Now more than 100 000 kilometres away from Earth, ESA’s Moon-bound spacecraft SMART-1 looked back at Earth and returned this planetary perspective of the Middle East and Mediterranean Sea.
This image of Earth was taken by the AMIE camera on board ESAs SMART-1 spacecraft on the way to the Moon. Visible from top left, clockwise, Italy, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, the Sahara Desert, North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. Credits: ESA/Space-X
’Smart’ usage of the solar-electric propulsion system (the ion engine) has saved a lot of fuel and the spacecraft will get to the Moon earlier than expected.
Almost 20 kilograms of the xenon fuel could be saved out of the original 84 kilograms, which could then be used to get closer to the Moon than planned, to within distances of between 300 and 3000 kilometres. This will give a coverage of the lunar surface at higher resolution and sensitivity.
Guido De Marchi | alfa
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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