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Topic: Petroleum

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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Tennessee Department of Agriculture reports Summer Drought did not decimate Tennessee’s Christmas Tree Crop

 

Nashville, TN – Most customers who visit local Christmas tree farms in the coming weeks won’t notice, but growers without irrigation this summer saw significant losses in seedlings planted over the 2011-12 fall and winter.

According to Kyle Holmberg, marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, some growers reported new seedling losses up to 80 percent. Losses of mature trees ran between 10 and 20 percent in areas subjected to significant drought combined with excessive heat.

Ripshin Tree Farm in East Tennessee.

Ripshin Tree Farm in East Tennessee.

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Mars Rover Carries Device for Underground Scouting

 

Written by Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An instrument on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity can check for any water that might be bound into shallow underground minerals along the rover’s path.

“If we conclude that there is something unusual in the subsurface at a particular spot, we could suggest more analysis of the spot using the capabilities of other instruments,” said this instrument’s principal investigator, Igor Mitrofanov of the Space Research Institute, Russia.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission will use 10 instruments on Curiosity to investigate whether the area selected for the mission has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for life and favorable for preserving evidence about life.

A Russian-built, neutron-shooting instrument on the Curiosity rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will check for water-bearing minerals in the ground beneath the rover. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A Russian-built, neutron-shooting instrument on the Curiosity rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will check for water-bearing minerals in the ground beneath the rover. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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