Author - Nir Keinan

Cool Stories Tech News

Picasso, Reconstructed by an A.I.

It’s rare for artists to spring up surprises long after their demise, but some occasions are noteworthy. Think Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and Picasso.

Beneath the Old Guitarist (1903-04), Pablo Picasso’s popular Blue Period painting is the figure of a woman in faint markings. She was originally noticed in 1998 when X-rays and infrared light were used by conservators of the Art Institute of Chicago to peep behind the top layer of the paint.

She sits with her right arm tucked onto her lap and her left arm reaching toward the viewer.  Strangely enough, she resembles a sketch Picasso sent to a colleague at the same time the painting was made.

Enter A.I. Conservation

The foundation for the neural network was a technique created in 2015 by Leon Gatys at the University of Tübingen, Germany, called neural style transfer. The machine vision technique can indicate the style of a painting and convert it to match another.

For example, it can convert a Paul Cézanne to the style of Michelangelo. This technique has been used on videos as well, so it is possible to watch clips of Ice Age in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

All that could be recognized of the woman in the painting until now was the slightest trace of her outline. Other intricate details like style and color were lost.

Nevertheless, with the use of a neural network trained to differentiate the style of one artist from the other or one period from the other, researchers at University College London have given her a new life, even if it is not true to the original of Picasso.

Researchers George Cann and Anthony Bourached published their paper titled “Raiders of the Lost Art,” on the arXiv preprint server. The paper was also featured in a recent article in the MIT Technology Review.

The X-rayed images of the woman’s outlines were plugged into a neural network built to convert images into the style of La Vie (1903), another exceptional piece of Picasso’s Blue Period. In as much as the result cannot be a perfect match of Picasso’s painting which was also pained over 10 decades ago, it is at least conforming to the style he used at that period.

In Picasso’s The Crouching Beggar, the same technique was also used. It was painted over a landscape thought to have been made by a Spanish painter, Santiago Rusiñol, using Rusiñol’s Parc del Laberint d’Horta.

Cann and Bourached said that they hope the results help projects on other lost works of art and also challenge the popular doubt that “algorithm can be creative, or innovate.”

“We argue that the use of machine learning as an artistic tool can ultimately broaden creative insight and widen the landscape of inspirational ingenuity by human-AI collaboration,” wrote Cann and Bourached.

The Crouching Beggar and Old Guitarist are not the only Picasso works that cover hidden paintings. Earlier pieces are usually painted over by artists, especially when a fresh canvas is hard to come by due to inadequate funds. A portrait of a man resting his hand on his head underneath Picasso’s The Blue Room (1901) was found by researchers in 2014.

It’s rare for artists to spring up surprises long after their demise, but some occasions are noteworthy. Think Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and Picasso.

Beneath the Old Guitarist (1903-04), Pablo Picasso’s popular Blue Period painting is...

Inspiring Stories

DoSomething.org Looks to Encourage Youth Turnout in US Elections

The 2019 Get Out the Vote campaign has started. In 2018 the campaign, that has been set up to encourage younger people to register to vote, added 118,000 young people to the register in time for the 2018 midterms.

This year it is set to pull more young voters into the democratic process for the forthcoming elections in 2019 and the Presidential Election in 2020.

DoSomething.org has benefited from a $500,000 grant donated by Craig Newmark Philanthropies which is headed up by Mr Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List. This funding will likely be used to target previously underrepresented voters including people of color.

The long term aim is to encourage young people to take a lifetime interest and fully participate in the democratic life of their country which is essential if the US is to hear the voice of all its citizens including those who are the most marginalized.

One Man’s Passion

This is a subject that Craig Newmark feels strongly about. Looking at some of the ways that people are excluded from the opportunity to vote, he hopes the funds will help some of the young voters to overcome barriers that prevent them from exercising their franchise.

Things like gerrymandering, ID regulations, purging, and other tactics can often remove peoples’ ability to register and cast a vote.

Newmark believes that DoSomething.org’s Get Out the Vote is a much-needed initiative and that more work is needed at a grassroots level to make the election system much more inclusive and open to all Americans.

For DoSomething.org, a spokesperson announced that in 2019 the campaign will be looking to educate voters using offline and online channels. There is likely to be a great deal of input from social influencers, alongside voter registration drives, reminders delivered via SMS, and voting plans.

The offline activities will include community organizing to encourage all young adults to register to vote.

A key part of the strategy is the organization of another National Absentee Ballot Day on 8th October. This will target the five states with elections planned: Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Kentucky, with students from each state, encouraged to submit an absentee ballot.

Last year the campaign helped to bring about a record voter turnout in the midterms (42%). The only year where a higher turnout was recorded was 1914 when 50.4% of voters came out. However, it is worth noting that in 1914 women did not have the vote (US Elections Project).

The $500,000 grant from Newmark means that DoSomething.org can aim to break more records in 2020 when US citizens have another presidential election. Newark sees the vote as an essential civic duty that enables Americans to protect their democracy.

He encourages everyone to get out to vote and passionately supports the aims of DoSomething.org’s Get Out the Vote initiative. In particular, its role in targeting young people and empowering them to elect their officials and hold them accountable.

The 2019 Get Out the Vote campaign has started. In 2018 the campaign, that has been set up to encourage younger people to register to vote, added 118,000 young people to the register in time for the 2018 midterms.

This year it is set to pull more young...

Cool Stories Tech News

Robotic Contact Lenses Allow You to Zoom In on Blink-Command

Everything robotic is on the rise!  As of late, researchers at the University of California San Diego have explored the idea of contact lenses that will zoom in on objects by blinking twice!  They are called “soft robots” which actually copies elements found in living organisms. They can be integrated with a human body and this is one of the projects that is taking center stage.

The researchers have actually created a prototype contact lens that’s controlled by the movement of your eye.  You can simply blink twice to zoom in and out from an object.  These biomimetic lenses are made from elastic polymer films designed to respond to the electric signals that are generated by eye movement.

The layers that expand or contract will change the thickness of the lenses which changes the amount of light that passes through. Actually, this technology is not new, it’s very much like eye-tracking technology that allows people to control their wheelchairs.

Soft Robots

Due to many unique features, soft robots have been extensively explored to work in collaboration with humans.  The latest development of soft robots can be either controlled manually or through a pre-written program.

The researchers explained that current developments have created a human/machine interface that uses electrooculographic signals that are generated by the movement of the eye to control motions and change the focal length of a biomimetic soft lens.

The motion and contortion of soft lenses are achieved by actuating areas of the dielectric polymer films which copies the mechanism of the eyes in people as well as in most mammals. In a recent study, the system has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotic in the near future.

This is really an amazing breakthrough that could allow your eye to see things more clearly and even zoom in on very small objects that the human eye has difficulty seeing. From there, the sky’s the limit.

Everything robotic is on the rise!  As of late, researchers at the University of California San Diego have explored the idea of contact lenses that will zoom in on objects by blinking twice!  They are called “soft robots” which actually copies elements...

Earth Tech News

Arch Rao is Back With a New Company for Energy Management

If you don’t know who Arch Rao is, he was the former head of products, applications, and sales engineering at Tesla Energy.  He was behind the company’s successful Powerwall home energy system.  He is now back as founder and CEO of a new company, Span IO, promoting energy management and efficiency for homes.

Span IO is working to upgrade the electrical fuse box for homes with a digital system that integrates into the existing circuit breaker technology that has been the foundation of home energy over the last century.

Arch Rao and his team are focusing on integrating renewable power energy storage, and electric vehicles making it easier for people by redesigning the electric panel for modern energy requirements.

They packaged the metering controls that travel between the bus bar and the breaker.

Rao said energy flows through the panel through a breaker bar and the breaker bar has tabs that you slot your breakers into, the tab is normally a conductor.  They have designed a digital sub-assembly that packages current metering voltage measurement, and the ability to turn each circuit on and off.

The technology will be sold through various avenues such as solar energy or battery installers. They already have plans to integrate their power management devices with energy storage systems similar to those available from LG.

Span plans on selling their products in states like California and Hawaii where the demand for solar installation is very strong and homeowners understand the significant benefits from installing renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

What Happens When There’s an Outage?

One of the great advantages, homeowners having this new power management system will give them control over what areas of their homes will be powered in case there is an outage.  The technology hooks up the entire home to a renewable system.

Rao said using existing technologies, installers can set up a separate breaker and just rewire certain areas of the home to receive the power generated by a renewable energy system.

The control is handled through a consumer app which is available for downloading on mobile devices.

Span IO is backed by many investors including Wireframe Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Ulu Ventures, Hardware Club, Consignment Ventures, I/O Capital, and Energy foundry.  They plan on raising new cash before the end of this year to push forward.

If you don’t know who Arch Rao is, he was the former head of products, applications, and sales engineering at Tesla Energy.  He was behind the company’s successful Powerwall home energy system.  He is now back as founder and CEO of a new...

Health Lifestyle

What Can I Do If I Can’t Sleep?

Experts believe that if you or your kids can’t sleep, trying to force it will actually make things worse. If you wake up too early and think that staying in bed will force you to go back to sleep, you’d be wrong.

Trying to make yourself sleep when you can’t, will lead to stress and tension making the situation even worse. On top of that, if this goes on for any length of time, it could lead to serious insomnia.

According to studies performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine getting out of bed when you can’t sleep will decease 70 to 80% of acute insomnia and will not turn into chronic insomnia.

During the study, researchers observed the time in bed and the sleeping habits of 416 people over the course of a year.  Many of these participants were good sleepers before the study.  Once the study started, 20% experienced acute insomnia, having problems falling asleep or staying asleep 3 or more times in a week, expanding to 2 weeks and some cases 3 months.

45% of the participants eventually returned to good sleepers but 7% who suffered from insomnia ended up with chronic insomnia for approximately as long as 3 months.  Those who chose to restrict their time in bed were more likely to get back into good sleeping habits.  Others that chose to stay in bed were likely to suffer from insomnia and eventually become chronic.

Experts believe that if you cannot sleep, spend the time reading, writing what you have put off, or some other activity.   Chances are, you will probably go back to sleep faster and have a better night’s sleep than if you chose to stay in bed and become stressed.

What You Should Not Do:

Michael Perlis, Ph.D., director and author of the study at the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program there are stumbling blocks of prolonged sleep opportunity, which can lead to your misalignment with your actual sleeping abilities.

People with insomnia usually extend their sleep opportunities by going to bed earlier, getting out of bed late, and then taking naps.   Unfortunately, this is a short-term fix because the problem over the long-term will create an imbalance between your current sleep ability and your current sleep opportunities which can lead to insomnia.

People will often overcompensate loss of sleep by changing the sleep schedule.  Choosing to stay awake instead of forcing sleep is a better strategy for the treatment of insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which has been announced by the American College f Physicians and is a better treatment.

Sticking by a better sleep and wake-up schedule will help regulate your sleep within a matter of 3 to 5 days.

Your bed should be reserved for sleep or sex, not for reading, writing or watching television. According to Michael Grander, another author & director of Sleep and Health Research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, believes you should limit your time awake in bed to half an hour a week.

 

Experts believe that if you or your kids can’t sleep, trying to force it will actually make things worse. If you wake up too early and think that staying in bed will force you to go back to sleep, you’d be wrong.

Trying to make yourself sleep...

Cool Stories Science

Hubble Spots a Big, Weird Blob of Star Gas

Stargazing has always been thought of as a romantic or peaceful pastime, but when you really think about what’s up there and the consequences it has on our world, it’s anything but. When you’re looking through NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, you see that they’re no longer just diamonds in the sky.

Take NGC 2022, for example, which can be found in the Orion constellation. When you see what it looks like through a telescope, it’s fantastic. It’s a star approaching the end of its life.

Different stars do different things when they age, depending on their size and makeup. When thinking about stars and the effect they have on us, the most crucial one to keep tabs on is our very own Sun. Eventually, it will become a red giant, just as NGC 2022 has done.

A Planetary Nebula

NASA explains in a new blog post:

“When stars like the Sun grow advanced in age, they expand and glow red. These so-called red giants then begin to lose their outer layers of material into space. More than half of such a star’s mass can be shed in this manner, forming a shell of surrounding gas. At the same time, the star’s core shrinks and grows hotter, emitting ultraviolet light that causes the expelled gases to glow.”

What is left is planet-like in appearance, which is why it’s called a planetary nebula. This all may sound fascinating and exciting, but the effect of our Sun becoming a red giant will be devastating for our planet. Planets that closely orbit stars headed toward the end of their life are swallowed up completely. Others are stripped of their atmosphere.

In our case, most likely Mercury and Venus will be swallowed up, but Earth won’t. However, all life on earth is sure to be eradicated because of the intense heat of the star.

Don’t run off and start panicking, though. We’ve still got about 5.4 billion years till this all goes down, and till then, the sun will very gradually get brighter and hotter.

Stargazing has always been thought of as a romantic or peaceful pastime, but when you really think about what’s up there and the consequences it has on our world, it’s anything but. When you’re looking through NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, you see...

Earth Nature & Tech Science

Giant Telescope the Focus of Hawaii Protest

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.

Colette has more:

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.
Colette has more:

City Life Cool Stories

Urban Hacking: 5 Inexpensive and Cool City Hacks

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be adapted in order to grow.

Urban hacking is one of the most direct ways we have of shaping our city into what we want it to be, and these hacks often lead to permanent solutions. Urban hacks range from taking over disused public squares and installing seating for seniors to bringing humor and fun to everyday scenes.

What urban hacking does is turn public space and urban landscape into a huge playground where people can express their creativity and better their city. Here are 15 inexpensive and cool city hacks to be aware of!

  1. Shopping Cart Sports by Florian Riviére

Florian Riviére is a French artist and activist that has come up with many different city hacks. His project “Don’t Play, Play” encourages people to stay in the parking lot of shopping centers instead of going inside.

For this purpose, parking spots are modified with white tape to turn them into courts for sports such as tennis, hockey, basketball, etc., using shopping carts as nets or structural supports.

  1. Wanderest Chair for Seniors Attached to Light Poles

Light poles can easily become the backrest for seats with “Wanderest”, from designer Nichola Trudgen. This leaning stool can be easily attached to any octagonal or circular light pole and they’re installed in retirement areas where there’s no public seating available.

  1. Info Pillars

Info pillars can be found in Toronto and they often show advertisements instead of actually useful information for people who are exploring the city on foot.

They also block important sections of the sidewalk, making it difficult for pedestrians. That’s why the creative team known as cARTographyTO hacked 35 of these info pillars and replaced the ads with maps, sculptures, art, and chalkboards.

This got the public’s attention, of course, and it encouraged them to reconsider the use of these info pillars.

  1. Tram Track Skateboarding

In Bratislava, Slovakia, the width of the tram tracks match perfectly with the width of a standard European pallet.

When this pallet is modified with parts to keep it in place, it becomes a sort of skateboard that zooms across the city with minimum effort, guided by a map of the city.

This project from Slovakian artist Tomas Moravec is meant to serve as a new transport vehicle that changes spatial perspective of users and the life of the city as well.

  1. Urban Terrasse: Adaptive Furniture by Damien Gires

In France, designer Damien Gires takes octagonal cardboard boxes and places them in anti-parking posts on sidewalks, turning them into mini tables for adjacent cafes.

This project is known as Urban Terrasse, and it’s meant to make sidewalks more functional and to encourage cafe patrons to get more involved with their city environments because it shows them it’s in their best interest.

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be...

Animals

‘Wall of Sharks’ is a Real Phenomenon, and it Only Happens Once a Year

If you’ve ever wondered where the annual grey reef shark conference is, well, here’s your answer. Every year on the full moon of July, hundreds of sharks gather off of the island of Fakarava in French Polynesia, specifically in the south passage, a phenomenon that has been named the “Wall of Sharks.”

This area is one of the largest shark sanctuaries in the world, so it’s typical that you’d find a larger amount of this particular sea predator than you normally would in other places. However, on this single day of July, the usual number of about 250 sharks could shoot to a radical 900 all at one time.

So, what causes this astronomical change?

Well, this narrow passage where the open sea meets a lagoon is particularly full of sea life, enticing sharks to partake of plankton, fish, and more. However, it’s on the full moon of July that thousands of marbled groupers arrive to mate; in fact, it was while researching the aggregation of these groupers that biologists first discovered the gathering of grey reef sharks.

The groupers spawn over 20,000, providing the sharks a celebratory feast!

The pass is relatively quite small in comparison to this amount of sea life in it at once. In fact, “when diving inside, you can see both sides of the channel,” says shark researcher Dr. Johann Mourier. And, so, we have the nickname “Wall of Sharks.”

Brave Diving Challenge

Since it’s discovery, this site has become a favorite spot for courageous divers from all over the world. Top Dive hosts guided dives around French Polynesia year-round as well as during the short “Wall of Sharks” timeframe. The southern pass is a site to see all throughout the year – a “veritable undersea Garden of Eden,” according to Top Dive.

“Diving with 900 sharks?!” you might be thinking. And considering what sharks are rumored to be, it’s right to be alarmed. However, underwater photographer Lauren Ballesta assures divers that they are generally safe as sharks see humans as “obstacles not prey.”

Don’t base all your beliefs about sharks off of movies like Jaws. Sharks are vital to our ecosystem and are in need of our protection.

Whether or not your ready to dive in and enjoy a swim with these sharks, this phenomenon is simply incredible, one of the thrilling moments nature gives us to enjoy.

If you’ve ever wondered where the annual grey reef shark conference is, well, here’s your answer. Every year on the full moon of July, hundreds of sharks gather off of the island of Fakarava in French Polynesia, specifically in the south passage, a...

Earth Funny Stories

Blue Java Bananas Are A ‘Sweet Treat’ You Can Grow Yourself

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With Cavendish bananas heading toward extinction, people are thrilled to discover the creamy texture and unique, sweet flavour of the Blue Java banana – and who wants boring, old yellow bananas anyway?

These bananas were first discovered and grown in Southeast Asia, but they thrive in all tropical climates, such as Hawaii or even Northern Australia.

A Banana, By Any Other Name

The Blue Java banana goes by multiple names; the ‘Ice Cream’ banana, the ‘Hawaiian’ banana, and Cenizo bananas are just a few of them. These trees are great because in addition to the delicious, unique fruit they produce, they also produce it quickly with lots of shade, as well.

The fruit is a silvery or bright blue color when it isn’t ripe, but turns to a yellow similar to Cavendish bananas when it’s ripe and ready to be devoured. Fun to eat both raw or cooked, they’re exceptionally delicious served with ice cream or frozen custard.

The Blue Java variety of bananas is tough, unlike the Cavendish which is facing the risk of extinction due to problems with cloning and rampant disease.

The Blue Java thrives most in places like Fiji, the Philippines, Hawaii, and even some of the southern states in America – all places with warmer climates.

Attempting to grow them in the midwestern United States probably wouldn’t work though the plant has a strong root system and is hardy, wind-resistant, and cold tolerant up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

On average, you’ll find Blue Java bananas at a length between seven and nine inches, and the trees themselves typically reach 15 to 20 feet and bloom anywhere from 15 to 24 months following planting.

Where Can They Grow?

The bananas have a pleasant aroma and flavor. Check your geographical zone, and see if you can grow them in your own climate; they do best in zones eight through ten, but they also grow in greenhouses.

A potted plant may produce bananas as soon as nine months, and if you can’t find a local specialty grocer near you that carries blue bananas, you can find them on Amazon!

The thought of Blue Java banana’s creamy, fluffy texture combined with a vanilla ice cream flavour is tempting foodies everywhere with the possibilities they offer. Those on a diet can indulge in one without even cheating!

Commenters on Reddit had a lot to say about this phenomenal fruit. User 4ftFury commented, “Totally! Bananas are actually super tough, resilient plants – I believe in you!” Nate1899 responded, “I live in Florida, just north enough that our banana trees get burnt by the freezes.

Very disappointing. This would be perfect!” User GoHomeWithBonnieJean wrote, “It’s only a matter of time before the Cavendish banana is wiped out.

The reason why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the market is that the current banana sold is based on a monoculture.” It looks like blue bananas couldn’t have arrived on the market soon enough!

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With Cavendish bananas heading toward extinction, people are thrilled to discover the creamy texture and unique...

Inspiring Stories Science

Happy Uplifting Music Will Increase Creativity

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate creative innovative solutions in comparison to silence.

Creativity plays a very important role in our world today.  Creativity generates innovative ideas for a wide range of issues that are addressed with new ideas. One question that constantly arises, what promotes creative understanding?

This has been widely debated and studied and even though music has previously shown to benefit cognition, very little is known how listening to music really affects creativity.

Emotional Music

A further study showed that researchers had 155 participants who completed a questionnaire and were then split into different groups.  Each group listened to 4 different styles of music covering calm, sad, anxious, and happy, depending on their positive or negative emotions.  High or low arousal was also taken into consideration and there was one group that just listened to silence.

Once the music started, the participants performed different tasks that would test their different and connecting creative thinking.  Those who scored the highest had come up with the most creative, original solutions. Those who came in with a single possible solution to a given task scored higher in convergent creativity.

Researchers found that those who listened to classical music, or happy music, showed positive demeanor, high arousal, and promoted creativity thinking vs those in silence. The researchers believe that happy music may actually enhance flexibility in thinking.

In turn, additional solutions might not have been taken into consideration if the participants were in silence when trying to create.

The study clearly showed that creativity may be enhanced through music.  Further research could reveal the different ambient sounds that may affect creativity and those participants of diverse cultures, different ages, and levels of musical knowledge.

The authors also believe that further studies may show that music could promote creative thinking for solutions that are inexpensive and efficient for different areas including scientific, educational, and organizational settings.

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate...

Nature & Tech Science

Cassini Finds New Complex Details On Saturn’s Ring

NASA’s spacecraft, Cassini,  has revealed even more intricate details on the rings around Saturn.  The craft’s mission ended two years ago but NASA is still collating data on the planet.  This latest revelations shows new temperatures, colors and textures within the planet’s complex ring system.

In Science magazine, a new paper shows how the rings interact with the particles around them, leading scientists to conclude that the rings are part of the processes that directly impact upon our solar system.

Cassini was able to identify fine details such as patterns and texture which varied in appearance and structure.  Cassini’s close-up images have shown that there are 3 distinct textures present in the rings – clumpy, streaky and smooth areas – that happen with sharp boundaries and are not necessarily connected to any specific characteristics already identified within the rings.

It has also provided maps showing changes in chemistry, temperature and color that exist across Saturn’s rings.  The data was collected initially between December 2016 and April 2017, names by NASA as the Ring Grazing Orbits (December 2016 to April 2017) and between April to September 2017, the Grand Finale of the mission.

Clues about the ring’s origins

Cassini’s observations have allowed NASA scientists to conclude that the outer edge of the ring systems were likely to have been hit at the same time leading to the similarly generated streaks that can be seen in the F ring.  It is likely, therefore, that the rings was not shaped by comets or other space debris at random, but instead by the materials that circle the planet.

The otter mystery found by Cassini was discovered as a result of the  visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) detecting weak water-ice bands.  Scientists were surprised to see this in the A ring’s vicinity.  The reflective nature of this water could indicate the presence of less contaminated ice and water bands.

Spectral imaging has also given a great insight into the composition of the rings.  As well as water which was already known, scientists have discovered that there was no ammonia or methane ice.  However, no organic compounds were seen.

The science team have been excited to establish new information about what was going on in the rings but as each question is answered more arise, making the Cassini project one to watch in the months and years to come.

NASA’s spacecraft, Cassini,  has revealed even more intricate details on the rings around Saturn.  The craft’s mission ended two years ago but NASA is still collating data on the planet.  This latest revelations shows new temperatures, colors and...