Thursday, 18 July 2013

Newest Neptune Moon an Enigma





Hubble's composite picture of blue-hued Neptune, its rings and five of its 14 known moons <i>(Image: NASA/ESA/M. Showalter/SETI Institute)</i>

Hubble's composite picture of blue-hued Neptune, its rings and five of its 14 known moons (Image: NASA/ESA/M. Showalter/SETI Institute)

House lawmakers debated NASA's 2014 budget today (July 18) during a meeting that saw stark partisan divisions over proposed funding cuts for the agency's science and space exploration programs.
A NASA authorization bill drafted by the Republican majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology proposes to slash NASA's funding to $16.6 billion for 2014 — $300 million less than it received in 2013, and $1.1 billion less than President Obama requested for NASA in 2014. The bill would roll back NASA's funding to a level $1.2 billion less than its 2012
- See more at: http://www.space.com/22023-nasa-authorization-bill-debate.html#sthash.RAxZC4Ki.dpuf
House lawmakers debated NASA's 2014 budget today (July 18) during a meeting that saw stark partisan divisions over proposed funding cuts for the agency's science and space exploration programs.
A NASA authorization bill drafted by the Republican majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology proposes to slash NASA's funding to $16.6 billion for 2014 — $300 million less than it received in 2013, and $1.1 billion less than President Obama requested for NASA in 2014. The bill would roll back NASA's funding to a level $1.2 billion less than its 2012
- See more at: http://www.space.com/22023-nasa-authorization-bill-debate.html#sthash.RAxZC4Ki.dpuf
House lawmakers debated NASA's 2014 budget today (July 18) during a meeting that saw stark partisan divisions over proposed funding cuts for the agency's science and space exploration programs.
A NASA authorization bill drafted by the Republican majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology proposes to slash NASA's funding to $16.6 billion for 2014 — $300 million less than it received in 2013, and $1.1 billion less than President Obama requested for NASA in 2014. The bill would roll back NASA's funding to a level $1.2 billion less than its 2012
- See more at: http://www.space.com/22023-nasa-authorization-bill-debate.html#sthash.RAxZC4Ki.dpuf
House lawmakers debated NASA's 2014 budget today (July 18) during a meeting that saw stark partisan divisions over proposed funding cuts for the agency's science and space exploration programs.
A NASA authorization bill drafted by the Republican majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology proposes to slash NASA's funding to $16.6 billion for 2014 — $300 million less than it received in 2013, and $1.1 billion less than President Obama requested for NASA in 2014. The bill would roll back NASA's funding to a level $1.2 billion less than its 2012
- See more at: http://www.space.com/22023-nasa-authorization-bill-debate.html#sthash.RAxZC4Ki.dpuf
Neptune has a new moon, and its existence is an enigma. The object, known for now as S/2004 N1, is the first Neptunian moon to be found in a decade. Its diminutive size raises questions as to how it survived the chaos thought to have created the giant planet's other moons.

The faint moon was discovered in archived images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, was poring over pictures of Neptune taken in 2009 to study segments of its rings.

The rings around our outermost planet are too faint to see without taking very long-exposure pictures. However, the rings orbit so fast that taking one long shot would smear them across the frame. Showalter and colleagues gathered multiple shorter-exposure images and developed a technique to digitally rewind the orbits to the same point in time. Then they could stack several images on top of each other to reveal details of the rings.

"I got nice pictures of the arcs, which was my main purpose, but I also got this little extra dot that I was not expecting to see," says Showalter.

Stacking eight to 10 images together allowed the moon to show up plain as day, he says. When he went back and repeated the process using Hubble pictures taken in 2004, the moon was still there and moving as expected.

The tiny addition to Neptune's family is an added shock because it seems too small to have survived the formation of the other moons, according to accepted theories.

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23873-neptunes-strange-new-moon-is-first-found-in-a-decade.html#.Ueh3B9l1eSo

Source: New Scientist Magazine.

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