Tag Archives: galileo

Water Geysers on Saturn’s Moon

A new study published in Nature this week describes the forces that control the jets of water and organic material that erupt from the icy surface of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. UA scientists contributed data to the study.

The intensity of the jets of water ice and organic molecules that shoot out from Saturn’s moon Enceladus depends on the moon’s proximity to the planet, according to data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The finding, detailed in the journal Nature this week, is the first clear observation that shows the Enceladus plume varies in a predictable manner. (more…)

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First Geologic Map of Jupiter’s Moon Io Details an Otherworldly Volcanic Surface

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – More than 400 years after its discovery by Galileo, the innermost large moon of Jupiter – Io – can finally rest on its geologic laurels. A group of scientists led by Dr. David A. Williams of Arizona State University has produced the first global geologic map of the Jovian satellite. The map, which was published by the U. S. Geological Survey, technically illustrates the geologic character of some of the most unique and active volcanoes ever documented in the solar system.

Since its discovery in January 1610, Io has been the focus of repeated observation, first by Earth-based telescopes, and later by fly-by and orbiting spacecraft. These studies depict an otherworldly celestial body whose gravitational relationships with Jupiter and sister moons Europa and Ganymede cause massive, rapid flexing of its surface and interior. This flexing generates tremendous heat in Io’s interior, which is relieved through surface volcanism, resulting in 25 times more volcanic activity than occurs here on Earth. (more…)

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Design Eye For The Science Guy: Drop-in Clinic Helps Scientists Communicate Data

Some of the figures scientists create are stunning. Others are not – mismatched fonts, poorly aligned tables, clashing colors.  Many fall somewhere in between. A deluge of data presents a challenge to amateur designers, often resulting in a cluttered presentation that can crowd out the figure’s main message.

A group of University of Washington researchers has launched a unique experiment matching science students with those in design. The new Design Help Desk, similar to a writing help desk, offers scientists a chance to meet with someone who can help them create more effective figures, tables and graphs. (more…)

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UChicago Launches Search for Distant Worlds

Since 1995, scientists have discovered approximately 600 planets around other stars, including 50 planets last month alone, and one that orbits two stars, like Tatooine in Star Wars. Detection of the first Earthlike planet remains elusive, however, and now the University of Chicago joins the search with the addition of Jacob Bean and Daniel Fabrycky to the faculty.

“I can’t imagine a more profound impact on humanity than the discovery that there are other Earthlike worlds or that we are not alone,” said Rocky Kolb, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and department chairman. (more…)

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NASA’s Galileo Reveals Magma ‘Ocean’ Beneath Surface of Jupiter’s Moon

A new analysis of data from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft has revealed that beneath the surface of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is an “ocean” of molten or partially molten magma.

The finding, from a study published May 13 in the journal Science, is the first direct confirmation of such a magma layer on Io and explains why the moon is the most volcanic object known in the solar system. The research was conducted by scientists from UCLA, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. (more…)

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