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Heller is an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany.
NASA confirmed in 2015 the presence of a liquid ocean on Ganymede after performing Hubble Space Telescope observations of the moon's auroras, which appear to rock back and forth less than expected with Jupiter's magnetic field.
The space agency said the attenuation is likely due to a salty ocean under Ganymede's surface.
Each page has our text and NASA's images, some have sounds and movies, most provide references to additional related information.
Please visit our Astronomy news section which gives news, notes and general observations, we also have an interactive tour of the solar system (loads in a new window) All planets can be seen with a small telescope or binoculars and private observatories continue to provide useful information.
The best examples for tidally heated bodies in our own solar system are all moons: Jupiter's Io and Europa, as well as Saturn's Enceladus.
While Europa and Enceladus are strongly suspected to have oceans underneath an icy surface, Heller pointed out his research is more focused on habitability on the surface of the moon.I'm really curious to know what this object will be like." While there are several new planet-hunting telescopes joining astronomy in the next decade, Heller said they are not optimized for exomoons.Searching for exomoons is financially risky and the payoff highly uncertain, which means it is likely to remain a low priority for the astronomical community.But the possibility of getting up close with interplanetary spacecraft has revolutionized planetary science.Very little of this site would have been possible without the space program.As some scientists search for habitable planets outside our solar system, other researchers are tackling a similar question for the moons of these planets.So-called exomoons have yet to be found outside our solar system, and a detection could be a decade away - or more.But he added the "ultimate weapon" would likely be PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars), which will launch around 2024.It will conduct dedicated planet searches like the Kepler space telescope, but around more bright stars.As for this theoretical Mars-sized exomoon, the picture is murky.The scientists considered energy sources such as stellar radiation (which changes as a function of distance to the star), the stellar reflected light from a Jupiter-sized planet on the moon, the planet's own thermal emission on the moon, and the tidal heating inside the moon that is generated due to the changing gravitational pull of the planet.