Astronomy

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2007/08/16

  10:46:13 pm, by   , 102 words  
Categories: Mars

Martian Clouds

Martian Clouds
Martian Clouds

from: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMUDT70LYE_index_0.html

The ESA's Rosetta probe swooped around Mars on Sunday, completing a key manoeuvre in its 10-year mission to land on a distant comet. The 3-tonne probe came within 155 miles of the planet's surface, and took some incredible images that reveal cloud systems on the planet. "At this time of the Martian year, a large fraction of Mars' atmosphere is evaporating from the southern polar cap and will migrate to the northern polar cap during nothern winter. Over most of the Martian disk one can see large cloud systems."

Mars Annotated
Mars Annotated
  10:38:13 pm, by   , 17 words  
Categories: Saturn

Amazing Images of the Saturnian System

from: http://ciclops.org/index.php

The beautiful Cassini Probe Imaging:

Amazing Images of the Saturnian System
Amazing Images of the Saturnian System
  09:58:49 pm, by   , 393 words  
Categories: Stars

ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars

From: http://www.ornl.gov/info/press_releases/get_press_release.cfm?ReleaseNumber=mr20070105-00

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2007 — A team of scientists using Oak Ridge National Laboratory supercomputers has discovered the first plausible explanation for a pulsar's spin that fits the observations made by astronomers. Anthony Mezzacappa of the Department of Energy lab's Physics Division and John Blondin of North Carolina State University explain their results in the Jan. 4 issue of the journal Nature. According to three-dimensional simulations they performed at the Leadership Computing Facility, located at ORNL, the spin of a pulsar is determined not by the spin of the original star, but by the shock wave created when the star's massive iron core collapses.

ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars
ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars

This visualization shows the progression of spiral formation in a supernova, which eventually results in a pulsar's spin. The darkest portion of the accretion shock denotes the front edge of the wave as it rotates around the supernova's center. Three-dimensional computer models are the only models that show this effect. This 3D model of pulsar formation was performed at DOE's Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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  09:50:17 pm, by   , 180 words  
Categories: Saturn

Titan's Liquid Methane Lakes

Titan's liquid methane lakes
Titan's liquid methane lakes

from: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=2432

The existence of oceans or lakes of liquid methane on Saturn's moon Titan was predicted more than 20 years ago. But with a dense haze preventing a closer look it has not been possible to confirm their presence. Until the Cassini flyby of July 22, 2006, that is.

Radar imaging data from the flyby, published this week in the journal Nature, provide convincing evidence for large bodies of liquid. This image, used on the journal's cover, gives a taste of what Cassini saw. Intensity in this colorized image is proportional to how much radar brightness is returned, or more specifically, the logarithm of the radar backscatter cross-section. The colors are not a representation of what the human eye would see.

The lakes, darker than the surrounding terrain, are emphasized here by tinting regions of low backscatter in blue. Radar-brighter regions are shown in tan. The strip of radar imagery is foreshortened to simulate an oblique view of the highest latitude region, seen from a point to its west.

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Astronomy

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