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Topic: Saturn

NASA says Mars and Saturn about to reach Closest point to Earth in 2018

 

Written by Ann Jenkins / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationBaltimore, MD – NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed Saturn and Mars near their closest approaches to Earth in June and July 2018. It’s now summertime in Saturn’s northern hemisphere and springtime in Mars’ southern hemisphere. The Hubble images show that Earth isn’t the only planet where intense spring and summer storms wreak havoc.

The increase in sunlight in Saturn’s northern hemisphere has heated the atmosphere to trigger a large storm that is now disintegrating in Saturn’s polar region.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed Saturn, left, and Mars, right, near their closest approaches to Earth in June and July 2018. (NASA)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed Saturn, left, and Mars, right, near their closest approaches to Earth in June and July 2018. (NASA)

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NASA states Subsurface Lake may exist at Mar’s South Pole

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA reports that a new paper published in Science this week suggests that liquid water may be sitting under a layer of ice at Mars’ south pole.

The finding is based on data from the European Mars Express spacecraft, obtained by a radar instrument called MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding). The Italian Space Agency (ASI) led the development of the MARSIS radar. NASA provided half of the instrument, with management of the U.S. portion led by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The view of Mars shown here was assembled from MOC daily global images obtained on May 12th, 2003. (NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

The view of Mars shown here was assembled from MOC daily global images obtained on May 12th, 2003. (NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft data reveals plasma waves moving from Saturn to it’s moon Enceladus

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New research from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus.

The observations show for the first time that the waves travel on magnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus. The field lines are like an electrical circuit between the two bodies, with energy flowing back and forth.

Researchers converted the recording of plasma waves into a “whooshing” audio file that we can hear — in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft's Grand Finale orbits found a powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s Grand Finale orbits found a powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovers Complex Organics coming from Saturn’s moon Enceladus

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveal complex organic molecules originating from Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, strengthening the idea that this ocean world hosts conditions suitable for life. Research results show much larger, heavier molecules than ever before.

Powerful hydrothermal vents mix up material from the moon’s water-filled, porous core with water from the moon’s massive subsurface ocean – and it is released into space, in the form of water vapor and ice grains. A team led by Frank Postberg and Nozair Khawaja of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, continues to examine the makeup of the ejected ice and has recently identified fragments of large, complex organic molecules.

A dramatic plume sprays water ice and vapor from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Cassini's first hint of this plume came during the spacecraft's first close flyby of the icy moon on February 17, 2005. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

A dramatic plume sprays water ice and vapor from the south polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Cassini’s first hint of this plume came during the spacecraft’s first close flyby of the icy moon on February 17, 2005. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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NASA Takes a Deep Dive into the Search for Life

 

Written by Abby Tabor
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSilicon Valley, CA – Deep space and the deep sea are not as different as you might think. In 2018 and 2019, NASA’s search for life beyond Earth will dive beneath the waves here at home to explore hydrothermal systems of underwater volcanoes.

These special locations could look a lot like what we’ll find on the other ocean worlds in our solar system – prime candidates to potentially support life.

Many projects at NASA study places on Earth that could be analogous to extraterrestrial locations. The project pulling together ocean and space is called SUBSEA, which stands for Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog.

Saturn's moon Enceladus hides an ocean beneath its icy crust. Water interacting with rock on the sea floor could potentially yield chemical reactions that would make microbial metabolism possible. (NASA)

Saturn’s moon Enceladus hides an ocean beneath its icy crust. Water interacting with rock on the sea floor could potentially yield chemical reactions that would make microbial metabolism possible. (NASA)

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Clarksville Police respond to Rollover Crash at Greenwood Avenue and Woodmont Boulevard

 

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – On Monday, May 21st, 2018 around 1:00pm, Clarksville Police report an inexperienced 19 year old female driving a Saturn, made a right turn off of Greenwood Avenue onto Woodmont Boulevard, hit a curb, causing the car to roll over and land on its roof.

The driver and passenger were uninjured.

A 19 year old female in a Saturn turned onto Woodmont Boulevard and rolled the car. (Jim Knoll, CPD)

A 19 year old female in a Saturn turned onto Woodmont Boulevard and rolled the car. (Jim Knoll, CPD)

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Reexamination of NASA Galileo orbiter data yields new evidence of Plumes from Jupiter’s moon Europa

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter’s moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. The data provide independent evidence that the moon’s subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell.

Data collected by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 were put through new and advanced computer models to untangle a mystery — a brief, localized bend in the magnetic field — that had gone unexplained until now.

Artist's illustration of Jupiter and Europa (in the foreground) with the Galileo spacecraft after its pass through a plume erupting from Europa's surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

Artist’s illustration of Jupiter and Europa (in the foreground) with the Galileo spacecraft after its pass through a plume erupting from Europa’s surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory gets visit from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A week before NASA launches its next mission to Mars, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence toured on Saturday, April 28th, the birthplace of numerous past, present and future space missions at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The afternoon visit by the Vice President, his wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte, included a stop in JPL’s Mission Control, where engineers will communicate with NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight).

JPL Director Michael Watkins gave Vice President Mike Pence, right, a plaque during the Vice President's tour of JPL on April 28, 2018. The plaque features a view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

JPL Director Michael Watkins gave Vice President Mike Pence, right, a plaque during the Vice President’s tour of JPL on April 28, 2018. The plaque features a view of NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA detects Hydrogen Sulfide in clouds on Uranus

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Even after decades of observations and a visit by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, Uranus held on to one critical secret — the composition of its clouds. Now, one of the key components of the planet’s clouds has finally been verified.

A global research team that includes Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has spectroscopically dissected the infrared light from Uranus captured by the 26.25-foot (8-meter) Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. They found hydrogen sulfide, the odiferous gas that most people avoid, in Uranus’ cloud tops. The long-sought evidence was published in the April 23rd issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.

Arriving at Uranus in 1986, Voyager 2 observed a bluish orb with extremely subtle features. A haze layer hid most of the planet's cloud features from view. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Arriving at Uranus in 1986, Voyager 2 observed a bluish orb with extremely subtle features. A haze layer hid most of the planet’s cloud features from view. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Kepler Mission to end when Spacecraft runs out of Fuel

 

Written by Charlie Sobeck
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope mission

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSilicon Valley, CA – Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays.

At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. With nary a gas station to be found in deep space, the spacecraft is going to run out of fuel. We expect to reach that moment within several months.

In 2013, Kepler’s primary mission ended when a second reaction wheel broke, rendering it unable to hold its gaze steady at the original field of view.

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft

NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft

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