Glory Be Behind Saturn

first_imgDon’t look at this picture till you’re ready.  Switch off the phone, turn off the radio, rub your eyes, and sit down.  Ready?  Click Here.    This is a view of Saturn we could never see from Earth.  It’s the backside of the planet, with the sun shining through the rings.  According to a JPL press release, “This marvelous panoramic view was created by combining a total of 165 images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15, 2006.”  Another version with enhanced brightness and color is available also: click here for Saturn in all its backlit glory.  This was Astronomy Picture of the Day for Oct. 16.    Look carefully in the outermost broad E-ring on the left foreground, and you can see the tiny moon Enceladus (click here for close-up) with its geysers sputtering along, feeding the short-lived E-ring with new material (11/28/2005, 03/01/2006, 07/11/2006).  Now look at the picture again.  See that tiny white speck on the left side, outside the bright main rings, but just inside the fainter G-ring?  That’s the Earth – that’s us – from almost a billion miles away.  Click here for a close-up.  A member of a planetary discussion group has labeled the features in this image on Unmanned Spaceflight.    The Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society has been meeting all week in Pasadena, and scientific announcements are being made daily.  One of the most interesting concerns Saturn’s rings.  Scientists are baffled by color differences that cannot yet be explained.  A JPL press release states:“We expected to see things we haven’t seen before, but we are really, really puzzled by these new images of Saturn’s main ring system,” said Dr.  Phil Nicholson, of Cornell, Cassini visual and infrared spectrometer team member.  “The rings appear very different, with none of their usual calling card of water-ice features.  There are hints that other material besides ice might finally be detected within the rings.”    “The main rings show a neutral color, while the C ring is reddish, and the D and E rings are quite blue,” added Nicholson.  “We don’t quite understand if these variations are due to differences in particle size or composition, but it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while.”The colors he mentioned can be seen in a labeled version of the montage, and are even more apparent in this infrared image.  One reason for the puzzlement is that the images indicate the rings are dynamic, evolving, ephemeral phenomena.  This means that what we are seeing today could not last for billions of years.  New rings discovered in the backlit image seem associated with small embedded moons, indicating that the moonlets are producing the rings (see picture).  How does this occur?Saturn’s smallest moons have weak gravity and cannot retain any loose material on their surfaces.  When these moons are struck by rapidly moving interplanetary meteoroids, this loose material is blasted off their surfaces and into Saturn orbit, creating diffuse rings along the moons’ orbital paths.  Collisions among several moonlets, or clumps of boulder-sized rubble, might also lead to debris trails.  For instance, Saturn’s G ring seems not to have any single moon large enough to see; it might have formed from a recent breakup of a moon.Evidence for impactors also comes from the innermost D-ring of Saturn, another tenuous ring of fine material.  Another JPL press release tells the detective story of a modern-day collision.  A low-oblique Cassini image indicates a wavy, “corrugated” spiral with crests about 30 km apart (see illustration and line-of-sight diagram).  In a Hubble 1995 photo, the crests were about 60 km apart.  This indicates that the spiral has been winding up tighter over the last 11 years.  Extrapolating backward, the scientists think a comet or meteoroid may have struck the ring back in 1984, producing waves like ripples in a pond.  The waves wind up over time because of their orbits around Saturn – the inner parts moving faster than the outer parts.    More on the new Saturn ring discoveries can be found at the Cassini imaging team and Planetary Society websites.  The DPS meeting announcements are also producing lively discussions on Unmanned Spaceflight.  All three montage images can be found on JPL’s Planetary Photojournal.  Another recent Cassini picture of Saturn shows cloud features like a string of pearls in Saturn’s upper latitudes.  The spacecraft also found new ringlets within the Cassini Division, a gap in the main rings that was once thought to be devoid of material.Cassini’s findings confirm predictions made over several decades now that Saturn’s rings are being rapidly eroded by collisions.  We now have even more evidence that impactors, from comet-size to molecule-size, are wearing away Saturn’s rings.  The E-ring would be gone in mere decades or centuries if Enceladus were not constantly replenishing with new micron-size material.  The color differences between the rings also show that whatever non-ice material has been added has not had time to become thoroughly mixed.  And it would be surprising to think that this new D-ring impact was a one-time phenomenon we just happened to be lucky to witness.    It may be impossible to say from data alone that the rings are mere thousands of years old or less, but they certainly cannot be billions of years old.  That should raise some eyebrows by several inches among scientists who accept the standard A.S.S. (age of the solar system) as being 4.5 billion years old.  Upper limits at ring ages are often put at 10 or 100 million years.  That may sound like a lot (it’s an upper limit, remember), but even 100 million years is 1/45 the standard age.  What was Saturn doing the other 44 parts?  No materialist wants to believe that humans were somehow lucky to emerge right at the time when Saturn’s rings were at the height of their glory.  Yet no secular scientist dares question the A.S.S., because concluding a recent formation of Saturn and the rings would collapse the time available for evolution.  There is nothing about the Saturn system that needs billions of years.  A scientist should follow the evidence where it leads, whether or not it agrees with prevailing orthodoxy.    Those of us living in 2006 should take time to value the privileges we have in this age of discovery.  Pictures like this are hard to come by.  It took over 3 billion dollars, and hundreds of scientists and technicians, to build the Cassini spacecraft.  This complex machine had to fly for seven years before even getting to Saturn, and has orbited over two more years before getting into position last month to look back toward home and take this unprecedented shot.  In 1609, when Galileo Galilei first turned a crude telescope to the sky and beheld new and wonderful things – including the rings of Saturn for the first time – his response was to worship the Creator.  He said, “I render infinite thanks to God for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries.”  What is your response as you look at this rare vantage point on creation?(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA medics in Antarctic rescue

first_imgThe DC3, designed before the Second World War, is still in service in many parts of the world, including the cold white continent. While recording patient details into his laptop, paramedic Richard Mulder enjoys the sunshine despite the -24º temperature. (Images courtesy Richard Mulder) Queen Maud Land, Antarctic territory claimed by Norway, is the region of Antarctica closest to South Africa.Jennifer SternAntarctica is the end of the world.  It’s so far south that, in winter, the sun never rises above the horizon. It’s separated from the nearest permanently inhabited land by thousands of kilometres of wild and stormy ocean.Nothing grows there. There are no insects, and even bacteria can’t survive outdoors. It’s cold, white and unutterably beautiful. And the scientists who spend a few weeks or a few months or even a year there are – in the truest sense of the word – isolated.It’s not as bad now as it was in the days of Scott and Shackleton, when the families of intrepid explorers would not hear from their loved ones for a good couple of years, not knowing whether they were alive or dead, and simply living in hope that they’d turn up on the doorstep one day.We’ve come a long way since then. With email, satellite phone, radio, GPS and a host of electronic wizardry, communication with the rest of the world is relatively easy. So now, if someone gets sick, or is injured in the cold white wilderness of Antarctica, it’s not the death sentence it would have been 100 years ago.About 30 countries are signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, most of which have permanent or summer stations on and around the frozen continent.People who spend a year, or even just the summer, in this isolated part of the world have to be pretty special – and healthy. While every station has a doctor, or at least a paramedic, there is only so much that can be done out there on the ice.That’s why, in November 2008, the 11 countries with stations on Queen Maud Land – the part of Antarctica closest to South Africa – arranged with South Africa’s Netcare 911 and the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town to provide emergency medical care when needed.  It seemed a sensible precaution, but no-one expected this understanding to be acted upon a mere six weeks after its signing. But that’s exactly what happened when Walter Seeberg suffered a heart attack on 17 December at the German Neumayer 2 Base on the Antarctic ice shelf in the northeast Weddell Sea.Seeberg had only been in Antarctica eight weeks, working as a technician on the base’s ventilation system, when he collapsed with chest pains. It was clear to the resident doctor that he had had a heart attack, and would need more sophisticated treatment than was available at the base.“They realised that he was in dire need of surgery, and then immediately called the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” says hospital manager Chris Tilney.As Dr Stephanie Fischer, a cardiac anaesthetist, was preparing to go to Seeberg’s aid, the hospital got news that Nikolay Rassalov, a crew member on a Russian ice breaker, had fallen and broken his ankle. It was decided to send Richard Mulder, a Netcare 911 paramedic, along as well.Mercy flightBy the evening of the 18th of December, only a day after receiving the first call, Fischer and Mulder were strapped in to their seats in an Ilyushin 76 cargo plane en route to Antarctica.“We landed at Russia’s Novolazarevskaya base in the Antarctic about six hours later,” says Mulder.“From there we were transferred to a smaller DC3 plane that is used to fly between the bases run by various countries on Antarctica. After a two-and-a-half-hour flight, we finally arrived at the German Neumayer 2 base.”Seeberg had been treated by the resident doctor and was in a stable condition when Fischer and Mulder arrived.“All the people at the German base were delighted to see us and they were most helpful. They helped us to keep him comfortable in order to attend to him,” says Fischer.It was fortunate that both Fischer and Mulder are fluent in German, which made communication at this critical time so much easier.“It was really just lucky that we were picked to go on the rescue mission, but it certainly made a difference,” says Mulder.Mulder and Fischer spent two days at the German base waiting for Rassolov to be moved from the Russian icebreaker to the nearby Norwegian base at Troll, about an hour from the German base.“We finally loaded Seeberg in the DC3 plane and flew to pick up Rassolov, who was suffering a great deal of discomfort. There, we had to communicate with hand signals because of the language barrier,” says Mulder.“It was really quite unusual, but we gave him pain medication, and made him as comfortable as possible. From there we headed back to Novolazarevskaya where we boarded the cargo plane once again for the return journey.”It was only after they had taken off that they realised how difficult it was to monitor Seeberg in the noisy cargo plane, which is not soundproofed like passenger planes.“We couldn’t hear the heart monitors, so we had to look at the movement of Seeberg’s chest and the colour of his face. But, fortunately, we were able to keep him stable until we arrived at the hospital,” says Fischer.They landed on Sunday 21 December 2008, and both patients were immediately admitted to the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Rassolov was operated on for his fractured ankle the next day, and Seeberg underwent a five-hour heart bypass operation two days later, on Christmas Eve.While Seeberg was obviously not at his best, he was well enough to express his appreciation of the view of Table Mountain from his hospital bed.A wonderful experience“We were exhausted, but it was a most fulfilling and enriching experience,” says Mulder of the trip.“It was really a wonderful experience,” agrees Fischer.  “The lowest temperature we experienced was -38º. And it was unbelievable to see that the sun never sets there in summer. We called it ‘no-man’s-land’ because it is so extremely quiet – in fact there are no animals that make any sounds.”Both patients have been discharged and repatriated to their respective home countries.Related articlesHealthcare in South AfricaScience and technology in South Africa Saving albatross, on sea and land South Pole adventurers return Useful linksChristiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital Antarctic Treaty Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research South Africa’s Antarctic Programme Jobs in Antarctica (in case you’re inspired)last_img read more

Polystyrene Female Dummy Mannequin Head Long For Hats : Prefer other dummies ordered

first_img At first sight i thought it was small, but it does the job well. Very nice woman 🙂 and useful. My mother wanted this to display knitted hats & scarves so it needed to have a good base. Arrived quickly and in perfect condition. I bought this polystyrene mannequin head to display a hat i wanted to sell and this head did the job perfectly. I was worried when ordering that the product would arrive broken, as other reviews had stated. I was very pleased when it was delivered in one piece. Item as described, very light weight but perfect for putting hats on, it doesn’t fall over. (i’m using it to photograph hats)good preportions on the face- it doesn’t look strange, however it is slightly smaller than life size (although i think this is the average size for a mannequin head)the neck and shoulders are great as hats flow when sat on the head, rather than bunching up on the surface you’re working on. I used this head and another male one to construct leather masks on top of moulds, very useful for mask masking and designing hats etc. Search for head without a grumpy expression . Though light in weight, it was exactly what i was looking for. Most had an unpleasant face, and no shoulders. This wig/hat stand is just right. It is tall enough for longer length wigs or larger style hats, so that they don’t droop on to the table/stand. Slimline and modern looking. I wanted this item but they sent me one that’s just the head, as i need to use the item i told them i will keep the woung item aslong as the pay me back the difference which they did. Item was as per description. It will be good for its intended use – display of hand crafted hats and scarves. Polystyrene female dummy mannequin head. I liked the head but the reason for the rating was that i felt it would have been more stable with a slightly wider base. Genuinely remember to with ‘hattie’ ~ i’ve picked out to phone her. She has a great face, nothing at all ‘spooky’ about her and she will be heading in the bed room and applied to display the ‘current’ hat i am sporting.This is a great product, excellent size and superior area. I required it as a bed room feature and painted rene magritte design with blue sky and clouds. It has appear out charming and does just what i wished it to do.I produced it larger sized with ducktape for the reason that i am making a fursuit and it has to be able to healthy my head.I chose this head for a close friend to use for his images set-up-he appeared to think it was much better than the true point.Specifically what i wanted, terrific benefit for money, i necessary it for a headwear/hat structure venture. Its is manufactured of polystyrene so wont very last forever but if looked after is fantastic for my function.A person was marginally destroyed when it arrived but was useable. Perfect for basic display and cosplay storage needs. . Packaging came in a huge box which made me smile but otherwise matched the description perfectly and easy to use. A little smaller than my head but then all mannequins tend to be. I needed one to store and work on a wig for a cosplay event and wanted something a little more substantial than a simple wig stand. If you want to display items, work on wigs or do some basic millinery shaping then i say this is the one foe you. Great price and a good shape. Good quality grat for my art wheark. Prefer other dummies ordered. Quality ok and arrived on time but dumbly very small and features odd. The reason for the rating is that everything was fine except for the fact that there was no hole at the base of the stand to enable me to put it on a wig clamp. Perfect for basic display and Cosplay storage needs.just what i was after.Search for head without a grumpy expression !The longer neck is exactly what I was looking for Polystyrene female dummy mannequin headGood for long wigs, styling and keeping the wig in shapePolystyrene Female Dummy Mannequin Head Long For Hats,wigs, DisplayPOLYSTYRENE FEMALE DUMMY MANNEQUIN HEAD LONG FOR HATS,WIGS, DISPLAYlast_img read more

Three Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh