Scientists have helped solve the mystery of what lies beneath the surface of Neptune -- the most distant planet in our solar system.
Uranus' magnetosphere, the region defined by the planet's magnetic field and the material trapped inside it, gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as it rotates along with the planet, scientists have discovered. It's 'open' in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into the magnetosphere; it later closes, forming a shield against the solar wind and deflecting it away from the planet.
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.
Astronomers have modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings. This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles. The simulation revealed that the ring particles are much smaller than predicted or that an undiscovered shepherd satellite around Chariklo is stabilizing the ring.