Posts tagged science
Posts tagged science
The HabCam (Habitat Mapping Camera System) team and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution need your help!
Identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor, and help create a library of seafloor life in the habitats along the northeast continental shelf of the United States.
This is one of many Zooniverse projects. Zooniverse is a hub of crowd-sourcing for science and includes projects in astronomy, oceanography, climate studies and more!
V’GER DEMANDS THE INFORMATION.
Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.
The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy.
On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere, all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays – cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system – spiked to levels not seen since Voyager’s launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.
The findings have been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Timescales from recharge to discharge
USGS (click through for Basic Groundwater Hydrology, Heath, 1987).
Giant Camels once roamed the Arctic!
Camels are well known for their ability to survive the hot and dry conditions of the desert, but a study suggests they once thrived in colder climes. Fossils have been found in Canada and identified as the leg bones of large (2.7m at the shoulder) camels that lived ~3.5 million years ago.
Camels are known to have developed in North America, but this study suggests that they were not always warm-weather creatures. Large eyes allowed them to see in the months of darkness near the pole. Large feet are as useful for walking on snow as on sand. And the fatty humps would have helped with surviving long winters.
Here’s the Original Nature Comm. Paper
Booming Sand Dunes (a.k.a. Singing Sands)
Booming sand dunes produce a sound described as roaring, booming, squeaking, or the “Song of Dunes”. This is a natural sound phenomenon of up to 105 decibels, lasting as long as several minutes, that occurs in about 35 desert locations around the world. The sound is similar to a loud, low-pitch, rumble, and it emanates from the crescent-shaped dunes, or barchans. The sound emission accompanies a slumping or avalanching movement of the sand, usually triggered by wind passing over the dune or by someone walking near the crest.
Scientists studying the phenomenon (like Prof. Melany Hunt, whose students are pictured above) can’t just wait around for an avalanche, so they (and their students) trigger events by sliding down the dunes on their bottoms. This had led to a number of jokes about doing science “by the seat of their pants”.
The Japanese deep sea drilling vessel (DS/DV) Chikyu Hakken can now be toured with a free ipad app! This app was designed for education purposes, but I think it’s just plain cool.
The Chikyu was built to be the second (and larger) drilling platform for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, which has been studying the rocks beneath the ocean for the last 10 years. I had the privilege of sailing on the very first IODP expedition aboard the Chikyu in 2007. Expedition 314 was the first part of an ongoing project to study the tsunamigenic faults in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan (NanTroSEIZE).
Now, the Chikyu is planning out its next ten years as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, and you have the chance to see part of what makes this ship so very special.
Researchers Study Earth’s Ancient Geochemistry
Researchers still have much to learn about the volcanism that shaped our planet’s early history. New evidence from a team led by Carnegie’s Frances Jenner demonstrates that some of the tectonic processes driving volcanic activity, such as those taking place today, were occurring as early as 3.8 billion years ago. Their work is published in Geology.
Upwelling and melting of the Earth’s mantle at mid-ocean ridges, as well as the eruption of new magmas on the seafloor, drive the continual production of the oceanic crust. As the oceanic crust moves away from the mid-ocean ridges and cools it becomes denser than the underlying mantle. Over time the majority of this oceanic crust sinks back into the mantle, which can trigger further volcanic eruptions. This process is known as subduction and it takes place at plate boundaries.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/01/researchers-study-earth%E2%80%99s-ancient-geochemistry
Sandstone Cross-bedding by ZionNPS on Flickr
The cross-bedding found in the Navajo Sandstone is the result of sand being moved by wind. As the sand dunes, which were once found in this ancient desert, were blown by prevailing winds, the sand tumbled down and collected on the dune face. As wind patterns would change, so would the direction of the bedding. With more layers accumulating with this constant dune migration, the deposits were continuously buried. In time, these deposits were solidified in place by mineral rich ground water. NPS Photo
Cool Geology of the Day:
The Soviet Luna 16 lunar lander. The Luna program was a Soviet response to the American Apollo program to visit the Moon. Luna 16 was designed to return a small sample of lunar soil to Earth. It landed in Mare Fecunditatis in 1970. The mission successfully returned 100grams of lunar soil to Earth, and the Soviet Union remains the only other nation to have directly sampled the Moon.