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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft data used to weigh Saturn’s biggest ring

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – It seems intuitive that an opaque material should contain more stuff than a more translucent substance. For example, muddier water has more suspended particles of dirt in it than clearer water. Likewise, you might think that, in the rings of Saturn, more opaque areas contain a greater concentration of material than places where the rings seem more transparent.

But this intuition does not always apply, according to a recent study of the rings using data from NASA’s Cassini mission. In their analysis, scientists found surprisingly little correlation between how dense a ring might appear to be — in terms of its opacity and reflectiveness — and the amount of material it contains.

The B ring is the brightest of Saturn's rings when viewed in reflected sunlight. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

The B ring is the brightest of Saturn’s rings when viewed in reflected sunlight. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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Austin Peay State University professor Minoa Uffelman connects Students with Scholars using Skype

 

Austin Peay State University - APSU - logoClarksville, TN – When Austin Peay State University history major Rick Casteel raises his hand in his “The South To 1861” course, he knows that it’s important that he say the right thing.

But that’s not because Casteel is worried about answering incorrectly, or impressing his teacher, APSU associate professor of history, Dr. Minoa Uffelman.

APSU professor Minoa Uffelman

APSU professor Minoa Uffelman

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft takes photos of Saturn’s Moon Enceladus’ northern extremes

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun returning its best-ever views of the northern extremes of Saturn’s icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus.

The spacecraft obtained the images during its October 14th flyby, passing 1,142 miles (1,839 kilometers) above the moon’s surface. Mission controllers say the spacecraft will continue transmitting images and other data from the encounter for the next several days.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft zoomed by Saturn's icy moon Enceladus on Oct. 14, 2015, capturing this stunning image of the moon's north pole. A companion view from the wide-angle camera (PIA20010) shows a zoomed out view of the same region for context. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft zoomed by Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus on Oct. 14, 2015, capturing this stunning image of the moon’s north pole. A companion view from the wide-angle camera (PIA20010) shows a zoomed out view of the same region for context. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to make close up flybys of Saturn’s Moon Eceladus

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will wrap up its time in the region of Saturn’s large, icy moons with a series of three close encounters with Enceladus starting Wednesday, October 14th. Images are expected to begin arriving one to two days after the flyby, which will provide the first opportunity for a close-up look at the north polar region of Enceladus.

Wednesday’s flyby is considered a moderately close approach for Cassini, which will pass at an altitude of 1,142 miles (1,839 kilometers) above the moon’s surface. Closest approach to Enceladus will occur at 3:41am PDT (6:41am EDT). The spacecraft’s final two approaches will take place in late October and mid-December.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will get its best-ever look at the northernmost reaches of the Saturnian moon Enceladus on October 14th. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will get its best-ever look at the northernmost reaches of the Saturnian moon Enceladus on October 14th. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovers Saturn’s Moon Enceladus has a global ocean under it’s icy surface

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s geologically active moon Enceladus, according to new research using data from NASA’s Cassini mission.

Researchers found the magnitude of the moon’s very slight wobble, as it orbits Saturn, can only be accounted for if its outer ice shell is not frozen solid to its interior, meaning a global ocean must be present.

The finding implies the fine spray of water vapor, icy particles and simple organic molecules Cassini has observed coming from fractures near the moon’s south pole is being fed by this vast liquid water reservoir. The research is presented in a paper published online this week in the journal Icarus.

Illustration of the interior of Saturn's moon Enceladus showing a global liquid water ocean between its rocky core and icy crust. Thickness of layers shown here is not to scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration of the interior of Saturn’s moon Enceladus showing a global liquid water ocean between its rocky core and icy crust. Thickness of layers shown here is not to scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses ground based Telescopes to produce images of Peanut shaped Asteroid flyby of Earth

 

Written by DC Agle and Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

The asteroid appears to be a contact binary — an asteroid with two lobes that are stuck together.

The images show the rotation of the asteroid, named 1999 JD6, which made its closest approach on July 24th at 9:55pm PDT (12:55am EDT on July 25th) at a distance of about 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers, or about 19 times the distance from Earth to the moon).

Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 were obtained on July 25, 2015. The asteroid is between 660 - 980 feet (200 - 300 meters) in diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR )

Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 were obtained on July 25, 2015. The asteroid is between 660 – 980 feet (200 – 300 meters) in diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR )

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft photos reveal reddish arcs on Saturn’s ice moon Tethys

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Like graffiti sprayed by an unknown artist, unexplained arc-shaped, reddish streaks are visible on the surface of Saturn’s icy moon Tethys in new, enhanced-color images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

The red arcs are narrow, curved lines on the moon’s surface, and are among the most unusual color features on Saturn’s moons to be revealed by Cassini’s cameras.

Images taken using clear, green, infrared and ultraviolet spectral filters were combined to create the enhanced-color views, which highlight subtle color differences across the icy moon’s surface at wavelengths not visible to human eyes.

Unusual arc-shaped, reddish streaks cut across the surface of Saturn's ice-rich moon Tethys in this enhanced-color mosaic. The red streaks are narrow, curved lines on the moon's surface, only a few miles (or kilometers) wide but several hundred miles (or kilometers) long. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Unusual arc-shaped, reddish streaks cut across the surface of Saturn’s ice-rich moon Tethys in this enhanced-color mosaic. The red streaks are narrow, curved lines on the moon’s surface, only a few miles (or kilometers) wide but several hundred miles (or kilometers) long. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity completes Martian Marathon in 11 years

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – On Earth, the fastest runners can finish a marathon in hours. On Mars it takes about 11 years.

On Tuesday, March 24th 2015, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity completed its first Red Planet marathon– 26.219 miles – with a finish time of roughly 11 years and two months.

“This mission isn’t about setting distance records; it’s about making scientific discoveries,” says Steve Squyres, Opportunity principal investigator at Cornell University. “Still, running a marathon on Mars feels pretty cool.”

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APSU students learn from award winning American slavery scholar Ed Baptist

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Slavery in the United States was officially abolished on December 6th, 1865 when the thirteenth amendment was ratified by three-fourth of the states. But while all remaining slaves became officially free on that day, the ripples from the United States’ violent history continue to be felt to this day.

Austin Peay State University students recently had an opportunity to converse with one of the preeminent experts on the history of slavery in the United States when they participated in an online question and answer session with journalist, and Cornell University history professor, Ed Baptist.

"The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism" by Ed Baptist.

“The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Ed Baptist.

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American Heart Association announces Dr. Holly Atkinson to keynote at Go Red For Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon

 

Go Red for Women - American Heart AssociationNashville, TN – Well-known media personality Dr. Holly Atkinson, senior on-air medical correspondent and chief medical editor of HealthiNation, a digital consumer health video network, will be the keynote speaker at the Go Red For Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon on April 29th.

The annual health expo and luncheon takes place from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Music City Center, and will demonstrate tips on healthy living to more than 400 female guests while raising funds for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement supporting women-focused research and education fighting their No. 1 killer, heart disease.

Dr. Holly Atkinson named keynote speaker for American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon

Dr. Holly Atkinson named keynote speaker for American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon

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