Cryophysics

Linkam's LTS350 helps our understanding of icy bodies in the solar system

Images of N2 clathrate hydrates obtained at temperatures ranging from 123 to 266°K over a period of 30 minutes.

The opening article of Microscopy and Analysis this month (Issue 144) features our very own LTS350 stage in use by the Ice Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Dr Mathieu Choukroun, and rest of the team in the Ice Physics Laboratory have been measuring the thermophysical properties of icy compositions relevant to geophysical applications. The goal of this project is to help understand the thermal evolution and behaviour of icy bodies in the solar system, and help explain exciting phenomena such as cryovolcanism, plate tectonics and tidal heating on these celestial bodies.

The scientists also hope these studies will bring them closer to discovering whether there could be glacial lakes and oceans beneath the icy surfaces on other planets (as suggested by missions like Galileo.)  ...there may even be unfrozen water and you know what that means? That's right, the possibility of life...Extra Terrestrial life - our stages could be partly responsible for discovering E.T!!!!! exciting stuff eh?

You can read more about this interesting study on our Application Notes page...although there's nothing about the discovery of aliens.... yet.

Posted by Rosie Hider

Linkam Cryostage used at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory...

 

That’s right; the scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA have been using our LTS350 system to better understand the thermal evolution and behaviour of icy bodies in our solar system.
Our microscope stages are used in some pretty amazing applications in biology, materials, geology and so on, but it’s not often that you hear about an application that includes the words, ‘Space Mission’.
Some days I’m just blown away by how lucky we are to hear first hand from the scientists about this - almost science fiction like - work....
This is pulled straight from the application note, which you can read in full on our Application Notes page.
‘...The physical processes are studied on a microscopic scale, but the results give insight into large processes such as cryovolcanism, tidal dissipation and the thermal evolution of various planets and satellites, including icy regions on earth, outer planet satellites, Mars, meteorite parent bodies, and the outer solar system. This research is critical to the interpretation of data from space missions like previous Galileo (Jupiter), current Cassini‐Huygens (Saturn), Dawn (Vesta + Ceres), or New Horizons (Pluto‐Charon and Trans‐Neptunian Objects), as well as to the definition of scientific instruments for future missions to icy bodies.’
Thank you to all the folks at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for letting us in on this exciting work.