Tag Archives: titan

Cassini Sees Saturn and Moons in Holiday Dress

This holiday season, feast your eyes on images of Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus, in a care package from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. All three bodies are dressed and dazzling in this special package assembled by Cassini’s imaging team.

The new images are available online at: https://www.nasa.gov/cassini , https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and https://ciclops.org .

“During this, our tenth holiday season at Saturn, we hope that these images from Cassini remind everyone the world over of the significance of our discoveries in exploring such a remote and beautiful planetary system,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader, based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. “Happy holidays from all of us on Cassini.” (more…)

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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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Keepers of Prometheus: The World’s Oldest Tree

After a nearly 5,000-year vigil upon a Nevada mountaintop, an ancient tree now finds its home in the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. A member of the long-lived Bristlecone pine species, the tree called Prometheus is the oldest individual ever known to have lived. Its age was not accurately known until a few years ago.

On a craggy, windswept peak in a lonely Nevada wilderness stands a grove of old-growth trees. Gnarled and twisted, shaped by the weather and whirling winds into erratic growth forms, their roots have clung to the pebble-strewn mountainside for literally millennia.

On the far side of the Earth, the great pyramids were erected in Egypt and Homer wrote his epic tales, the ancient Roman Empire rose and fell, and humans built the North American cities, roads and railways of today – all in the lifespan of these trees. (more…)

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Spear Phishing: Researchers Work to Counter Email Attacks that Gain Recipients’ Trust

The email resembled the organization’s own employee e-newsletter and asked recipients to visit a website to confirm that they wanted to continue receiving the newsletter. Another email carried an attachment that said it contained the marketing plan the recipient had requested at a recent conference. A third email bearing a colleague’s name suggested a useful website to visit.

None of these emails were what they pretended to be. The first directed victims to a website that asked for personal information, including the user’s password. The second included a virus that launched when the “marketing plan” was opened. The third directed users to a website that attempted to install a malicious program. (more…)

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Cassini Suggests Icing on a Lake

It’s not exactly icing on a cake, but it could be icing on a lake. A new paper by scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission finds that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might decorate the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn’s moon Titan. The presence of ice floes might explain some of the mixed readings Cassini has seen in the reflectivity of the surfaces of lakes on Titan.

“One of the most intriguing questions about these lakes and seas is whether they might host an exotic form of life,” said Jonathan Lunine, a paper co-author and Cassini interdisciplinary Titan scientist at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. “And the formation of floating hydrocarbon ice will provide an opportunity for interesting chemistry along the boundary between liquid and solid, a boundary that may have been important in the origin of terrestrial life.” (more…)

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Cassini Spots Mini Nile River on Saturn Moon

PASADENA, Calif. – Scientists with NASA’s Cassini mission have spotted what appears to be a miniature, extraterrestrial likeness of Earth’s Nile River: a river valley on Saturn’s moon Titan that stretches more than 200 miles (400 kilometers) from its “headwaters” to a large sea. It is the first time images have revealed a river system this vast and in such high resolution anywhere other than Earth.

Scientists deduce that the river, which is in Titan’s north polar region, is filled with liquid hydrocarbons because it appears dark along its entire length in the high-resolution radar image, indicating a smooth surface. (more…)

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Bounce, Skid, Wobble: How Huygens Landed on Titan

Piecing together the events of the farthest touchdown a manmade spacecraft has ever made on an alien world reveals new clues about Titan’s surface and helps plan future missions to moons and planets.

The Huygens probe, ferried to Saturn’s moon Titan by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest in the 10 seconds after touching down on Titan in January 2005, a new analysis reveals. The moon’s surface is more complex than previously thought.

Scientists reconstructed the chain of events by analyzing data from a variety of instruments that were active during the impact, in particular changes in the acceleration experienced by the probe. The probe was supplied by the European Space Agency and named after the Dutch 17th century astronomer Christiaan Huygens. (more…)

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Safety in Numbers: Threat Intelligence System Enables Corporate and Government Organizations to Share Malware Information

As malware threats expand into new domains and increasingly focus on industrial espionage, Georgia Tech researchers are launching a new weapon to help battle the threats: a malware intelligence system that will help corporate and government security officials share information about the attacks they are fighting.

Known as Titan, the system will be at the center of a security community that will help create safety in numbers as companies large and small add their threat data to a knowledge base that will be shared with all participants. Operated by security specialists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the system builds on a threat analysis foundation – including a malware repository that analyzes and classifies an average of 100,000 pieces of malicious code each day.

“As a university, Georgia Tech is uniquely positioned to take this white hat role in between industry and government,” said Andrew Howard, a GTRI research scientist who is part of the Titan project. “We want to bring communities together to break down the walls between industry and government to provide a trusted, sharing platform.” (more…)

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