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Topic: Jia-Rui C. Cook

NASA’s Galileo spacecraft discovers Clay Like Minerals on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new analysis of data from NASA’s Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with an asteroid or comet.

This is the first time such minerals have been detected on Europa’s surface. The types of space rocks that deliver such minerals typically also often carry organic materials.

This image, using data from NASA's Galileo mission, shows the first detection of clay-like minerals on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI)

This image, using data from NASA’s Galileo mission, shows the first detection of clay-like minerals on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope sees signs of Water Vapor erupting from Jupiter’s Moon Europa

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter’s moon Europa has observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon’s surface.

Previous scientific findings from other sources already point to the existence of an ocean located under Europa’s icy crust. Researchers are not yet fully certain whether the detected water vapor is generated by erupting water plumes on the surface, but they are confident this is the most likely explanation.

This is an artist's concept of a plume of water vapor thought to be ejected off the frigid, icy surface of the Jovian moon Europa, located about 500 million miles (800 million kilometers) from the sun. (NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI)

This is an artist’s concept of a plume of water vapor thought to be ejected off the frigid, icy surface of the Jovian moon Europa, located about 500 million miles (800 million kilometers) from the sun. (NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft captures image that shows Saturn, its moons and rings, plus Earth, Venus and Mars

 

Sweeps nearly 405,000 miles across Saturn and its inner rings

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible.

The new panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes, was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday.

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA's Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings -- and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft detects Propylene, key Ingredient of Plastic on Saturn’s moon Titan

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn’s moon Titan.

This is the first definitive detection of the plastic ingredient on any moon or planet, other than Earth.

A small amount of propylene was identified in Titan’s lower atmosphere by Cassini’s composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS). This instrument measures the infrared light, or heat radiation, emitted from Saturn and its moons in much the same way our hands feel the warmth of a fire.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the night side of Saturn's largest moon and sees sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan's atmosphere and forming a ring of color. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft looks toward the night side of Saturn’s largest moon and sees sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan’s atmosphere and forming a ring of color. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft data reveals Saturn Storm’s Power churns up ice water

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet — has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence.

A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm’s explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from great depths. This finding, derived from near-infrared measurements by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, is the first detection at Saturn of water ice. The water originates from deep in Saturn’s atmosphere.

This set of images from NASA's Cassini mission shows the turbulent power of a monster Saturn storm. The visible-light image in the back, obtained on Feb. 25, 2011, by Cassini's imaging camera, shows the turbulent clouds churning across the face of Saturn. The inset infrared image, obtained a day earlier, by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, shows the dredging up of water and ammonia ices from deep in Saturn's atmosphere. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/Univ. of Wisconsin)

This set of images from NASA’s Cassini mission shows the turbulent power of a monster Saturn storm. The visible-light image in the back, obtained on Feb. 25, 2011, by Cassini’s imaging camera, shows the turbulent clouds churning across the face of Saturn. The inset infrared image, obtained a day earlier, by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, shows the dredging up of water and ammonia ices from deep in Saturn’s atmosphere. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/Univ. of Wisconsin)

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NASA Scientist tries to answer the question, “How did Life get it’s start on Earth?”

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – How did life on Earth get started? Three new papers co-authored by Mike Russell, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, strengthen the case that Earth’s first life began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottom of oceans.

Scientists are interested in understanding early life on Earth because if we ever hope to find life on other worlds — especially icy worlds with subsurface oceans such as Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus — we need to know what chemical signatures to look for.

This image from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean shows a collection of limestone towers known as the "Lost City." Alkaline hydrothermal vents of this type are suggested to be the birthplace of the first living organisms on the ancient Earth.  (Image courtesy D. Kelley and M. Elend/University of Washington)

This image from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean shows a collection of limestone towers known as the “Lost City.” Alkaline hydrothermal vents of this type are suggested to be the birthplace of the first living organisms on the ancient Earth. (Image courtesy D. Kelley and M. Elend/University of Washington)

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NASA’s Voyager 1 Spacecraft nears edge of our Solar System and will soon enter Interstellar Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Data from NASA’s Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space.

Research using Voyager 1 data and published in the journal Science today provides new detail on the last region the spacecraft will cross before it leaves the heliosphere, or the bubble around our sun, and enters interstellar space.

This artist's concept shows NASA's two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as the heliosheath, the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around our sun. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as the heliosheath, the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around our sun. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft data suggests Wild Weather for Saturn’s Moon Titan this Summer

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Saturn’s moon Titan might be in for some wild weather as it heads into its spring and summer, if two new models are correct. Scientists think that as the seasons change in Titan’s northern hemisphere, waves could ripple across the moon’s hydrocarbon seas, and hurricanes could begin to swirl over these areas, too.

The model predicting waves tries to explain data from the moon obtained so far by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Both models help mission team members plan when and where to look for unusual atmospheric disturbances as Titan summer approaches.

Ligeia Mare, shown in here in data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the second largest known body of liquid on Saturn's moon Titan. It is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and is one of the many seas and lakes that bejewel Titan's north polar region. Cassini has yet to observe waves on Ligeia Mare and will look again during its next encounter on May 23rd, 2013. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell)

Ligeia Mare, shown in here in data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, is the second largest known body of liquid on Saturn’s moon Titan. It is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and is one of the many seas and lakes that bejewel Titan’s north polar region. Cassini has yet to observe waves on Ligeia Mare and will look again during its next encounter on May 23rd, 2013. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sees Meteors crash into Saturn’s Rings

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn’s rings.

These observations make Saturn’s rings the only location besides Earth, the moon and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of meteoroids from outside the Saturnian system helps scientists understand how different planet systems in our solar system formed.

Five images of Saturn's rings, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft between 2009 and 2012, show clouds of material ejected from impacts of small objects into the rings. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell)

Five images of Saturn’s rings, taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft between 2009 and 2012, show clouds of material ejected from impacts of small objects into the rings. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sees Ice Clouds forming in atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An ice cloud taking shape over Titan’s south pole is the latest sign that the change of seasons is setting off a cascade of radical changes in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon.

Made from an unknown ice, this type of cloud has long hung over Titan’s north pole, where it is now fading, according to observations made by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

The recently formed south polar vortex stands out in the color-swaddled atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in this natural color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

The recently formed south polar vortex stands out in the color-swaddled atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in this natural color view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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