Massive landslides, similar to those found on Earth, are occurring on the asteroid Ceres. That’s according to a new study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding to the growing evidence that Ceres retains a significant amount of water ice.
Raquel L. Lieberman is the recipient of the 2017 Sigma Xi Best Faculty Paper Award. Lieberman is an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The paper recognized by this award is “Enzymatic hydrolysis by transition-metal-dependent nucleophilic aromatic substitution,” published in Nature Chemical Biology.
Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged.” When the wind blows hard enough (approximately 15 mph), Titan’s non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion referred to as saltation. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth — they become resistant to further motion. They attach to other hydrocarbon substances, much like packing peanuts used in shipping boxes here on Earth.
A new study provides additional insight into this relationship of Pluto and its moon, Charon, and how it affects the continuous stripping of Pluto’s atmosphere by solar wind. When Charon is positioned between the sun and Pluto, the research indicates that the moon can significantly reduce atmospheric loss.