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Saturn’s rings are much younger than we thought

A team of researchers arrived at the new birth date estimate for Saturn’s rings by studying the build-up of dust around the gas giant planet. Tiny grains of rock stream through the solar system on a near-constant basis, resulting in thin layers of the material building up on planets, moons and asteroids and in icy ring systems like that of Saturn. To try and arrive at a new age estimate for Saturn’s ring system, researchers studied how rapidly this dust layer gathers, similar to determining how long a surface in your house has been left untouched by running a finger over it. 


How do you create lunar gravity in a plane? A veteran zero-G pilot explains

BORDEAUX, FRANCE – Parabolic flight pilots are a rare breed. There are only eight of them in Europe capable of sharing the aircraft’s controls during these nerve-wracking series of up-and-down maneuvers that create brief spells of weightlessness and reduced gravity conditions. These aviators include the cream of the crop of Europe’s military and test pilots and even one active astronaut. Probably the most experienced of these magnificent eight is Eric Delesalle, the head pilot at Bordeaux-based company Novespace, a spin-off from French space agency CNES and Europe’s only provider of parabolic flights for scientific, and sometimes entertainment purposes.