Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



IRON AND ICE
NASA-funded research at USC provides evidence of ground-ice on asteroids
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 14, 2017


Large, smooth areas on exoplanet Vesta correlated with higher concentrations of hydrogen. Image courtesy Elizabeth Palmer and Essam Heggy.

Research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has revealed new evidence for the occurrence of ground ice on the protoplanet Vesta. The work, under the sponsorship of NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics program, is part of ongoing efforts at USC Viterbi to improve water detectability techniques in terrestrial and planetary subsurfaces using radar and microwave imaging techniques.

The study, conducted at USC Viterbi in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering by research scientist Essam Heggy and graduate student Elizabeth Palmer from Western Michigan University, took over three years to complete and was featured in the journal Nature Communications on its Sept. 12 release.

Heggy is a member of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering's Mixil Lab, which is led by professor Mahta Moghaddam and specializes in radar and microwave imaging. Vesta is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and, due to its large size, is believed to be a differentiated body with a core and a mantle just like our own planet. Collisions between asteroids in the belt enable them to leave their orbits and travel great distances in the solar system, potentially colliding with other planetary bodies.

Finding ice on these bodies is of major importance to understanding the transport and evolution of water-rich materials in our solar system.

The team used a special technique called "bistatic radar" on the Dawn spacecraft to explore the surface texture of Vesta at the scale of a few inches. On some orbits, when the spacecraft was about to travel behind Vesta from Earth's perspective, its radio communications waves bounced off Vesta's surface, and mission personnel on the ground at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received the signals back on Earth.

According to Heggy, this system of radar signaling was like "seeing a flame from a lighter in the middle of day from the opposite side of the United States."

Despite the challenges in measuring such a weak signal from the Dawn Spacecraft communication antenna from nearly 300 million miles away, the team assessed the occurrence of large, smooth areas on Vesta that correlated with the occurrence of higher concentration of hydrogen as measured by the gamma ray and neutron detector (GRaND) instrument onboard.

"I am excited that we were able to perform such an observation on Vesta. At USC we have been contributing to testing and developing several bistatic radar methods to explore water and ice on planetary surfaces and arid areas of Earth. As the largest research university located in an arid area of the planet, this effort is a natural outgrowth of our focus on understanding water evolution," Heggy said.

The USC researchers hope their work will get the public excited not just about water in space, but also about the importance of understanding water evolution in arid areas under changing climatic conditions.

Research paper

IRON AND ICE
Radar Reveals Two Moons Orbiting Asteroid Florence
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 07, 2017
Radar images of asteroid 3122 Florence obtained at the 70-meter antenna at NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex between August 29 and September 1 have revealed that the asteroid has two small moons, and also confirmed that main asteroid Florence is about 4.5 km (2.8 miles) in size. Florence is only the third triple asteroid known in the near-Earth population out of more than ... read more

Related Links
University of Southern California
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

IRON AND ICE
Diet tracker in space

Three astronauts blast off for five-month ISS mission

Crewed Missions Beyond LEO

Voyager Spacecraft: 40 Years of Solar System Discoveries

IRON AND ICE
SLS Core Stage Simulator Will Pave Way for Mission Success

Arianespace announces a new contract, bringing its order book to 53 launches across three rockets

EUMETSAT signs with Arianespace for first Metop-SG satellite launch

MHI to launch first Inmarsat-6 satellite

IRON AND ICE
45 Kilometers on the Odometry for Opportunity

New tools for exploring the surface of Mars

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Climbing Toward Ridge Top

New Gravity Map Suggests Mars Has a Porous Crust

IRON AND ICE
Spacecraft passes docking test

China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

IRON AND ICE
India, Japan Set to Boost Space Cooperation

Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

India to Launch Exclusive Satellite for Afghanistan

IRON AND ICE
Dormant, Yet Always-Alert Sensor Awakes Only in the Presence of a Signal of Interest

Air Force activates new satellites for tracking space objects

'Peel-and-go' printable structures fold themselves

Ultrathin spacecraft will collect, deposit orbital debris

IRON AND ICE
Hubble observes pitch black planet

The return of the comet-like exoplanet

Does the Organic Material of Comets Predate our Solar System?

X-rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-hosting Stars

IRON AND ICE
Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise

Pluto features given first official names

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement