.
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