The Cassini Huygens Mission is one of the most exciting missions to explore the Solar System. For the first time it offered the possibility to analyze saturn’s ring rain. Scientific planning and mission operations of the instrument, with which these measurements were performed, have been carried out by the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart.
A year ago, the Cassini spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere of the planet Saturn - a spectacular end to one of the most successful missions in space history. This event was preceded by 22 passes through the gap between Saturn and its rings. For the first time these orbits offered the opportunity to analyse the ring rain. This phenomenon arises because Saturn's rings are continuously bombarded by meteorites.
Fine particles of the ring material are released by the impacts. These particles move along the magnetic field lines, which emanate from the inside of the gas planet and enter its atmosphere. Dynamic analyses carried out at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, have already predicted this phenomenon.
The last orbits made it possible for the first time to detect the ring rain by measurements and to analyze the samples, which have their origin in the main ring, and to determine their composition. Particles rich in silicates and water ice were detected.
Complex organic compounds, embedded in water ice particles, were discovered. Most of the dust particles measured had the size range of a few ten nanometres. The scientists publish the new findings in the current issue of the journal Science.
The instrument with which these measurements were performed is the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA). This instrument was developed and built by the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (Heidelberg) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (DLR). Scientific planning and mission operations have been carried out by the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart since 2011.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena/USA leads the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The project is funded by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR).
Dr. Ralf Srama, Universität Stuttgart, Institute of Space Systems, Tel.: +49 (0)711-685-62511, Mail: srama (at) irs.uni-stuttgart.de
Hsiang-Wen Hsu, Ralf Srama et.al. “In situ collection of dust grains falling from Saturn’s rings into its atmosphere“, Science 362 (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3185
Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Neutrino-Observatorium IceCube am Südpol wird ausgebaut
17.07.2019 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Flying Laptop satellite mission extended by two years - Successfully in orbit since July 14, 2017
16.07.2019 | Universität Stuttgart
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...
For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...
An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".
The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...
An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.
Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...
The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
17.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
17.07.2019 | Life Sciences
17.07.2019 | Information Technology