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Latest Francis Nimmo Stories

Cassini Data Reveals Unexpected Features In Titan’s Icy Outer Shell
2013-08-28 15:52:50

[ Watch the Video: A Titan View from Huygens ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Cassini, a joint NASA/ESA/ASI orbiter, arrived at Saturn a little over nine years and has been observing the ringed planet and its moons ever since. The latest data from the spacecraft shows that the planet's largest moon, Titan, has some unexpected features. A new study published in the journal Nature reveals that Titan's rigid outer ice shell has some features quite different from any...

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2010-01-11 14:35:00

Blobs of warm ice that periodically rise to the surface and churn the icy crust on Saturn's moon Enceladus explain the quirky heat behavior and intriguing surface of the moon's south polar region, according to a new paper using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. "Cassini appears to have caught Enceladus in the middle of a burp," said Francis Nimmo, a planetary scientist at the University of California Santa Cruz and a co-author of the new paper in Nature Geoscience. "These tumultuous...

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2009-12-15 12:40:00

Planetary scientist Francis Nimmo will outline the impact of ice dynamics on the habitability of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter on Tuesday, December 15, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Scientists once thought that life could originate only within a solar system's "habitable zone," where a planet would be neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on its surface. But according to Nimmo, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the...

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2008-06-25 12:52:18

The dramatic differences between the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars have puzzled scientists for 30 years. One of the proposed explanations--a massive asteroid impact--now has strong support from computer simulations carried out by two groups of researchers. Planetary scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, were involved in both studies, which appear in the June 26 issue of Nature. "It's a very old idea, but nobody had done the numerical calculations to see what...

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2007-05-16 14:50:00

Pasadena, Calif. -- Rubbing your hands together on a cold day generates a bit of heat, and the same process of frictional heating may be what powers the geysers jetting out from the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Tidal forces acting on fault lines in the moon's icy shell cause the sides of the faults to rub back and forth against each other, producing enough heat to transform some of the ice into plumes of water vapor and ice crystals, according to a new study published in the May 17...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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