Enceladus, a small icy moon of Saturn, may have dramatically reoriented relative to its axis of rotation, rolling over to put an area of low density at the moons south pole. According to a new study, this reorientation process could explain the polar location of a region where NASAs Cassini spacecraft recently observed icy jets and plumes indicating active geysers of water vapor spewing from the moons surface.
"When we saw the Cassini results, we were surprised that this hot spot was located at the pole. So we set out to explain how it could end up at the pole if it didnt start there," said Francis Nimmo, assistant professor of Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Coauthor Robert Pappalardo worked on the study while at the University of Colorado and is now at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Nimmo and Pappalardo have proposed a reorientation process driven by an upwelling of warm, low-density material inside Enceladus. A similar reorientation process may also have operated on other small moons in the solar system, such as Uranuss moon Miranda, they said. The researchers described their findings in a paper published in the June 1 issue of the journal Nature.
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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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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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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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