UFO Buster Radio News – 381: Titan Leaving Saturn, New Earth Like Planet, and Russia Bitter With SpaceX
Titan is drifting away from Saturn 100 times faster than we thought
Saturn’s moon Titan is zooming away from its ringed parent 100 times faster than scientists expected.
According to a new study, Saturn’s largest moon was “born” fairly close to the planet, but over the course of 4.5 billion years, it has migrated out to where it orbits currently, approximately 746,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) away from the planet. The Saturnian moon’s orbit is now expanding away from Saturn at a rate 100 times faster than scientists had previously predicted.
Titan tugs on Saturn in a similar way, but the friction inside of Saturn is thought to be weaker than here on Earth because of the planet’s gaseous composition (compared to Earth’s rocky nature). Previous research has suggested that the moon should be moving away from Saturn at just 0.04 inches (0.1 cm) per year. But this new work suggests that Titan is actually moving away from its planet at a whopping 4.3 inches (11 cm) every year.
According to this theory, Titan gravitationally “squeezes” Saturn in a way that makes the planet oscillate, and the energy from these oscillations would cause the moon to migrate faster than previously expected.
Astronomers Discover Star And Planet Strikingly Similar to The Sun And Earth
Scientists have found a potentially habitable exoplanet and its star that are more similar to the Earth and our Sun than any other known planet-star pair.
The planet – which is still considered a planet candidate until further confirmation – is the right distance from its star to allow for the presence of liquid surface water. That means it could potentially host life.
For now, the planet candidate is known as KOI-456.04. If its existence is confirmed by other telescopes, the exoplanet would join a group of about 4,000 known planets outside our Solar System.
Other research had previously found that the star this Earth-like planet candidate orbits, called Kepler-160, has two planets circling it. But the new study revealed two additional ones.
The system is just over 3,000 light-years away from our Solar System.
Russia’s space leader seems pretty bitter about SpaceX’s success
“Elon Musk did not bring us down—he brought down his compatriots.”
In the 10 days since SpaceX launched humans into orbit—returning to NASA the capability to get its own astronauts into space—Russian officials have offered a mixed reaction. However, a clear trend seems to be emerging—a minimization of SpaceX’s achievement and pointing to Russia’s own bright future in space.
During a post-launch news conference on May 30, SpaceX founder Elon Musk cheekily said, “The trampoline is working.” This was a dig at the head of the Russian Space Corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, a former Russian defense official who was sanctioned in 2014 as part of the US response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. At the time, when the US relied on the Russian Soyuz vehicle to get into space, Rogozin suggested on Twitter that NASA could use a trampoline to get into space if it didn’t like working with Russia.
After Musk’s most recent comments, Rogozin initially went along with the joke, saying he was amused by it: “Please convey my sincere greetings to @elonmusk (I loved his joke) and @SpaceX team. Looking forward to further cooperation!”
“Elon Musk did not bring us down—he brought down his compatriots from Boeing passing them with the beginning of the flight tests,” Rogozin said. “This war is theirs, but not ours.”
Interestingly, he also admits that the Russians price gouged NASA for access to space. Although Rogozin says Roscosmos earned “honest” money for the Soyuz spaceflights, he takes issue with the notion the Crew Dragon is cheaper than a Soyuz. (According to NASA, the price per seat for Crew Dragon is $55 million. During its last round of negotiations, the space agency paid more than $90 million to Russia for a Soyuz seat).
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