Rosettas goal is to unravel the origins of the Solar System
Comet Wirtanen as seen by the VLT
Chase a fast-moving comet, land on it and ’ride’ it while it speeds up towards the Sun: not the script of a science-fiction movie, but the very real task of ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft.
New observations with the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) provide vital information about Comet Wirtanen - Rosetta’s target - to help ESA reduce uncertainties in the mission, one of the most difficult ever to be performed.
Every 5.5 years Comet Wirtanen completes an orbit around the Sun. Wirtanen has been seen during almost all its apparitions ever since its discovery in 1948, but only recently have astronomers obtained detailed observations that have allowed them to estimate the comet’s size and behaviour. The most recent of these observations was performed in December 2001 with the Very Large Telescope (VLT), located at the Paranal Observatory (Chile). As a result of these observations ESA will be able to refine plans for its Rosetta mission.
Franco Bonacina | ESA
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
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