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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Latest Jonathan Lunine Stories

Saturn Moon May Provide Answers On How Life Evolved On Earth
2013-09-13 07:55:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A most unlikely venue, nearly one billion miles away, is giving scientists glimpses of the events that nurtured life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago. Jonathan Lunine, PhD, from Cornell University, is the leader of an international effort to understand Titan, one of the most unusual moons in the Solar System. Lunine presented the findings of the more than 260 scientists involved with the project at the 246th National Meeting...

Cassini, Titan, Water, Saturn
2012-06-29 04:55:20

[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed that Titan has a layer of liquid water under its ice shell. During their study, they saw a large amount of squeezing and stretching as the moon orbited Saturn. They determined that if Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn would cause bulges, or solid "tides," 3 feet of height. Cassini reveled that...

Image 1 - Saturn Moon Has Planet-Like Properties, NASA Finds
2012-04-27 08:07:32

Phoebe, one of Saturn´s 60+ moons, has been found to have planet-like properties, NASA scientists discovered while analyzing swarms of data collected and transmitted by the Cassini orbiter. New analysis of images of Phoebe lead scientists to theorize how the 140-mile-in-diameter rock started life. They suggest that it began its life as a planetoid in the Kuiper belt, a much larger version of the asteroid belt that sits on the outer edge of our planetary system. The scientists...

2012-04-26 10:20:54

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Data from NASA's Cassini mission reveal Saturn's moon Phoebe has more planet-like qualities than previously thought. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) Scientists had their first close-up look at Phoebe when Cassini began exploring the Saturn system in 2004. Using data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon's chemistry, geophysics and geology, scientists found Phoebe...

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2010-08-13 07:56:14

Saturn's moon Titan ripples with mountains, and scientists have been trying to figure out how they form. The best explanation, it turns out, is that Titan is shrinking as it cools, wrinkling up the moon's surface like a raisin. A new model developed by scientists working with radar data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows that differing densities in the outermost layers of Titan can account for the unusual surface behavior. Titan is slowly cooling because it is releasing heat from its...

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2010-04-28 08:23:49

Jonathan Lunine's research involves spacecraft missions and the exploration of planets, moons and other celestial bodies in our solar system and beyond. Ever since he was 4 years old, Jonathan Lunine has had stars and planets on his mind. "I grew up in New York, close to the Hayden Planetarium. It was the time of the Apollo moon landings, and unmanned space exploration missions were getting under way," he said. "I wanted to be a part of that." On April 27, Lunine, a professor in the...

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2010-03-12 07:20:00

By precisely tracking NASA's Cassini spacecraft on its low swoops over Saturn's moon Titan, scientists have determined the distribution of materials in the moon's interior. The subtle gravitational tugs they measured suggest the interior has been too cold and sluggish to split completely into separate layers of ice and rock. The finding, to be published in the March 12 issue of the journal Science, shows how Titan evolved in a different fashion from inner planets such as Earth, or icy moons...

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2008-10-03 14:20:00

NASA has awarded five-year grants, averaging $7 million each, to 10 research teams from across the country to study the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. The interdisciplinary teams will become new members of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, located at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. Teams from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu; Arizona State University in Tempe; the Carnegie Institution of Washington; Pennsylvania State University...

2008-10-02 18:00:04

To: SCIENCE EDITORS Contact: Dwayne Brown, Headquarters, Washington, +1-202-358- 1726, dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov, Michael Mewhinney, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., +1-650-604-3937, michael.s.mewhinney@nasa.gov, both of NASA MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has awarded five-year grants, averaging $7 million each, to 10 research teams from across the country to study the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. The...

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2007-06-04 09:50:00

Today, two and a half years after the historic landing of ESA's Huygens probe on Titan, a new set of results on Saturn's largest moon is ready to be presented. Titan, as seen through the eyes of Huygens still holds exciting surprises, scientists say. On 14 January 2005, after a seven-year voyage on board the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft, ESA's Huygens probe spent 2 hours and 28 minutes descending by parachute to land on Titan. It then sent transmissions from the surface for another seventy...