UK scientists involved in the Cassini space mission were ‘over the Moon’ after the spacecraft’s 100,000 km per hour white knuckle ride courtesy of Saturn’s gravity which successfully completed the critical manoeuvre to place Cassini in orbit around the ringed planet. ‘I’ve waited 15 years for this moment,’ said Dr Andrew Coates of the UK’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory and Co-Investigator on the Cassini spacecraft’s Plasma Electron Spectrometer,’ and now our 4-year tour of discovery can really begin’.
Speaking from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California, Dr. Michele Dougherty of Imperial College London and Principal Investigator for the magnetometer instrument on Cassini, said,’ the spacecraft performed superbly tonight and critical data was taken during the 95 minute engine burn period. Analysis of this will begin in a few hours as soon as the data is transmitted back to Earth.’
Prof. Carl Murray from Queen Mary, University of London, involved on the Cassini cameras, was equally ecstatic,’ this is a remarkable achievement and a wonderful example of a successful, international collaboration. The arrival of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft at Saturn heralds a new age in our understanding of this majestic planet and its retinue of moons and rings. I have no doubt that the wealth of data to be returned will also provide unique insights into the origin and evolution of planetary systems. The next four years will be tremendously exciting for everybody."
Julia Maddock | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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