- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: Pac-Man Gobbles the Death Star
30 March 2010 10:47 am
The Cassini spacecraft must have known April Fool's Day was coming up. It returned this temperature map—released yesterday—after its closest flyby ever of Saturn's icy moon Mimas last month. Shaped into the likes of the Death Star of Star Wars fame by the giant crater Herschel, 396-kilometer-diameter Mimas was expected to have its warmest surface temperatures on the equator, where it was early afternoon. Instead, it was warmest in the morning (all of 92 K), giving rise in the science team's temperature-calibrated color scheme to a very large Pac-Man. The warmer Herschel in Pac-Man's mouth makes sense, Cassini scientists say, because the crater could retain heat longer, but the gaping Pac-Man is a mystery. Perhaps it arises from a variation in the heat retention properties of surface ice. Now, on to Cassini's 67th flyby of Saturn's big haze-shrouded moon Titan on 5 April.