Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During the Voyager Flybys

Slashdot - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:13pm
KentuckyFC writes In 1980 and 1981, Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Saturn providing unprecedented images of its magnificent ring system. At that time, its most distant discrete ring, the F ring, was about 200 kilometres wide. But puzzlingly, images sent back by Cassini show that the ring is now 580 kilometres wide and twice as bright as it was thirty years ago. Now astronomers think they have finally solved the mystery of the expanding F ring. The ring is shepherded by a number of small moons, the most famous of which is Prometheus. These moons interact gravitationally with the ring creating structures such as braids and spokes. The new thinking is that the moons' orbits resonate with the F ring, pushing clouds of dust and ice further away from Saturn. This makes the ring wider. But beyond a certain radius the orbit of the dust becomes unstable and it begins to spiral back towards Saturn and collides with the rest of the ring. This causes a chain reaction of collisions that dramatically increases the number of particles in the ring and hence its brightness. This theory also leads to a prediction--the resonant process is currently at a maximum but should reduce sharply in the coming years, if the theory is correct. So by 2018, the F ring should be back to the same configuration the Voyagers saw in 80/81.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During the Voyager Flybys

Slashdot - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:13pm
KentuckyFC writes In 1980 and 1981, Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Saturn providing unprecedented images of its magnificent ring system. At that time, its most distant discrete ring, the F ring, was about 200 kilometres wide. But puzzlingly, images sent back by Cassini show that the ring is now 580 kilometres wide and twice as bright as it was thirty years ago. Now astronomers think they have finally solved the mystery of the expanding F ring. The ring is shepherded by a number of small moons, the most famous of which is Prometheus. These moons interact gravitationally with the ring creating structures such as braids and spokes. The new thinking is that the moons' orbits resonate with the F ring, pushing clouds of dust and ice further away from Saturn. This makes the ring wider. But beyond a certain radius the orbit of the dust becomes unstable and it begins to spiral back towards Saturn and collides with the rest of the ring. This causes a chain reaction of collisions that dramatically increases the number of particles in the ring and hence its brightness. This theory also leads to a prediction--the resonant process is currently at a maximum but should reduce sharply in the coming years, if the theory is correct. So by 2018, the F ring should be back to the same configuration the Voyagers saw in 80/81.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During the Voyager Flybys

Slashdot - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:13pm
KentuckyFC writes In 1980 and 1981, Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Saturn providing unprecedented images of its magnificent ring system. At that time, its most distant discrete ring, the F ring, was about 200 kilometres wide. But puzzlingly, images sent back by Cassini show that the ring is now 580 kilometres wide and twice as bright as it was thirty years ago. Now astronomers think they have finally solved the mystery of the expanding F ring. The ring is shepherded by a number of small moons, the most famous of which is Prometheus. These moons interact gravitationally with the ring creating structures such as braids and spokes. The new thinking is that the moons' orbits resonate with the F ring, pushing clouds of dust and ice further away from Saturn. This makes the ring wider. But beyond a certain radius the orbit of the dust becomes unstable and it begins to spiral back towards Saturn and collides with the rest of the ring. This causes a chain reaction of collisions that dramatically increases the number of particles in the ring and hence its brightness. This theory also leads to a prediction--the resonant process is currently at a maximum but should reduce sharply in the coming years, if the theory is correct. So by 2018, the F ring should be back to the same configuration the Voyagers saw in 80/81.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Why plants in the office make us more productive

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:07pm
'Green' offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than 'lean' designs stripped of greenery, new research shows. The team examined the impact of 'lean' and 'green' offices on staff's perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction, and monitored productivity levels over subsequent months in two large commercial offices in the UK and The Netherlands.
Categories: Science

New tuberculosis blood test in children: reliable, highly specific

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:07pm
A new blood test provides a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children, a new proof-of-concept study shows. The newly developed test is the first reliable immunodiagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children. The test features excellent specificity, a similar sensitivity as culture tests in combination with speed of a blood test. The promising findings are a major advance for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic regions.
Categories: Science

Invisible blood in urine may indicate bladder cancer

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:07pm
One in 60 people over the age of 60 who had invisible blood in their urine -- identified by their GP testing their urine -- transpired to have bladder cancer, researchers report. The figure was around half of those who had visible blood in their urine -- the best known indicator of bladder cancer. However, it was still higher than figures for other potential symptoms of bladder cancer that warrant further investigation.
Categories: Science

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: 'Electronic nose' for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:03pm
A fast-sensitive "electronic-nose" for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed.
Categories: Science

Radar and alarm system for construction vehicles

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:03pm
Researchers have developed an alarm system for construction vehicles with a low-cost radar network that can prevent collisions and improve safety in work environments.
Categories: Science

Carcinogenic role of protein in liver decoded

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:03pm
The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study group has now discovered that the risk of this protein does not -- as previously assumed -- depend on its presence within the tumor cell, but rather from its activity in the cells adjacent to the tumor.
Categories: Science

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:03pm
Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform. A characteristic of neurons that extend into the skin and record touch, is that they branch in the skin so that each neuron reports touch from many highly-sensitive zones on the skin. According to researchers, this branching allows first-order tactile neurons not only to send signals to the brain that something has touched the skin, but also process geometric data about the object touching the skin.
Categories: Science

Plant life forms in the fossil record: When did the first canopy flowers appear?

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 1:01pm
Most plant fossils are isolated organs, making it difficult to reconstruct the type of plant life or its ecosystem structure. Botanists have now used leaf vein density, a trait visible on leaf compression fossils, to document the occurrence of stratified forests with a canopy dominated by flowering plants.
Categories: Science

Consequences of teen alcohol, marijuana use studied

Science Daily - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:58pm
Alcohol use was more commonly reported to compromise relationships with friends and significant others (e.g., boyfriends), researchers studying its consequences report. It was also reported to lead to more regret, particularly among females. Marijuana use on the other hand was more commonly reported to compromise relationships with teachers or supervisors, result in less energy or interest, and result in lower school or job performance.
Categories: Science

The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

Slashdot - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:13pm
An anonymous reader writes On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon was found dead in her aviary at the Cincinnati Zoo. When the first European settlers arrived in North America at least one of every four birds on the continent was a passenger pigeon, making them the most numerous birds in North America, and perhaps in the world. From the article: "But extinction apparently doesn't ring with the finality it used to. Researchers are working to 'de-extinct' the bird. They got their hands on some of the 1,500 or so known passenger pigeon specimens and are hoping to resurrect the species through some Jurassic Park-like genetic engineering. Instead of using frog DNA to fill out the missing parts of a dinosaur's genetic code as in Michael Crichton's story, the real-life 'bring-back-the-passenger pigeon' researchers are using the bird's closest relative, the band-tailed pigeon.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Labor Day in Space: A Weightless Holiday for US Astronauts

Space.com - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:11pm
While many Americans will spend Labor Day (Sept. 1) barbecuing, relaxing and soaking up the end of summer, U.S. astronauts in space will spend the holiday in their own way: floating in weightlessness.
Categories: Science

Lunch Carriers That’ll Keep Your Soups Steamy and Your Food Partitioned

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
Lunchbox wizardry used to mean packing your juice pouch to keep your apple from smooshing your PB&J. Today’s carriers are built for more discerning appetites. Bon appétit!






Categories: Science

Defuse a Bomb With Friends In This Brilliant Oculus Game

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
You've always wanted to defuse a bomb in real life. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes gives you that chance.






Categories: Science

An Interactive Ceiling That Undulates as You Pass Under

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
The effect is meant to mimic the generative movement of the ocean.






Categories: Science

13 Sweet, Affordable Cars to Take Back to School

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
As a student, you need your car to handle a few essential tasks. It should be able to haul sports gear, get student-budget-ready gas milage, be reliable enough to avoid costly repairs, have a solid safety rating, and still stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Sure, you could just pick up a Corolla […]






Categories: Science

This Selfie-Friendly Camera Is Good for Non-Egomaniacal Photography, Too

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
Olympus is positioning the newly announced PEN E-PL7 as a step-up camera for smartphone photographers. And true to that billing, it has a 180-degree flip-down touchscreen for framing and shooting selfies.






Categories: Science

Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That’s Not Controlled by Microsoft

Wired News - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 10:40am
The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it’s also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA’s mass surveillance program. When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA’s activities last year, members of […]






Categories: Science