The Top Year-end New Space Discoveries ~ Kwentology

It turns out that you can get a lot of the things that you need right from outer space. If you want nutrients you can swing by a supernova. Then, drop in on Europa for a shower with real water. The noble gas that has its first time to observe on space. Wondering what if we put the water from a Jupiter's moon to Mars? Well, if that only possible that red planet would be turn to green filling up with life.

Supernova of Phosphorus

Supernova are always making stuff for us like gold and also all the elements that we depend on for living. In addition for those looking fabulous, phosphorus for example. Phosphorus is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP and cell membranes is a nutrient that life can't do without. In this week, astronomers in South Korea said they discovered the origins of the element in the remnants of an exploding star. Researchers were using California's Palomar Hale Telescope to look at near infrared waves emitted by a Supernova Cassiopeia A. Different elements emit different infrared wavelengths, and one that made a surprisingly prominent appearance turned out to be phosphorus.

Image of Supernova Cassiopeia A

In fact, the ratio of phosphorus wavelengths to iron wavelengths with about 100 times greater than we normally see in the Milky Way. Now, it's long been thought that the origin of phosphorus must be the energetic factory of collapsing star. But, this is the first time that an abundance of phosphorus has been observed coming from a supernova. Which seems to corroborate where this essential ingredient for life comes from. It is also the last of the six so-called life-sustaining elements to be detected in space along with hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Which means that are evidence of the celestial life making kit is now complete.

Argon on the Space

Around the same time is that observation astronomers at the University College London discovered another supernova turning out a special substance. Using the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory the team was surveying far infrared light coming from a supernova remnant called the crab nebula. They saw way once associated with the molecule of argon. Specifically, argon hydride and pretty much freaked out—because we have never observed a noble gas molecule in space before.

Image of crab nebula

Noble gasses like argon are of course so stable. Though they almost never form molecules with the elements. There's only one known argon here on Earth argon flourohydride. Not wasn't even discovered into the year 2000. Astronomers suspect that these molecules and the isotopes of argon that form them must originate in the intense energy at the heart of stars. Again, this is the only astronomer's guess was possible. But, this is the first time that we've actually seen it in action.

Moon that Has Water and Oxygen

Rounding up the year-ending space discoveries. This is what you might call the Fountains of Europa. Long-known Europa is one of Jupiter's moon which is covered with water in the form of ice. We long suspected that underneath that ice shell there is a liquid ocean. Now, we have evidence that this ocean is real and it's excessible. Astronomers of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio Texas observed plumes of water vapor rising 200 meters from two distinct regions in the southern hemisphere of the moon.

Image of Fountains of Europa

Images captured by Hubble in the fall of 1999. Then, followed last winter it show ultraviolet emissions of hydrogen and oxygen at ratios indicative of water molecules. Plumes could only be observed about seven hours at a time when Europa was at its farthest point in orbit from Jupiter. As the moon moved closer to Jupiter the plumes disappear. It appears that pressure from tidal forces makes cracks in Europa's ice shell and plumes of water vapor shoot out into space.
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