Tag Archives: fluid dynamics

A GRaND Discovery: Dwarf Planet Ceres is Well-Stocked With Water

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PS.

After 4 billion years, the dwarf planet Ceres is still carrying a surprising amount of water weight — as much as 30 percent.

The finding, which was published in the Jan. 6 edition of the journal Science, is consistent with earlier models, and provides valuable clues to how Ceres formed.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Dwarf Planet Ceres Up To 30 Percent Water

Thermal Camera Will Narrow Search for Water, Life on Europa

Image of Europa's chaotic surface.
Image courtesy NASA/JPL/DLR.

NASA’s recent news that the Hubble Space Telescope had spotted liquid water plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa has raised interest in a planned mission that will study the icy world to confirm the ocean’s presence and search for signs of life.

An instrument being built by Arizona State University will show experts where to start looking.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Thermal Camera Will Guide Europa Mission’s Search For Water, Life

Ice Volcano on Ceres

Scientists studying dwarf planet Ceres have found that a  13,000-foot volcano there arose not from silicic magma, but from muddy, salty ice that rose to the ~160 K surface and quick-froze like Smucker’s® Magic Shell.

Finding such a dramatic cryovolcanic process this close to the sun – in the inner asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter – is unusual, and bolsters the idea that Ceres might have originated in the outer solar system. It also lends credence to the notion that asteroids and comets might be more closely related than once thought.

Read/listen to  my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
13,000-Foot Mountain On Dwarf Planet Ceres May Be An Ice Volcano

Blood Will Tell: A Blood Spatter Analysis Update

Eduard Piotrowski of Poland’s University of Krakow published the first major blood spatter study in 1895, but its impact was limited to a few inventive European sleuths like German chemist Paul Jeserich and French forensic scientist Victor Balthazard. The American legal system did not adopt spatter analysis as evidence until the landmark case of State of Ohio v. Samuel Sheppard, and the field did not truly take off until the 1970s, after forensics expert Herbert MacDonell published his influential Flight Characteristics of Human Blood and Stain Patterns.

Blood spatter analysis has undergone major refinements in methods and language since then, including a recent and growing shift toward incorporating computers. I discuss several of these shifts in my 2015 update of Shanna Freeman’s 2007 article:

How Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Works

Ramjets: Making Mock of Mach

1946 ramjet test. Image courtesy NASA.

The faster you go, the less inclined the air becomes to get out of your way. This simple fact, which stood for years as an impediment to breaking the sound barrier, can also be ingeniously harnessed to create an engine capable of zipping along at supersonic speeds without the fuel weight required by rockets.

In this article, I trace the history, science and engineering behind this revolutionary “flying stovepipe,” from its theoretical birth during the biplane era to its modern military and commercial offshoots. By the time we’re done, you’ll understand…

How Ramjets Work