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  Saturn’s third moon begins to yield its secrets

Photo of article European and American scientists are working together to uncover the secrets of one of the more mysterious objects in our Solar System. They are currently poring over hundreds of images of Saturn’s third largest moon, Iapetus, sent by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, which was developed jointly by the European Space Agency and NASA. Iapetus is best known for its dramatic two-tone colouration: one half is bright, cratered and possibly covered in ice, while the other is ten times darker and covered in a material yet to be identified. ‘The images are really stunning,’ claims Tilmann Denk, Cassini imaging scientist at the Free University in Berlin, Germany. ‘I was most pleased about the images showing huge mountains rising over the horizon.’

NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Published: 19 September 2007

  European labs partake in Stardust samples

Photo of article Two European teams are participating in an all-star project consisting of labs from all over the globe investigating the origins of the solar system. The labs are studying space particles collected by the spacecraft Stardust. Stardust was sent to the edges of the solar system to collect material left behind by the Wild 2 comet, which is presumed to have formed around the same time as our system. Experts hope the dust contains material from that time untouched by solar radiation. To help analyse the ancient grains, samples have been sent across the globe, including to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Project findings were recently reported in a special series in Science

NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Published: 19 January 2007

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