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new moon!

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new moon!

Postby DCB » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:46 pm

Somebody found a new moon in our solar system. OK, so it was a few years ago, so maybe its not "headline" material. But I just learned about it from the Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Are you thinking, there is nothing new under the sun? Like so many things in the Bible, that is just wrong.

Long story short: Voyager 2 took some pictures of Neptune in 1989.
20 years later, amateur astronomer Ted notices a moon.

Now its called Despina!

Some of us spend our free time posting on forums. Ted found a moon. He is cooler than me.
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Re: new moon!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:07 pm

DCB wrote:Long story short: Voyager 2 took some pictures of Neptune in 1989.
20 years later, amateur astronomer Ted notices a moon.

Not quite.
The moon itself was noticed in 1989 -- but only in a handful of frames of film -- and named in 1991.What Ted discovered were previously unnoticed images of it casting a shadow on Neptune and then, following that lead, more picturess of the moon itself that had also never been noticed before. Still pretty darn cool, though.

More cool: it's theorized that Despina is essentially a rubble pile made up of leftover chunks of original moons of Neptune which no longer exist. Those moons formed at the same time as Neptune but were destroyed by gravitational perturbations caused by the capture of Triton, which formed somewhere else entirely and only later settled into Neptunian space. Triton, you see, is the only large moon in the solar system which orbits in the opposite direction from its host planet's rotation, hence how we know it was not originally part of Neptune's system.

Poor little Despina is slowly spiralling downward towards Neptune and will likely break apart again, either into a planetary ring or by crashing into the planet itself, so enjoy it while you can!

Thanks for posting this. We need more straight-up (and non-controversial) science around these parts.
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Re: new moon!

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:21 pm

DCB wrote:Are you thinking, there is nothing new under the sun? Like so many things in the Bible, that is just wrong.

I will argue the fine point to say that this passage is correct. That moon ain't new, nothing discovered is new. As NBC used to advertise about their summer re-runs, "It's new to YOU!"

I managed to build an argument weaving Ecclesiastes and NBC. I think I'm done for the day.
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Re: new moon!

Postby gargantua » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:37 pm

Hah! You moonists can't even prove it was there before 1989, so why should I believe it was man made?
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Re: new moon!

Postby pjbogart » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:35 pm

I smell a rat, or more likely Duran Duran trying to revive their careers. Interesting timing...
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Re: new moon!

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:55 am

This thread is now about moon facts.

MOON FACT #894: One of Mars' moons, Phobos, is closer to its parent planet than any other moon in the solar system. As a result, it orbits Mars so fast that it rises and sets twice per Martian day.
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Re: new moon!

Postby Madsci » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:45 pm

Fact #895: our moon is not made of cheese. Not so sure about the other moons.
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Re: new moon!

Postby jman111 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:50 pm

MOON FACT #896: The additional act of firmly applying one's buttocks to a window while mooning is commonly known as a "pressed ham".
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Re: new moon!

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:51 pm

Madsci wrote:Fact #895: our moon is not made of cheese.

I agree. If our moon was made of green cheese, it would have ripened by now.
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Re: new moon!

Postby gozer » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:25 pm

they recently found clouds of moisture on/near ceres which are most likely from outgassing enceladus-style. whatever it would be able to keep of that in the form of an atmosphere would seem to be vanishingly small or nil on account of the small surface gravity . . . i think the escape velocity is 487 metres per second.
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Re: new moon!

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:55 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Madsci wrote:Fact #895: our moon is not made of cheese.

I agree. If our moon was made of green cheese, it would have ripened by now.

That can't happen because there's no oxygen on the moon, dummy. :roll:
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Re: new moon!

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:07 pm

Anaerobic bacteria?
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Re: new moon!

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:08 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Anaerobic bacteria?

:crazy:





(Yes, I just discovered the new smilies.)
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Re: new moon!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:10 pm

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