Five intriguing discoveries and recent news items
Here are some things that will give whatever might be on your mind at the moment a little perspective. You’ve probably seen these images plastered all over the Internet already.
In the northern winter months we are surrounded by the stark beauty of chilled landscapes. From the darkness of the far north, broken perhaps only by starlight and the glow of aurora, to the brisk grey streets of Manhattan and its now skeletal trees with their claw-like limbs and knobbly stubs pressed to the skies, [...]
From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics.
Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Triton, Pluto, Eris…they may all have, or have had, large oceans of liquid water trapped beneath a frozen crust.
For more than nine years, NASA’s Cassini probe has orbited Saturn, examining its rings and moons in unprecedented detail and sending back images of things and places humans had never seen.
Ever since 2005, when NASA’s Cassini orbiter found plumes of water vapor spilling out of cracks in the south pole of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, researchers have sought to learn more about the moon’s mysterious interior as a possible abode for extraterrestrial life.Repeated flybys of Enceladus have revealed wonders, including organic molecules and salts in the vaporous plumes that hint at hydrothermal activity deep within the moon, beneath what must be a sizeable reservoir of water.Despite these discoveries, researchers have struggled to determine the dimensions of Enceladus’s watery depths.
Some of the most stunning images of Saturn’s moon Titan are made using a synthetic aperture radar to penetrate the thick atmosphere to see the frigid surface.
Scientific discoveries across all fields just keep coming and coming. Here’s a small assortment of goodies from the past couple of weeks.
Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress.
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, or in this case 1,400 pictures are worth a few words. Here is the collage of images uploaded by people across the planet for NASA’s Cassini ‘Wave at Saturn’ event on July 19th 2013, while Cassini snapped Earth in turn, as a teeny, tiny dot of [...]
The Cassini mission's third-from-last flyby of the icy moon Enceladus reveals that a highly complex network of thin cracks covering the surface extend all the way into the northern polar region
This week brings a video reconstructed from images of the Philae lander's approach to a comet, and a major new analysis of data from the Cassini mission that bolsters the case for a global, not just local, ocean beneath the icy crust of Enceladus
Titan's lake depressions may form as its organic crust is dissolved by liquid hydrocarbons.
Newly released images from the Cassini mission's final close flyby of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus reveal further exquisite details of the surface terrain
If I lived elsewhere in the multiverse, this is the news and cool space stuff I’d have been covering this week. Unfortunately, in this universe I didn’t have the time.
Two new studies hint at a richer picture of what’s happening on Saturn’s extraordinary icy moon Enceladus. At about 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus is a diminutive natural satellite.
It's summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet.