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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Photos of the Day: A Book Signing at The Grove in LA...

At The Grove's Barnes & Noble bookstore in Los Angeles to attend a discussion and signing by actress Lily Collins...on March 11, 2017.

Yesterday, I went to The Grove near Beverly Hills to attend a discussion and book signing by Lily Collins...the daughter of music legend Phil Collins and an up-and-coming actress who appeared in such films as last year's Rules Don't Apply, 2013's The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and the 2009 Oscar-nominated movie The Blind Side. Ms. Collins was totally awesome in person. She read an excerpt from her new book Unfiltered before giving her take on it and talking about what motivated her to write her first publication. Afterwards, she spent the next two hours signing copies of her book and taking pics with around 300 fans who drove to Barnes & Noble to see her in person. Some attendees even flew 2,000 miles to see Ms. Collins in Los Angeles... Pretty cool!

Lily Collins arrives for her discussion and signing at The Grove's Barnes & Noble bookstore in Los Angeles...on March 11, 2017.

There are two other book signings that I plan to attend this May—but I won't mention the people appearing since I don't want to jinx these events. Carry on!

Lily Collins begins discussing her new book UNFILTERED at The Grove's Barnes & Noble bookstore in Los Angeles...on March 11, 2017.

I'm the guy wearing the green long-sleeved shirt and gray baseball cap!

Posing with Lily Collins at The Grove's Barnes & Noble bookstore in Los Angeles...on March 11, 2017.

My autographed copy of Lily Collins' book UNFILTERED.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Cassini Update: Stunning Images of a "Ravioli World"...

An image of Pan orbiting within Saturn's rings...as seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on March 7, 2017.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / Space Science Institute

Cassini Reveals Strange Shape of Saturn's Moon Pan (Press Release - March 9)

These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn's tiny moon, Pan, were taken on March 7, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The flyby had a close-approach distance of 24,572 kilometers (15,268 miles).

These images are the closest images ever taken of Pan and will help to characterize its shape and geology.

Additional raw images from Cassini are available at:

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/raw-images

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Caltech in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Another image of Pan orbiting within Saturn's rings...as seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on March 7, 2017.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / Space Science Institute

Thursday, March 09, 2017

It's Official: The Europa Clipper Mission Is Now Called...The Europa Clipper!

An artist's concept of NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft flying above Jupiter's icy moon Europa.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper' (News Release)

NASA's upcoming mission to investigate the habitability of Jupiter's icy moon Europa now has a formal name: Europa Clipper.

The moniker harkens back to the clipper ships that sailed across the oceans of Earth in the 19th century. Clipper ships were streamlined, three-masted sailing vessels renowned for their grace and swiftness. These ships rapidly shuttled tea and other goods back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean and around globe.

In the grand tradition of these classic ships, the Europa Clipper spacecraft would sail past Europa at a rapid cadence, as frequently as every two weeks, providing many opportunities to investigate the moon up close. The prime mission plan includes 40 to 45 flybys, during which the spacecraft would image the moon's icy surface at high resolution and investigate its composition and the structure of its interior and icy shell.

Europa has long been a high priority for exploration because it holds a salty liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust. The ultimate aim of Europa Clipper is to determine if Europa is habitable, possessing all three of the ingredients necessary for life: liquid water, chemical ingredients, and energy sources sufficient to enable biology.

"During each orbit, the spacecraft spends only a short time within the challenging radiation environment near Europa. It speeds past, gathers a huge amount of science data, then sails on out of there," said Robert Pappalardo, Europa Clipper project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Previously, when the mission was still in the conceptual phase, it was sometimes informally called Europa Clipper, but NASA has now adopted that name as the former title for the mission.

The mission is being planned for launch in the 2020s, arriving in the Jupiter system after a journey of several years.

JPL manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Source: NASA.Gov