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Draggendrop

Major Dust Storm Could Soon Hit Mars

 

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This image illustrates the haze that engulfs Mars during major dust storms. These two images were taken in 2001, about a month apart.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

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A raging Martian dust storm is expected to sweep across the Red Planet within the next few months, according to a study that found a way to predict these otherwise variable weather events. 

 

Global dust storms on Mars threaten robotic rovers traversing the Martian surface, as well as astronauts that may one day set up camp on the Red Planet. However, based on past weather patterns, Martian dust storms may soon become more predicable — and if history repeats itself, the next storm is just around the corner, according to a statement from NASA. 

 

"Mars will reach the midpoint of its current dust storm season on October 29th of this year," James Shirley, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in the statement. "Based on the historical pattern we found, we believe it is very likely that a global dust storm will begin within a few weeks or months of this date." 

 

Local dust storms are fairly frequent on Mars. However, these localized storms can grow into regional or, in some cases, global storms. The dust storm season typically reaches its peak during the spring and summer in the planet's southern hemisphere, when Mars is closest to the sun, NASA officials said in the statement. 

 

Dust storms on Mars create a massive haze that blankets the planet. The last global dust storm on Mars was in 2007. During this storm, NASA Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity received scarce solar power, but were able to survive. 

more at the link...

http://www.space.com/34329-major-dust-storm-soon-hit-mars.html

 

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Digital art by 

Syd Weiler
Sarasota, FL, USA

 

Syd Weiler Sarasota, FL, USA

 

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credit Syd Weiler
Sarasota, FL, USA

e0095643366415.57ec40807bf05.png

credit  Syd Weiler
Sarasota, FL, USA

 

I thought this art was pretty neat and hope that she does more...there is an appreciate button on her site as well...:) 

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Jim K

Impacts on the moon occur more frequently than previously thought...100 times faster.

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The moon's surface is being "gardened" — churned by small impacts — more than 100 times faster than scientists previously thought. This means that surface features believed to be young are perhaps even younger than assumed. It also means that any structures placed on the moon as part of human expeditions will need better protection.

 

This new discovery comes from more than seven years of high-resolution lunar images studied by a team of scientists from Arizona State University and Cornell University. The team is led by ASU's Emerson Speyerer, who is also the lead author of the scientific paper published Oct. 13 in Nature.

"Before the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in 2009, we thought that it took hundreds of thousands to millions of years to change the lunar surface layer significantly," Speyerer said. "But we've discovered that the moon's uppermost surface materials are completely turned over in something like 80,000 years."

 

The images used in the discovery come from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. LROC is run from the Science Operations Center on ASU's Tempe campus; the instrument's principal investigator is Mark Robinson, a professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE). Robinson is a co-author on the paper along with Reinhold Povilaitis and Robert Wagner, both SESE research specialists, and Peter Thomas of Cornell.

 

/snip

 

When the team examined the new craters found by the LROC survey, they noticed that the craters were surrounded by starburst patterns that obviously formed during the impact. 

 

While the pattern details are complex, the researchers found that an impact throws out several kinds of debris. Some of it lands nearby. But impacts also throw small amounts of debris in hyper-velocity jets at speeds of 16 kilometers (10 miles) per second. This material — vaporized and molten rock — shoots over the surface, disturbing the upper layer of lunar soil and changing its brightness. 

"In addition to the new impact craters and starburst debris patterns, we observed a surprising number of small surface changes which we call splotches," Speyerer said.

 

While splotches lack the detectable rims that craters show, the team thinks the splotches are most likely caused by small impacts of material thrown from larger impacts. 

 

"We see dense clusters of splotches around new impact sites," he said. "This suggests that many splotches may be secondary effects caused by material thrown out from the primary impact event."

 

From 14,000 pairs of before-and-after LROC images, the scientists identified more than 47,000 splotches.

 

"We estimated their accumulation over time and measured their sizes," Speyerer said. "From this, we inferred how deeply each splotch dug up the surface. That gave us an estimate of how long it takes to effectively churn or 'garden' the upper few inches of lunar soil."

 

The gardening time amounted to a geological eyeblink: not millions of years, and not even hundreds of thousands of years. As Speyerer explains, "We found that 99 percent of the surface would be overturned by forming splotches after about 81,000 years." 

 

/snip

 

More at Arizona State University

 

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Draggendrop

Very interesting.....

 

I have always been a fan of a moon base and am rooting for the Lunar Village concept. At the same time, with the moon lacking an atmosphere, extra impact precautions will be required. An idea would also to partition modules similar to ship bulkheads with an automatic sealing in case of a breach.

 

Mars will have the benefit of it's atmosphere, but everywhere we go in the future, will require remediation for the habitats peculiar environment.

 

Bring your space hard hats for Lunar Village.

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Unobscured Vision

I was reading about this earlier today ... yeah. The lunar environment is a bit more dodgy (literally) than we first supposed. A "bad day" would really mess up long-term plans throughout the whole Solar System. It's going to happen, someday, somewhere ... and it's important that we get some kind of contingency in place to either mitigate or eliminate incoming "bad day makers" like these.

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Jim K

Does Uranus have two previously undiscovered moons?

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Uranus may have two small moons that no one has ever seen, orbiting closer to the planet than any of its other satellites and making wavy patterns in the planet’s rings.

 

The ice giant has 27 known moons, far fewer than the 67 and 62 of its neighbours Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. Uranus is a smaller planet, which may explain the difference.

 

But it might just be that we haven’t previously had a chance to look for more moons. Unlike its larger brethren, Uranus has entertained only one passing spacecraft – Voyager 2, which tripled the number of known Uranian moons in its 1986 flyby. Uranus is also yet to receive an orbiting spacecraft like Jupiter’s Galileo and Juno, or Saturn’s Cassini.

 

In addition to its moons, Uranus has dark, narrow rings. Scientists detected the first of these in 1977, when the planet and its rings blocked the light from a distant star. Voyager 2 later discovered two moons, Cordelia and Ophelia, on either side of the outermost ring, named Epsilon. The gravitational pulls of the two moons herd the ring’s particles into a narrow formation.

 

Now planetary scientists Rob Chancia and Matthew Hedman at the University of Idaho in Moscow have re-examined Voyager data and discovered wavy patterns in two other rings, Alpha and Beta. These may similarly arise from the gravitational tug of a moon that lies outside each ring.

 

“These moons are pretty tiny,” says Chancia, at only 4 to 14 kilometres across if they exist. That means they’re probably smaller than any Uranian satellite known – and too diminutive for Voyager to have seen clearly. Still, at least four of Saturn’s moons are even smaller.

 

The two putative moons are probably dark, based on the colours of their neighbours. “Not only are Uranus’s rings dark, so are most of the little satellites that are in that region,” says Hedman.

 

/snip

 

In the coming months, Showalter and his colleagues will examine observations of Uranus by the Hubble Space Telescope, which spotted Pluto’s four smallest moons years before the New Horizons spacecraft visited in 2015. He calls Hubble “the best bet” for finding the Uranian satellites, adding that characterising their orbits is very useful.

 

More at New Scientist

 

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Draggendrop

We are all aware of the recent Rossetta mission...

 

Mission complete Rosetta's journey ends in daring descent to comet

 

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30 September 2016
ESA’s historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years. 

Confirmation of the end of the mission arrived at ESA’s control centre in Darmstadt, Germany at 11:19 GMT (13:19 CEST) with the loss of Rosetta’s signal upon impact.

Rosetta carried out its final manoeuvre last night at 20:50 GMT (22:50 CEST), setting it on a collision course with the comet from an altitude of about 19 km. Rosetta had targeted a region on the small lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, close to a region of active pits in the Ma’at region.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Mission_complete_Rosetta_s_journey_ends_in_daring_descent_to_comet

 

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Rosetta's last image

 

But I have some sad news to share...

 

 

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On the 80 th year of life he died world-renowned astronomer, explorer and discoverer of comets Klim Ivanovich Churyumov - http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22753/ .

 

DIED Clim Ivanovich Churyumov

 

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On the 80 th year of life died world-famous Soviet and Ukrainian astronomer, explorer and discoverer of comets, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Professor Klim Ivanovich Churyumov. Among the merits of Klim Ivanovich discovery of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which was studied during the recently concluded European mission "Rosetta" and the comet Churyumov-Solodovnikova
 
Klim Churyumov was born February 19, 1937 in Nikolaev (Ukraine). In 1955 he enrolled in the physics department of the Kiev State University (specialty "Physics-Astronomy"). In 1962 he started working at the plant "Arsenal", where he participated in the development of astro-navigation equipment for space launch and test it at Baikonur and Plesetsk. After finishing graduate of the Kiev State University was a research associate at the Department of Astronomy of KSU.
 
In 1969, the year together with his graduate student Svetlana Gerasimenko comet watching Comas-Sola, and accidentally discovered on one of the images of a celestial body another unknown comet, which eventually was named after their discoverers - "Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko."
 
After 17 years, together with Vladimir Churyumov Solodovnikova (from the Astrophysical Institute of the Fesenkov, Kazakhstan) opened the second comet, which was named "Comet Churyumov-Solodovnikova".

 

Klim Ivanovich Churyumov published more than 800 scientific papers, was the chairman of the Scientific Committee, organized the fifteen international astronomical conference. In the name of Klim Ivanovich Churyumov named a minor planet (2627) Churyumov, opened in 1984 by Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh.
 
We present our sincere condolences to all the relatives and friends of Klim Ivanovich. Everlasting memory!

http://www.roscosmos.ru/22753/

 

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Klim Ivanovich Churyumov

 

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Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko

 

 

A very sad day indeed, but I feel solace knowing he had the chance to see their discovery revealed to the world.  :(

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Draggendrop

Mission Prepares for Next Jupiter Pass

 

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JUNO MISSION STATUS 

 

Mission managers for NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter have decided to postpone the upcoming burn of its main rocket motor originally scheduled for Oct. 19. This burn, called the period reduction maneuver (PRM), was to reduce Juno’s orbital period around Jupiter from 53.4 to 14 days. The decision was made in order to further study the performance of a set of valves that are part of the spacecraft’s fuel pressurization system. The period reduction maneuver was the final scheduled burn of Juno’s main engine.

 

"Telemetry indicates that two helium check valves that play an important role in the firing of the spacecraft’s main engine did not operate as expected during a command sequence that was initiated yesterday,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The valves should have opened in a few seconds, but it took several minutes. We need to better understand this issue before moving forward with a burn of the main engine.”

 

After consulting with Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver and NASA Headquarters, Washington, the project decided to delay the PRM maneuver at least one orbit. The most efficient time to perform such a burn is when the spacecraft is at the part of its orbit which is closest to the planet. The next opportunity for the burn would be during its close flyby of Jupiter on Dec. 11.

 

Mission designers had originally planned to limit the number of science instruments on during Juno’s Oct. 19 close flyby of Jupiter. Now, with the period reduction maneuver postponed, all of the spacecraft’s science instruments will be gathering data during the upcoming flyby.

 

“It is important to note that the orbital period does not affect the quality of the science that takes place during one of Juno’s close flybys of Jupiter,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "The mission is very flexible that way. The data we collected during our first flyby on August 27th was a revelation, and I fully anticipate a similar result from Juno’s October 19th flyby.”

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/mission-prepares-for-next-jupiter-pass

 

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The Juno spacecraft was supposed to complete two 53-day orbits around Jupiter, then lower its orbit Oct. 19 to fly around the planet once every 14 days. That engine burn has been rescheduled for no earlier than Dec. 11. Credit: NASA/JPL Caltech

 

Mission managers keeping Juno in elongated orbit until December

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/10/15/mission-managers-keeping-juno-in-elongated-orbit-until-december/

 

Engine Problems Delay Juno Engine Burn at Jupiter

http://spaceref.com/jupiter/engine-problems-delay-juno-engine-burn-at-jupiter.html

 

:(

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Unobscured Vision

Well, on the bright side that super-long orbit will preserve Juno's systems. Keep it in that orbit and she'd last years. Longer science return for some of the stuff they wanna get, but a much longer overall mission. Six of one, half a dozen of another?

 

[EDIT] Oh, and it'll be a great opportunity to do some extra science on the farther-out objects in the Jovian System, when able. Another possibility presents itself. :yes: 

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Draggendrop
3 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Well, on the bright side that super-long orbit will preserve Juno's systems. Keep it in that orbit and she'd last years. Longer science return for some of the stuff they wanna get, but a much longer overall mission. Six of one, half a dozen of another?

 

[EDIT] Oh, and it'll be a great opportunity to do some extra science on the farther-out objects in the Jovian System, when able. Another possibility presents itself. :yes: 

With a bit of luck, they may be able to loosen the valving, or use a known delay to achieve the proper orbital insertion...fingers crossed for it...

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Draggendrop

NASA’s Juno Team to Discuss Jupiter Mission Status, Latest Science Results

 

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This artist's rendering shows NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter.
Credits: NASA

 

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Team members of NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter will discuss the latest science results, an amateur imaging processing campaign, and the recent decision to postpone a scheduled burn of its main engine, during a media briefing at 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 19. The briefing will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website.

 

The briefing participants are:

David Schurr, deputy director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington
Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio
Candice Hansen, JunoCam imaging scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona


The briefing will take place at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division of Planetary Sciences and European Planetary Science Congress (DPS/EPSC) at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. To attend the Juno briefing in person, media should request a press registration form at the event registration desk.

 

For access to the event live webcast, media should send their name and media affiliation to AAS Press Officer Rick Fienberg at rick.fienberg@aas.org, or call 857-891-5649, by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

 

NASA's Juno spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4. On Aug. 27, it performed its first close flyby of the planet. It was the first time Juno had its entire suite of science instruments activated and observing the planet as the spacecraft zoomed past.

 

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and to view the news briefing, visit: 

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-juno-team-to-discuss-jupiter-mission-status-latest-science-results

 

 

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NASA's MAVEN Mission Gives Unprecedented Ultraviolet View of Mars

 

Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation

video is 0:09 min.

 

 

 

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New global images of Mars from the MAVEN mission show the ultraviolet glow from the Martian atmosphere in unprecedented detail, revealing dynamic, previously invisible behavior. They include the first images of "nightglow" that can be used to show how winds circulate at high altitudes.

 

Additionally, dayside ultraviolet imagery from the spacecraft shows how ozone amounts change over the seasons and how afternoon clouds form over giant Martian volcanoes. The images were taken by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN).

 

"MAVEN obtained hundreds of such images in recent months, giving some of the best high-resolution ultraviolet coverage of Mars ever obtained," said Nick Schneider of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Schneider is presenting these results Oct. 19 at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Pasadena, California, which is being held jointly with the European Planetary Science Congress.

 

Nightside images show ultraviolet (UV) "nightglow" emission from nitric oxide (abbreviated NO). Nightglow is a common planetary phenomenon in which the sky faintly glows even in the complete absence of external light. Mars' nightside atmosphere emits light in the ultraviolet due to chemical reactions that start on Mars' dayside. Ultraviolet light from the sun breaks down molecules of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and the resulting atoms are carried around the planet by high-altitude wind patterns that encircle the planet. On the nightside, these winds bring the atoms down to lower altitudes where nitrogen and oxygen atoms collide to form nitric oxide molecules. The recombination releases extra energy, which comes out as ultraviolet light.

much more at the link...

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2016/maven-uv-mars

 

 

iuvs_1_clean_with_insetjpg.jpg?itok=CyR-

This image of the Mars night side shows ultraviolet emission from nitric oxide (abbreviated NO). The emission is shown in false color with black as low values, green as medium, and white as high. These emissions track the recombination of atomic nitrogen and oxygen produced on the dayside, and reveal the circulation patterns of the atmosphere. The splotches, streaks and other irregularities in the image are indications that atmospheric patterns are extremely variable on Mars' nightside. The inset shows the viewing geometry on the planet. MAVEN's Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph obtained this image of Mars on May 4, 2016 during late winter in Mars Southern Hemisphere.
Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado

 

 

 

 

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This ultraviolet image near Mars’ South Pole was taken by MAVEN on July 10 2016 and shows the atmosphere and surface during southern spring. The ultraviolet colors of the planet have been rendered in false color, to show what we would see with ultraviolet-sensitive eyes. Darker regions show the planet's rocky surface and brighter regions are due to clouds, dust and haze. The white region centered on the pole is frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) on the surface. Pockets of ice are left inside craters as the polar cap recedes in the spring, giving its edge a rough appearance. High concentrations of atmospheric ozone appear magenta in color, and the wavy edge of the enhanced ozone region highlights wind patterns around the pole.
Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado

 

 

 

 

iuvs_3-clouds-montage.jpg?itok=GIsGf-iR

MAVEN's Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph obtained these images of rapid cloud formation on Mars on July 9-10, 2016. The ultraviolet colors of the planet have been rendered in false color, to show what we would see with ultraviolet-sensitive eyes. The series interleaves MAVEN images to show about 7 hours of Mars rotation during this period, just over a quarter of Mars' day. The left part of the planet is in morning and the right side is in afternoon. Mars’ prominent volcanoes, topped with white clouds, can be seen moving across the disk. Mars’ tallest volcano, Olympus Mons, appears as a prominent dark region near the top of the images, with a small white cloud at the summit that grows during the day. Olympus Mons appears dark because the volcano rises up above much of the hazy atmosphere which makes the rest of the planet appear lighter. Three more volcanoes appear in a diagonal row, with their cloud cover merging to span up to a thousand miles by the end of the day. These images are particularly interesting because they show how rapidly and extensively the clouds topping the volcanoes form in the afternoon. Similar processes occur at Earth, with the flow of winds over mountains creating clouds. Afternoon cloud formation is a common occurrence in the American West, especially during the summer.
Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado

 

 

 

 

iuvs_3_clouds-still3-lgjpg.jpg?itok=GG8p

MAVEN's Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph obtained images of rapid cloud formation on Mars on July 9-10, 2016. The ultraviolet colors of the planet have been rendered in false color, to show what we would see with ultraviolet-sensitive eyes. Mars’ tallest volcano, Olympus Mons, appears as a prominent dark region near the top of the image, with a small white cloud at the summit that grows during the day. Three more volcanoes appear in a diagonal row, with their cloud cover (white areas near center) merging to span up to a thousand miles by the end of the day.
Credits: NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado

 

:)

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Draggendrop

NASA spacecraft loses computer before close encounter with Jupiter

 

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An artist's rendering depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft above Jupiter's north pole in this undated handout image. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via Reuters/File photo

 

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NASA's Juno spacecraft lost its main computer and science instruments shortly before it was due to make an orbital pass near Jupiter on Wednesday, scuttling highly anticipated close-up observations of the largest planet in the solar system.

 

The U.S. space agency said the glitch followed an unrelated problem last week that prompted it to skip firing Juno’s braking engine, to steer the probe into a tighter regular orbit around Jupiter.

 

Juno's computer restarted after Wednesday's shutdown and the spacecraft was "healthy," NASA said in a statement.

 

Juno reached Jupiter in July for a 20-month study to learn how and where the giant, gas planet formed, setting the stage for the evolution and development of Earth and the rest of the planets in the solar system.

 

During Wednesday's flyby, scientists had planned to begin using Juno's instruments to peer beneath Jupiter’s thick clouds and map its gargantuan magnetic fields. But the loss of the ship's main computer, 13 hours before the close encounter, put the observation plans on hold until at least Dec. 11,  when the spacecraft makes its next close pass by Jupiter, NASA said.

 

The cause of the computer outage is under investigation. NASA also is analyzing the unrelated propulsion system issue.

 

NASA had hoped to shift Juno into a tighter orbit around Jupiter so it could fly close more often. Those plans are now on hold.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-jupiter-idUSKCN12J2UK

 

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Juno Spacecraft in Safe Mode for Latest Jupiter Flyby

 

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered safe mode Tuesday, Oct. 18 at about 10:47 p.m. PDT (Oct. 19 at 1:47 a.m. EDT). Early indications are a software performance monitor induced a reboot of the spacecraft’s onboard computer. The spacecraft acted as expected during the transition into safe mode, restarted successfully and is healthy.  High-rate data has been restored, and the spacecraft is conducting flight software diagnostics. All instruments are off, and the planned science data collection for today’s close flyby of Jupiter (perijove 2), did not occur.

 

“At the time safe mode was entered, the spacecraft was more than 13 hours from its closest approach to Jupiter,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We were still quite a ways from the planet’s more intense radiation belts and magnetic fields. The spacecraft is healthy and we are working our standard recovery procedure.”

 

The spacecraft is designed to enter safe mode if its onboard computer perceives conditions are not as expected. In this case, the safe mode turned off instruments and a few non-critical spacecraft components, and it confirmed the spacecraft was pointed toward the sun to ensure the solar arrays received power.

 

Mission managers are continuing to study an unrelated issue with the performance of a pair of valves that are part of the spacecraft’s propulsion system. Last week the decision was made to postpone a burn of the spacecraft’s main engine that would have reduced Juno’s orbital period from 53.4 to 14 days.

 

The next close flyby is scheduled on Dec. 11, with all science instruments on.

The Juno science team continues to analyze returns from the first close flyby on Aug. 27. Revelations from that flyby include that Jupiter’s magnetic fields and aurora are bigger and more powerful than originally thought. Juno’s Microwave Radiometer instrument (MWR) also provided data that give mission scientists their first glimpse below the planet’s swirling cloud deck. The radiometer instrument can peer about 215 to 250 miles (350 to 400 kilometers) below Jupiter’s clouds.

 

“With the MWR data, it is as if we took an onion and began to peel the layers off to see the structure and processes going on below,” said Bolton. “We are seeing that those beautiful belts and bands of orange and white we see at Jupiter’s cloud tops extend in some version as far down as our instruments can see, but seem to change with each layer.”

 

The JunoCam public outreach camera also was operating during the Aug. 27 flyby. The raw images from that flyby (and all future flybys) were made available on the JunoCam website  (www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam) for the public to not only peruse but to process into final image products. JunoCam is the first outreach camera to venture beyond the asteroid belt.

 

“JunoCam has a small operations team and no image processing team, so we took a leap of faith that the public would step up and help us generate images of Jupiter from the raw data,” said Candy Hansen, JunoCam imaging scientist from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. “All sorts of people are coming to the JunoCam site and providing their own aesthetic. We have volunteers from all over the world, and they are doing beautiful work. So far all our expectations for JunoCam have not only been met but are being exceeded, and we’re just getting started.”

 

The final image products include straightforward images of the solar system’s largest world, but also some with a certain artistic license, including a variation on Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting and even a “smiley face” made from an image of Jupiter’s south pole. These amateur-generated JunoCam images are not only being used to help interest the media and public in this mission to the most massive planet in the solar system, but are engaging Juno’s science team as well.

 

“The amateurs are giving us a different perspective on how to process images,” said Hansen. “They are experimenting with different color enhancements, different highlights or annotations than we would normally expect.  They are identifying storms tracked from Earth to connect our images to the historical record. This is citizen science at its best.”

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/juno-spacecraft-in-safe-mode-for-latest-jupiter-flyby

 

 

 

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This composite image depicts Jupiter’s cloud formations as seen through the eyes of Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument as compared to the top layer, a Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem image of the planet. The MWR can see a couple of hundred miles (kilometers) into Jupiter’s atmosphere with its largest antenna. The belts and bands visible on the surface are also visible in modified form in each layer below.

JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/GSFC

 

 

 

 

by_jove.jpg

A smiley face can be seen in this image of Jupiter created by a citizen scientist (Randy Ahn) using data from Juno’s JunoCam instrument. In JunoCam’s view, Jupiter is only half-lit, so Ahn copied and flipped the half-smile to make a full smile out of Jupiter’s swirling atmosphere. JunoCam’s raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Randy Ahn

 

 

 

 

pia21108.jpg

This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist (Alex Mai) using data from Juno’s JunoCam instrument. JunoCam’s raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Alex Mai

 

:D

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Draggendrop

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

 

125128_web.jpg

This image shows atomic hydrogen scattering sunlight in the upper atmosphere of Mars, as seen by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission. About 400,000 observations, taken over the course of four days shortly after the spacecraft entered orbit around Mars, were used to create the image. Hydrogen is produced by the breakdown of water, which was once abundant on Mars' surface. Because hydrogen has low atomic mass and is weakly bound by gravity, it extends far from the planet (the darkened circle) and can readily escape.
CREDIT
Credit: NASA/University of Colorado
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Quote

After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA's MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space.

 

Sophisticated measurements made by a suite of instruments on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft revealed the ups and downs of hydrogen escape - and therefore water loss. The escape rate peaked when Mars was at its closest point to the sun and dropped off when the planet was farthest from the sun. The rate of loss varied dramatically overall, with 10 times more hydrogen escaping at the maximum.

 

"MAVEN is giving us unprecedented detail about hydrogen escape from the upper atmosphere of Mars, and this is crucial for helping us figure out the total amount of water lost over billions of years," said Ali Rahmati, a MAVEN team member at the University of California at Berkeley who analyzed data from two of the spacecraft's instruments.

 

Hydrogen in Mars' upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars' upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape.

 

This loss had long been assumed to be more-or-less constant, like a slow leak in a tire. But previous observations made using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ESA's Mars Express orbiter found unexpected fluctuations. Only a handful of these measurements have been made so far, and most were essentially snapshots, taken months or years apart. MAVEN has been tracking the hydrogen escape without interruption over the course of a Martian year, which lasts nearly two Earth years.

 

"Now that we know such large changes occur, we think of hydrogen escape from Mars less as a slow and steady leak and more as an episodic flow - rising and falling with season and perhaps punctuated by strong bursts," said Michael Chaffin, a scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who is on the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) team. Chaffin is presenting some IUVS results on Oct. 19 at the joint meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences and the European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, California.

 

In the most detailed observations of hydrogen loss to date, four of MAVEN's instruments detected the factor-of-10 change in the rate of escape. Changes in the density of hydrogen in the upper atmosphere were inferred from the flux of hydrogen ions - electrically charged hydrogen atoms - measured by the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer and by the Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition instrument. IUVS observed a drop in the amount of sunlight scattered by hydrogen in the upper atmosphere. MAVEN's magnetometer found a decrease in the occurrence of electromagnetic waves excited by hydrogen ions, indicating a decrease in the amount of hydrogen present.

more at the link...

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/nsfc-nmm101916.php

 

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Draggendrop

First results from long-term, hi-res tracking of eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io

 

Quote

Jupiter's moon Io continues to be the most volcanically active body in the solar system, as documented by the longest series of frequent, high-resolution observations of the moon's thermal emission ever obtained.

 

Using near-infrared adaptive optics on two of the world's largest telescopes - the 10-meter Keck II and the 8-meter Gemini North, both located near the summit of the dormant volcano Maunakea in Hawaii - University of California, Berkeley astronomers tracked 48 volcanic hot spots on the surface over a period of 29 months from August 2013 through the end of 2015.

 

Without adaptive optics - a technique that removes the atmospheric blur to sharpen the image - Io is merely a fuzzy ball. Adaptive optics can separate features just a few hundred kilometers apart on Io's 3,600-kilometer-diameter surface.

 

"On a given night, we may see half a dozen or more different hot spots," said Katherine de Kleer, a UC Berkeley graduate student who led the observations. "Of Io's hundreds of active volcanoes, we have been able to track the 50 that were the most powerful over the past few years."

 

She and Imke de Pater, a UC Berkeley professor of astronomy and of earth and planetary science, observed the heat coming off of active eruptions as well as cooling lava flows and were able to determine the temperature and total power output of individual volcanic eruptions.They tracked their evolution over days, weeks and sometimes even years.

 

Interestingly, some of the eruptions appeared to progress across the surface over time, as if one triggered another 500 kilometers away.

 

"While it stretches the imagination to devise a mechanism that could operate over distances of 500 kilometers, Io's volcanism is far more extreme than anything we have on Earth and continues to amaze and baffle us," de Kleer said.

 

Quote

One key target of interest was Io's most powerful persistent volcano, Loki Patera, which brightens by more than a factor of 10 every 1-2 years. A patera is an irregular crater, usually volcanic.

 

Many scientists believe that Loki Patera is a massive lava lake, and that these bright episodes represent its overturning crust, like that seen in lava lakes on Earth. In fact, the heat emissions from Loki Patera appear to travel around the lake during each event, as if from a wave moving around a lake triggering the destabilization and sinking of portions of crust. Prior to 2002, this front seemed to travel around the cool island in the center of the lake in a counter-clockwise direction.

 

After an apparent cessation of brightening events after 2002, de Pater observed renewed activity in 2009.

 

"With the renewed activity, the waves traveled clockwise around the lava lake," she noted.

 

Another volcano, Kurdalagon Patera, produced unusually hot eruptions twice in the spring of 2015, coinciding with the brightening of an extended cloud of neutral material that orbits Jupiter. This provides circumstantial evidence that eruptions on the surface are the source of variability in this neutral cloud, though it's unclear why other eruptions were not also associated with brightening, de Kleer said.

more at the link...

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/uoc--frf101716.php

 

 

Volcanic eruptions tracked on Jupiter moon Io

video is 9 sec's

 

 

Quote

All hot spots detected from August 2013 through December 2015 are displayed on a full map of Io, illustrating the approximate length of time they were visible. The size of the circle corresponds logarithmically to the intensity. Loki Patera is at 310 West, 10 North and Kurdalagon Patera is at 220 West, 50 South.


CREDIT
Katherine de Kleer and Imke de Pater, UC Berkeley.


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124976_web.jpg

All hot spot detections from August 2013 through December 2015 shown on a full map of Io. Each circle represents a new detection; the size of the circle corresponds logarithmically to the intensity, and more opaque regions are where a hot spot was detected multiple times. The color and symbol indicate the type of eruption, following the legend. Loki Patera is at 310 West, 10 North and Kurdalagon Patera is at 220 West, 50 South.

CREDIT

Katherine de Kleer and Imke de Pater, UC Berkeley

USAGE RESTRICTIONS

None

 

 

 

 

124975_web.jpg

Images of Io at different near-infrared wavelengths. The name of the filter used is indicated in the black box at the start of each section. The bright spots are thermal emissions from Io's myriad volcanoes. Note the increasing number of hot spots detected at longer wavelengths, i.e. towards the bottom of the figure.
CREDIT
Katherine de Kleer and Imke de Pater, UC Berkeley
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Draggendrop

Fluid Fantasy

 

pia20503-1041.jpg?itok=RhiD-nbb

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Quote

Saturn's clouds are full of raw beauty, but they also represent a playground for a branch of physics called fluid dynamics, which seeks to understand the motion of gases and liquids.

 

Saturn's lack of a solid planetary surface (as on Earth, Mars or Venus) means that its atmosphere is free to flow around the planet essentially without obstruction. This is one factor that generates Saturn's pattern of alternating belts and zones -- one of the main features of its dynamic atmosphere.

 

Winds in the belts blow at speeds different from those in the adjacent zones, leading to the formation of vortices along the boundaries between the two. And vigorous convection occasionally leads to storms and waves.

 

Saturn's innermost rings are just visible at the bottom and in the upper left corner.

 

This view is centered on clouds at 25 degrees north latitude on Saturn. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on July 20, 2016 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers.

 

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 752,000 miles (1.21 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 6 degrees. Image scale is 45 miles (72 kilometers) per pixel.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20503/fluid-fantasy

 

----------------------------

 

Lonely Moon

 

pia20504_1041.jpg?itok=-nwAkq3B

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Quote

Pandora is seen here, in isolation beside Saturn's kinked and constantly changing F ring.

 

Pandora (near upper right) is 50 miles (81 kilometers) wide. The moon has an elongated, potato-like shape (see PIA07632).

 

Two faint ringlets are visible within the Encke Gap, near lower left. The gap is about 202 miles (325 kilometers) wide. The much narrower Keeler Gap, which lies outside the Encke Gap, is maintained by the diminutive moon Daphnis (not seen here).

 

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 23 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2016.

 

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 907,000 miles (1.46 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 113 degrees. Image scale is 6 miles (9 kilometers) per pixel.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20504/lonely-moon

 

--------------------------

 

Changing Colors in Saturn's North

 

pia21049-1041.jpg?itok=BRcmhx99

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Hampton University

 

Quote

These two natural color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the changing appearance of Saturn's north polar region between 2012 and 2016.

 

Scientists are investigating potential causes for the change in color of the region inside the north-polar hexagon on Saturn. The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn's seasons. In particular, the change from a bluish color to a more golden hue may be due to the increased production of photochemical hazes in the atmosphere as the north pole approaches summer solstice in May 2017.

 

Researchers think the hexagon, which is a six-sided jetstream, might act as a barrier that prevents haze particles produced outside it from entering. During the polar winter night between November 1995 and August 2009, Saturn's north polar atmosphere became clear of aerosols produced by photochemical reactions -- reactions involving sunlight and the atmosphere. Since the planet experienced equinox in August 2009, the polar atmosphere has been basking in continuous sunshine, and aerosols are being produced inside of the hexagon, around the north pole, making the polar atmosphere appear hazy today.

 

Other effects, including changes in atmospheric circulation, could also be playing a role. Scientists think seasonally shifting patterns of solar heating probably influence the winds in the polar regions.

 

Both images were taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21049/changing-colors-in-saturns-north

 

:D

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Jim K

Curiosity is checking out an odd-looking iron meteorite.  

Quote

pia21134.jpg

The dark, golf-ball-size object in this composite, colorized view from the ChemCam instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is a nickel-iron meteorite, as confirmed by analysis using laser pulses from ChemCam on Oct. 30, 2016.

 

Laser-zapping of a globular, golf-ball-size object on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover confirms that it is an iron-nickel meteorite fallen from the Red Planet's sky.

 

Iron-nickel meteorites are a common class of space rocks found on Earth, and previous examples have been seen on Mars, but this one, called "Egg Rock," is the first on Mars examined with a laser-firing spectrometer. To do so, the rover team used Curiosity's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument.

 

Scientists of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project, which operates the rover, first noticed the odd-looking rock in images taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) at a site the rover reached by an Oct. 27 drive. 

 

"The dark, smooth and lustrous aspect of this target, and its sort of spherical shape attracted the attention of some MSL scientists when we received the Mastcam images at the new location," said ChemCam team member Pierre-Yves Meslin, at the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP), of France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the University of Toulouse, France.

 

ChemCam found iron, nickel and phosphorus, plus lesser ingredients, in concentrations still being determined through analysis of the spectrum of light produced from dozens of laser pulses at nine spots on the object. The enrichment in both nickel and phosphorus at some of the same points suggests the presence of an iron-nickel-phosphide mineral that is rare except in iron-nickel meteorites, Meslin said.

/snip

pia21133.jpg

 

More at NASA

 

///

 

Looks cool ... and out of place. :)  No crater ... just a bit of dust around the base.  Those white lines on the ground are also neat ... IMO.  Can not stop looking at this image.

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Draggendrop

Those white lines are curious, almost like sublimation of some form, but very old due to the weathering/missing continuity sections.

 

Mars will be a treasure trove of manufacturing materials, just need scientific boots on the ground.

 

Thanks for posting this...quite neat...:)

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Unobscured Vision

I know, aren't those neat? Wish Curiosity would zap those every so often so we could know exactly what's in those cracks ... we gotta know, NASA! :yes: We must do it for Science!

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Jim K
Quote

NASA's Cassini spacecraft watched clouds of methane moving across the far northern regions of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, on Oct. 29­­­­ and 30, 2016.

 

Several sets of clouds develop, move over the surface and fade during the course of this movie sequence, which spans 11 hours, with one frame taken every 20 minutes. Most prominent are long cloud streaks that lie between 49 and 55 degrees north latitude. While the general region of cloud activity is persistent over the course of the observation, individual streaks appear to develop then fade. These clouds are measured to move at a speed of about 14 to 22 miles per hour (7 to 10 meters per second).

 

There are also some small clouds over the region of small lakes farther north, including a bright cloud between Neagh Lacus and Punga Mare, which fade over the course of the movie. This small grouping of clouds is moving at a speed of about 0.7 to 1.4 miles per hour (1 to 2 meters per second).

 

Time-lapse movies like this allow scientists to observe the dynamics of clouds as they develop, move over the surface and fade. A time-lapse movie can also help to distinguish between noise in images (for example from cosmic rays hitting the detector) and faint clouds or fog.

 

In 2016, Cassini has intermittently observed clouds across the northern mid-latitudes of Titan, as well as within the north polar region -- an area known to contain numerous methane/ethane lakes and seas see PIA19657 and PIA17655. However, most of this year's observations designed for cloud monitoring have been short snapshots taken days, or weeks, apart. This observation provides Cassini's best opportunity in 2016 to study short-term cloud dynamics.

 

/snip

 

NASA JPL

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Draggendrop

I thought this was an interesting article..particularly when outposts are set up on Mars...bit of a long article though...

 

Mars' ionosphere shaped by crustal magnetic fields

 

135896main_pnas_102_42_connerney_fig1_62

Mars has no global magnetic field, but does have many pockets of strong magnetism locked up in its crust, as indicated in this map, based on measurements made with NASA's Mars Global Surveyor (MGS).
Scientists believe that the young Mars had a sizeable magnetic field, driven by the circulating motion of molten material within its core (known as a planetary dynamo). Although this global field switched off long ago there are still anomalous patches of strong remnant magnetism spread across its surface – these are known as crustal fields.
MGS mapped the magnetic field of Mars from an altitude of about 400 km. The colours represent a measure of the magnetic field, and show the variation across the regions.   credit ESA

 

Quote

Scattered pockets of magnetism across the surface of Mars have a significant influence on the planet's upper atmosphere, according to observations from ESA's Mars Express. Understanding these effects may be crucial for ensuring safe radio communications between Mars and Earth and, eventually, between explorers on the surface of the planet.

 

Earth's magnetic field is dominated by a single, strong source: the dynamo deep below the planet's surface. However, the same cannot be said for Mars. Rather than possessing a single source of magnetic field, Mars has many.

 

The Red Planet has numerous pockets of strong magnetism locked up within its crust, remnants from its earliest days. Modern-day Mars may be known for its relative lack of magnetism but young Mars was likely a different world; it was probably warmer and wetter, with a denser atmosphere and a hotter core. Scientists believe the young planet also had a sizeable magnetic field, driven by the circulating motion of molten material within its core (known as a planetary dynamo).

 

This global field switched off long ago - likely as the core cooled and solidified, freezing the dynamo in place - but the planet still boasts anomalous patches of strong remnant magnetism spread across its surface, known as 'crustal fields'.

 

Quote

Magnetism is thought to have been wiped out from sizeable patches of the martian crust in this way, but large portions of the southern, and smaller parts of the northern, hemisphere of Mars remain magnetised to some degree, with pockets scattered planet-wide. These crustal fields are strong enough to drive features in Mars' upper atmosphere akin to the aurorae seen on Earth - such features have been seen by ESA's Mars Express).

 

"They may be weak in terms of absolute strength - hundreds of nanotesla in the upper atmosphere on average, or between 0.1 and 1 per cent of the field strength produced by the Earth's dynamo at the equivalent altitude - but Mars' crustal fields are significantly stronger than those found on the Earth or the Moon," says Markus Fraenz of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany.

 

"This indicates that Mars' dynamo field was once at least as strong as Earth's - but in order to produce such strong patches of remnant crustal magnetisation, it was probably stronger than our planet's has ever been."

 

Unfortunately no lander or rover has yet reached these sites of strong magnetisation, but comprehensive observations from long-lived orbiters such as NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and ESA's Mars Express have helped scientists to characterise Mars' magnetic environment.

more at the link...

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Mars_ionosphere_shaped_by_crustal_magnetic_fields_999.html

 

:)

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Unobscured Vision

I'm starting to wonder if the Hellas Basin impact is what (essentially) "killed Mars" ... a sizable enough impact could do it, if enough of the energy was available to disrupt it.

 

There's quite a lot of evidence there ... but Hellas really needs Geologists to know for sure. Look diametrically opposite Hellas at Alba Patera and the Tharsus Mons region. It sure lines up, and if that impact pushed core material outward, we'd expect a large formation like this (as well as signs of intense volcanism). PLUS, the absence of any large-scale local magnetic fields in Hellas and Tharsus Mons is quite telling.

 

Yeah ... I stand by my hypothesis. Mars didn't fizzle out naturally -- it was killed by the Hellas impact, probably way after the Heavy Bombardment Period (and not during it, as one would suppose).

 

Now it begs the question "what hit Mars"? We've got a slightly longer than 24-hour rotation here ... I'd bet money that Mars once had a large-ish Moon that slowed its' rotation over many millions of years, but that Moon spiralled inward and ... kaboom. Blew off a large portion of the atmosphere (if not all of it) and the Great Ocean in one shot, and disrupted the (apparently) strong magnetic field too. Whatever remained of the Ocean wasn't substantial enough to rebuild the atmosphere; even if it was, the now-disrupted magnetic field wouldn't allow Mars to hold onto it.

 

Yes -- all of this from one map. Gotta love science. :yes: 

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Draggendrop

Saturn's 'Watercolor' Swirls

 

pia20507_1041.jpg?itok=2DSlkrpC

Saturn                                 NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Quote

Saturn's north polar region displays its beautiful bands and swirls, which somewhat resemble the brushwork in a watercolor painting.

 

Each latitudinal band represents air flowing at different speeds, and clouds at different heights, compared to neighboring bands. Where they meet and flow past each other, the bands' interactions produce many eddies and swirls.

 

The northern polar region of Saturn is dominated by the famous hexagon shape (see PIA11682) which itself circumscribes the northern polar vortex – seen as a dark spot at the planet’s pole in the above image – which is understood to the be eye of a hurricane-like storm (PIA14946).

 

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 5, 2016 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers.

 

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 890,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 53 miles (86 kilometers) per pixel.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20507/saturns-watercolor-swirls

 

----------------------------

 

Ring Details on Display

 

pia20506-1041.jpg?itok=kRwg0P8u

 Saturn                               NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Quote

This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft showcases some of the amazingly detailed structure of Saturn's rings.

 

The rings are made up of many smaller ringlets that blur together when seen from a distance. But when imaged up close, the rings' structures display quite a bit of variation. Ring scientists are debating the nature of these features — whether they have always appeared this way or if their appearance has evolved over time.

 

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 4 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 24, 2016.

 

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 283,000 miles (456,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 32 degrees. Image scale is 17 miles (27 kilometers) per pixel.

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20506/ring-details-on-display

 

-----------------------

 

A Glimpse into History

 

pia21206.jpg?itok=RUqdwm6e

Nili Fossae, Mars                         NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

 

Quote

Nothing gets a geologist more excited than layered bedrock, except perhaps finding a fossil or holding a meteorite in your hand. All of these things create a profound feeling of history, the sense of a story that took place ages ago, long before we came appeared. Layered bedrock in particular tells a story that was set out chapter by chapter as each new layer was deposited on top of older, previously deposited layers.

 

Here in Nili Fossae, we see layered bedrock as horizontal striations in the light toned sediments in the floor of a canyon near Syrtis Major. (Note: illumination is from the top of the picture) The ancient layered rocks appear in pale whitish and bluish tones. They are partially covered by much younger ripples made up of dust and other wind blown sediments. The rock of the nearby canyon wall is severely fractured and appears to have shed sand and rocks and boulders onto the floor. This canyon did not form by fluvial erosion: it is part of a system of faults that formed a series of graben like this one, but water probably flowed through Nili Fossae in the distant past.

 

Orbital spectral measurements by the OMEGA instrument on Mars Express and CRISM on MRO detected an abundance of clay minerals of different types in the layered sediments inside Nili Fossae, along with other minerals that are typical of sediments that were deposited by water. The various colors and tones of the layered rocks record changes in the composition of the sediments, details that can tell us about changes in the Martian environment eons ago. Nili Fossae is a candidate site for a future landed robotic mission that could traverse across these layers and make measurements that could be used to unravel a part of the early history of Mars. Nili Fossae is a history book that is waiting to be read.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21206/a-glimpse-into-history

 

:)

 

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Unobscured Vision

Man .... we gotta get Geologists there ... as it said it's "a book waiting to be read". Nice one, DD. Love stuff like this. :yes: 

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DocM

Look how much Harrison Schmitt found strolling around the Moon one afternoon.  Now imaging ITS touching down on Mars, maybe Hellas, with 3-4 teams of geologists, chemists, etc. and enclosed rovers to match so they could stay in the field for extended periods. 

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Unobscured Vision

Almost makes me want to switch Majors to Astrophysics and Geology. I'd be really, really good at it -- I've certainly got the passion for it (almost more than I do for Mechanical Engineering, and I already like that a lot). Only problem I have is I struggle with the Math sometimes. :D The real trouble would be finding work, and I don't want to be a Professor ... I wanna be somewhere doing Science. :yes: 

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Draggendrop

Happy Anniversary, MAVEN! NASA Mars Probe Marks 2 Years of Science Work

 

maven-orbiting-mars.jpg?interpolation=la

Artist's illustration of NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet.
Credit: NASA

 

Quote

NASA's newest Mars orbiter has now been on the job for two Earth years, investigating how the Red Planet lost its atmosphere in the ancient past. 

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft reached Mars on Sept. 21, 2014, and officially began its science mission less than two months later, on Nov. 16 of that year.

 

MAVEN — the first orbiter tasked with studying Mars' atmosphere as its primary task — has made a number of interesting discoveries over the past two years. In 2015, for example, MAVEN's measurements allowed mission scientists to determine just how quickly Mars' atmospheric gases escape to space today — at an average rate of about 4 ounces (100 grams) per second.

 

"Taken together, the MAVEN results tell us that loss of gas from the atmosphere to space has been the major force behind the [Martian] climate having changed from a warm, wet environment to the cold, dry one that we see today," MAVEN principal investigator Bruce Jakosky, of the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a NASA statement.

 

MAVEN's data suggest that Mars had lost most of its atmosphere by about 3.7 billion years ago, mission scientists have said. For perspective, researchers think that life first appeared on Earth around 4 billion years ago.

 

Quote

The orbiter also spotted a cloud around Mars that likely consists of interplanetary dust. In addition, in a layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere — the zone where auroras occur — MAVEN found a layer of metal ions, or charged particles. These are produced when interplanetary dust falls into the atmosphere.

 

Some side observations have also yielded interesting results. For example, Mars has no global magnetic field, yet MAVEN found ultraviolet auroras spreading over the planet's northern hemisphere. The spacecraft also detected a stream of ions flying into space that had never been spotted before.

 

Quote

NASA recently announced that MAVEN has achieved all of its science objectives, and that MAVEN has been granted a two-year mission extension that will keep it operating through at least September 2018.

http://www.space.com/34763-nasa-maven-mars-spacecraft-anniversary.html?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=socialtwitterspc&cmpid=social_spc_514648

 

Photos: NASA's MAVEN Mission to Mars

49 image slide show...

http://www.space.com/21129-maven-mission-mars-images.html

 

:)

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    • By zikalify
      Scientists discover four Earth-sized planets orbiting sun-like star
      by Paul Hill



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      Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, said:

      Sun-like stars are believed to be the best targets for finding Earth-like planets because they’re less likely to be tidally locked. Small red dwarf stars are more common, however, and any habitable planets that orbit them tend to be tidally locked due to the proximity, making them dissimilar to Earth.

      Source: UCSC

    • By +Gary7
      FBI'S DOC DUMP: Clinton says can't 'recall' about 3 dozen times in interview\

       
       
      It does not matter that she answered over 3 dozen times, "I cannot Recall" in her 3 hour interview, but what does that say about her mental state to be POTUS. You can download the PDF files of the interview.
    • By Crisp
      Source and more
    • By TechAddict
      Hello java developers,
       
      I am primarily a java developer but I've recently done some C# work and one thing that i really liked was how C# makes event driven programming so easy. So, when I came back to Java, it was a feature that i really missed. Of course, event driven programming is not impossible to do in Java, but it requires you to write addListener, removeListener, keep a list of observers etc in each class. You an also make your of Observable interface but it just does not offers the same flexibility as C# events.
       
      I've searched for good libraries that offers similar functionality, but most of then were mainly annotation driven or hard to use or too complicated. So decided to write a framework myself. After spending some considerable amount of time researching and trying out different methods, I've finished a java library that tries to mimic C# events while keeping the code very minimal. And I though I might make the library available to anyone interested in this small project or those who have been looking for a good event driven framework.
       
      The project is called "JEvents" (yeah,i know, a lame name) and is available here -> http://chanthus.github.io/JEvents/
       
      Hope you find it useful. Feel free to point out any mistakes or give any suggestions.