Discoveror of Planet Mercury ice confirmed on mercury despite planet39s solar proximity Mercury Planet of Discoveror
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Discoveror of Planet Mercury
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This important measurement was made using Cassini's INMS instrument, which detects gases with the goal of determining their composition. INMS was designed to sample the upper atmosphere of Saturn's large, smoggy moon Titan. However, after Cassini's surprising discovery of a tall plume if icy spray erupting from cracks on Enceladus in 2005, planetary scientists turned its detectors to that small moon.
As time passed, the region would have cooled down considerably and contracted--thus pulling away from its surroundings and forming fractures akin to the cracks that form in mud as it becomes dry--but on a considerably larger scale.
Discovered on March 31, 2005, by a team of planetary scientists led by Dr. Michael E. Brown of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Makemake was initially dubbed 2005 FY 9, when Dr. Brown and his colleagues, announced its discovery on July 29, 2005. The team of astronomers had used Caltech's Palomar Observatory near San Diego to make their discovery of this icy dwarf planet, that was later given the minor-planet number of 136472. Makemake was classified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in July 2008. Dr. Brown's team of astronomers had originally planned to delay announcing their discoveries of the bright, icy denizens of the Kuiper Belt--Makemake and its sister world Eris--until additional calculations and observations were complete. However, they went on to announce them both on July 29, 2005, when the discovery of Haumea--another large icy denizen of the outer limits of our Solar System that they had been watching--was announced amidst considerable controversy on July 27, 2005, by a different team of planetary scientists from Spain.
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During Cassini's close flyby of Enceladus on October 28, 2015, it detected molecular hydrogen as the spacecraft zipped through the plume of ice grains and gas spraying out from cracks slashing though the icy crust of the moon-world. Earlier flybys provided hints that a global subsurface ocean did, indeed, exist, sloshing around above a rocky core. Molecular hydrogen in the plumes could indicate hydrothermal processes, which could play the important role of providing the chemical energy so necessary to support life as we know it. In order to hunt for hydrogen specifically originating on Enceladus, the spacecraft dived particularly close to the strange slashed surface.
"Our gravity data are opening up a new chapter of lunar history, during which the Moon was a more dynamic place than suggested by the cratered landscape that is visible to the naked eye. More work is needed to understand the cause of this newfound pattern of gravity anomalies, and the implications for the history of the Moon," Dr. Andrews-Hanna explained in the October 1, 2014 NASA Press Release.
However, the models become somewhat more complicated when different forms of ice are taken into consideration. The ice floating around in a glass of water is termed Ice I. Ice I is the least dense form of ice, and it is lighter than water. However, at high pressures, like those that exist in crushingly deep subsurface oceans like Ganymede's, the ice crystal structures evolve into something considerably more compact. "It's like finding a better arrangement of shoes in your luggage--the ice molecules become packed together more tightly," Dr. Vance said in his May 1, 2014 statement. Indeed, the ice can become so extremely dense that it is actually heavier than water--and therefore somersaults down to the bottom of the sea. The heaviest, densiest ice of all is believed to exist within Ganymede, and it is called Ice VI.