On Sunday 19 October at 20:29 CET a comet will pass close to the planet Mars. At the same time the Swedish instrument ASPERA-3 is on board the European satellite Mars Express orbiting Mars and ready to make measurements.
"Noone has before made measurements when a comet passes so close by a planet", says Associate Professor Mats Holmström at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, Sweden.
The comet Siding Spring will pass by Mars at a distance of only 140 000 km, about a third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon, by way of comparison. The outer parts of the comet's thin atmosphere will collide at high speed (56 km/sec) with the atmosphere of Mars.
"We expect that gas and dust from the comet will impact on the Martian atmosphere, which will be temporarily heated and will expand", says Mats Holmström. "We should be able to see that with our instrument".
The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) has Principal Investigator responsibility for the satellite instrument ASPERA-3 which is an international collaboration with participants from some 15 research groups from about 10 countries. ASPERA-3 on board the measures how charged particles from the sun, the so-called solar wind, influences the atmosphere of Mars. Mars Express was lauched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and has been orbiting Mars since 2003.
Assoc. Prof Mats Holmström, scientist, IRF, tel. +46-980-79186, +46-70-211 1138, mats.holmstrom*irf.se
Rick McGregor, information office, IRF, tel. +46-980-79178, +46-70-276 6020, rick.mcgregor*irf.se
http://www.irf.se/?dbfile=Mars%20Express%20and%20ASPERA-3&dbsec=Administrati... Instrument ASPERA-3 and satellite Mars Express
http://blogs.esa.int/mex/category/comet-siding-spring/ Pages on Comet Siding Spring: ESA
http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/%20%20%20%20 Pages on Comet Siding Spring NASA
Rick McGregor | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
22.09.2017 | University of Kansas
22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy