The eyes aboard the Mars rover Spirit are delivering ground truth.
After more than six months of examining the photographic and spectral data from the rover, Mars mission scientists confirm that the albedo -- which is the percentage of sunlight reflected on the red planets dusty surface -- indicates important variations in mineral and dust composition.
"Spirit landed in a medium brightness region of Gusev crater, and on this mission has crossed into brighter and darker areas travelling to Bonneville crater and beyond," says Jim Bell, associate professor of astronomy at Cornell University and the lead scientist on the high-resolution, color, stereo panoramic cameras, known as Pancams, carried by Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity. Says Bell, "The albedo changes that we noticed with Pancam correlate with the changes seen from the Mars orbiters above. This is ground-truth information." (Bonneville was the first crater the rover examined after its landing.) The albedo findings are detailed in a research paper, which, along with 10 other papers resulting from Spirits journey across the Martian surface, are published this week in a special issue of the journal Science (Aug. 6, 2004). The issue, in which 120 authors -- including several from Cornell -- participate, features a 2-foot long, eight-fold poster of Pancam views of Spirits landing site in Gusev crater.
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University
Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
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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