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This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water | Bill Gates | LinkedIn

This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water | Bill Gates | LinkedIn | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The Omniprocessor is a safe repository for human waste. Today, in many places without modern sewage systems, truckers take the waste from latrines and dump it into the nearest river or the ocean—or at a treatment facility that doesn’t actually treat the sewage. Either way, it often ends up in the water supply. If they took it to the Omniprocessor instead, it would be burned safely. The machine runs at such a high temperature (1000 degrees Celsius) that there’s no nasty smell; in fact it meets all the emissions standards set by the U.S. government.
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How lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid, allowing them to gulp down water

How lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid, allowing them to gulp down water | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair—in other words, adorable.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Behind all of the happy, wet messes, however, lies the mechanical logic of carnivorous compensation—dogs splash when they drink because they have the cheeks of a predatory quadruped. By studying the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes, a group of researchers at Virginia Tech and Purdue University has recently identified and modeled the fluid dynamics at play when dogs drink water."

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First Photos of Water Ice on Mercury Captured by NASA Spacecraft

First Photos of Water Ice on Mercury Captured by NASA Spacecraft | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The first-ever photos of water ice near Mercury's north pole have come down to Earth, and they have quite a story to tell.

 

The images, taken by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft (short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging), suggest that the ice lurking within Mercury's polar craters was delivered recently, and may even be topped up by processes that continue today, researchers said.

 

More than 20 years ago, Earth-based radar imaging first spotted signs of water ice near Mercury's north and south poles — a surprise, perhaps, given that temperatures on the solar system's innermost planet can top 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius). [Water Ice On Mercury: How It Was Found (Video)]


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, October 17, 2014 2:19 AM

A fascinating discovery by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, considering that the closest planet to our sun can have surface temperatures reaching 427 degrees C (800 degrees F.)  Evidence suggests that some of this ice was deposited on Mercury fairly recently.  Aloha, Russ.

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Phys.Org Mobile: Watery asteroid discovered in dying star points to habitable exoplanets

Phys.Org Mobile: Watery asteroid discovered in dying star points to habitable exoplanets | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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What Is This “Atmospheric River” That Is Flooding California? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

What Is This “Atmospheric River” That Is Flooding California? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In 1861 an atmospheric river that brought storms for 43 days turned California’s Central Valley into an inland sea 300 miles long and 20 miles wide. Thousands of people died, 800,000 cattle drowned and the state went bankrupt. A similar disaster today would be much more devastating, because the region is much more populated and it is the single largest food producer in the U.S.


"So maybe 1861 was an oddity. Not really. Geologic core samples show that extreme floods like the one in 1861 have happened in California about every 200 years, since the year 200 A.D. So the next disaster could be coming around the bend. The West Coast has actually been slowly constructing large, specialized, meteorological observatories that can sense atmospheric rivers as they develop, so forecasters can give early warnings."

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Oceans arrived early on Earth: Primitive meteorites were the likely source of water

Oceans arrived early on Earth: Primitive meteorites were the likely source of water | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: Where did Earth's water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.

 

"The answer to one of the basic questions is that our oceans were always here. We didn't get them from a late process, as was previously thought," said Adam Sarafian, the lead author of the paper published Oct. 31, 2014, in the journal Science and a MIT/WHOI Joint Program student in the Geology and Geophysics Department.

 

One school of thought was that planets originally formed dry, due to the high-energy, high-impact process of planet formation, and that the water came later from sources such as comets or "wet" asteroids, which are largely composed of ices and gases.

 

"With giant asteroids and meteors colliding, there's a lot of destruction," said Horst Marschall, a geologist at WHOI and coauthor of the paper. "Some people have argued that any water molecules that were present as the planets were forming would have evaporated or been blown off into space, and that surface water as it exists on our planet today, must have come much, much later -- hundreds of millions of years later."

 

The study's authors turned to another potential source of Earth's water -- carbonaceous chondrites. The most primitive known meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, were formed in the same swirl of dust, grit, ice and gasses that gave rise to the sun some 4.6 billion years ago, well before the planets were formed. "These primitive meteorites resemble the bulk solar system composition," said WHOI geologist and coauthor Sune Nielsen. "They have quite a lot of water in them, and have been thought of before as candidates for the origin of Earth's water."

 

In order to determine the source of water in planetary bodies, scientists measure the ratio between the two stable isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and hydrogen. Different regions of the solar system are characterized by highly variable ratios of these isotopes. The study's authors knew the ratio for carbonaceous chondrites and reasoned that if they could compare that to an object that was known to crystallize while Earth was actively accreting then they could gauge when water appeared on Earth.

 

To test this hypothesis, the research team, which also includes Francis McCubbin from the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico and Brian Monteleone of WHOI, utilized meteorite samples provided by NASA from the asteroid 4-Vesta. The asteroid 4-Vesta, which formed in the same region of the solar system as Earth, has a surface of basaltic rock -- frozen lava. These basaltic meteorites from 4-Vesta are known as eucrites and carry a unique signature of one of the oldest hydrogen reservoirs in the solar system. Their age -- approximately 14 million years after the solar system formed -- makes them ideal for determining the source of water in the inner solar system at a time when Earth was in its main building phase. The researchers analyzed five different samples at the Northeast National Ion Microprobe Facility -- a state-of-the-art national facility housed at WHOI that utilizes secondary ion mass spectrometers. This is the first time hydrogen isotopes have been measured in eucrite meteorites.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Hubble Spots Water Plumes on Europa

Hubble Spots Water Plumes on Europa | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Water erupting from Europa's south pole may finally reveal whether its subterranean ocean is habitable.
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