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Planet Four: With the help of Stargazing Live, citizen scientist are exploring the surface of Mars like never before.

Planet Four: With the help of Stargazing Live, citizen scientist are exploring the surface of Mars like never before. | Science's | Scoop.it

Welcome to Planet Four, a citizen science project designed to help planetary scientists identify and measure features on the surface of Mars . . . the likes of which don’t exist on Earth. All of the images on this site depict the southern polar region, an area of Mars that we know little about, and the majority of which have never been seen by human eyes before!

 
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Chandra :: Photo Album :: Arp 147 :: February 9, 2011.

Chandra :: Photo Album :: Arp 147 :: February 9, 2011. | Science's | Scoop.it
Arp 147 contains a spiral galaxy (right) that collided with an elliptical galaxy (left), triggering a wave of star formation.
Many of these newly-born massive stars raced through their lives and ended with supernova explosions, some as black holes.
A ring of these black holes can be seen in the Chandra data (pink) around the spiral galaxy.

 

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes a new image of a ring -- not of jewels -- but of black holes. This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md.

Arp 147 contains the remnant of a spiral galaxy (right) that collided with theelliptical galaxy on the left. This collision has produced an expanding wave of star formation that shows up as a blue ring containing in abundance of massive young stars. These stars race through their evolution in a few million years or less and explode as supernovas, leaving behind neutron stars and black holes.

A fraction of the neutron stars and black holes will have companion stars, and may become bright X-ray sources as they pull in matter from their companions. The nine X-ray sources scattered around the ring in Arp 147 are so bright that they must be black holes, with masses that are likely ten to twenty times that of the Sun.

An X-ray source is also detected in the nucleus of the red galaxy on the left and may be powered by a poorly-fed supermassive black hole. This source is not obvious in the composite image but can easily be seen in the X-ray image. Other objects unrelated to Arp 147 are also visible: a foreground star in the lower left of the image and a background quasar as the pink source above and to the left of the red galaxy.

Infrared observations with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and ultraviolet observations with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) have allowed estimates of the rate of star formation in the ring. These estimates, combined with the use of models for the evolution of binary stars have allowed the authors to conclude that the most intense star formation may have ended some 15 million years ago, in Earth's time frame.

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Geology | Clues point toward earthquake, tsunami history - Columbus Dispatch

Geology | Clues point toward earthquake, tsunami history - Columbus Dispatch | Science's | Scoop.it
Geology | Clues point toward earthquake, tsunami history
Columbus Dispatch
Two recent scientific reports in the journal Geology looked at two methods.
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20 Students Offered Scholarships in Geology - AllAfrica.com

20 Students Offered Scholarships in Geology - AllAfrica.com | Science's | Scoop.it
20 Students Offered Scholarships in Geology
AllAfrica.com
Tanzania: 20 Students Offered Scholarships in Geology. By Masembe Tambwe, 31 August 2013.
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Geology event - Ashbourne News Telegraph

Geology event - Ashbourne News Telegraph | Science's | Scoop.it
Geology event
Ashbourne News Telegraph
A FAMILY event looking into the area's rocks takes place at Carsington Water this month.
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Oldest Solar Twin Identified - ESO’s VLT provides new clues to help solve lithium mystery

Oldest Solar Twin Identified - ESO’s VLT provides new clues to help solve lithium mystery | Science's | Scoop.it

An international team led by astronomers in Brazil has used ESO’s Very Large Telescope to identify and study the oldest solar twin known to date. Located 250 light-years from Earth, the star HIP 102152 is more like the Sun than any other solar twin — except that it is nearly four billion years older. This older, but almost identical, twin gives us an unprecedented chance to see how the Sun will look when it ages. The new observations also provide an important first clear link between a star’s age and its lithium content, and in addition suggest that HIP 102152 may be host to rocky terrestrial planets.

 

Astronomers have only been observing the Sun with telescopes for 400 years — a tiny fraction of the Sun’s age of 4.6 billion years. It is very hard to study the history and future evolution of our star, but we can do this by hunting for rare stars that are almost exactly like our own, but at different stages of their lives. Now astronomers have identified a star that is essentially an identical twin to our Sun, but 4 billion years older — almost like seeing a real version of the twin paradox in action.

 

Jorge Melendez (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), the leader of the team and co-author of the new paper explains: “For decades, astronomers have been searching for solar twins in order to know our own life-giving Sun better. But very few have been found since the first one was discovered in 1997. We have now obtained superb-quality spectra from the VLT and can scrutinise solar twins with extreme precision, to answer the question of whether the Sun is special.”

 

The team studied two solar twins — one that was thought to be younger than the Sun (18 Scorpii) and one that was expected to be older (HIP 102152). They used the UVES spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at ESO's Paranal Observatory to split up the light into its component colours so that the chemical composition and other properties of these stars could be studied in great detail.

 

They found that HIP 102152 in the constellation of Capricornus (The Sea Goat) is the oldest solar twin known to date. It is estimated to be 8.2 billion years old, compared to 4.6 billion years for our own Sun. On the other hand 18 Scorpii was confirmed to be younger than the Sun — about 2.9 billion years old.

 

Studying the ancient solar twin HIP 102152 allows scientists to predict what may happen to our own Sun when it reaches that age, and they have already made one significant discovery. “One issue we wanted to address is whether or not the Sun is typical in composition,” says Melendez. “Most importantly, why does it have such a strangely low lithium content?”

 

Lithium, the third element in the periodic table, was created in the Big Bang along with hydrogen and helium. Astronomers have pondered for years over why some stars appear to have less lithium than others. With the new observations of HIP 102152, astronomers have taken a big step towards solving this mystery by pinning down a strong correlation between a Sun-like star’s age and its lithium content.

Our own Sun now has just 1% of the lithium content that was present in the material from which it formed. Examinations of younger solar twins have hinted that these younger siblings contain significantly larger amounts of lithium, but up to now scientists could not prove a clear correlation between age and lithium content [3].


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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16 Free Science Apps You Must Download Now! From edshelf - TeachThought

16 Free Science Apps You Must Download Now! From edshelf - TeachThought | Science's | Scoop.it

"The ease-of-use and engagement factor of an iPad can really liven up a lesson. Combine that with an apps’ ability to simulate real-world conditions, such as chemical reactions, and you have a tool that is both safe and fun for your students.

High school science teacher Kimette Witt curates this collection of her favorite chemistry, physical science, and general science iPad apps. And the best part – they are all FREE! A teacher’s favorite price!"


Via John Evans
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COLUMN: Northern Panhandle features history, geology and wildlife - Scottsbluff Star Herald

COLUMN: Northern Panhandle features history, geology and wildlife - Scottsbluff Star Herald | Science's | Scoop.it
COLUMN: Northern Panhandle features history, geology and wildlife
Scottsbluff Star Herald
Last weekend's family weekend started out as a remedy for my lack of a camping trip this year. My daughter's summer break from college was coming to a close.
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Discover Geology AR | junaio Blog

Discover Geology AR | junaio Blog | Science's | Scoop.it
Really cool educational (and geological!) Junaio project from MancOnline and our friends at SCARLET. Keep up the great mobile augmented reality work!
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Disk Detective: Scientists are combing our galaxy looking for stars that could be harbouring Planet-forming disks. They need your help to explain this puzzling part of stellar evolution!

Disk Detective: Scientists are combing our galaxy looking for stars that could be harbouring Planet-forming disks. They need your help to explain this puzzling part of stellar evolution! | Science's | Scoop.it

WISE is a NASA mission surveying the whole sky in infrared. This project is looking at stars to find dusty debris disks, similar to our asteroid field. These disks suggest that these stars are in the early stages of forming planetary systems. Learning more about these stars can tell us how our Solar System formed.


How will my contribution help?

Computers often confuse debris disks around stars with other astronomical objects. We need your help to sort out what stars actually have these disks from Galaxies and Nebulae.


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10 Terrifying #Planets You Don't Want To Visit - Listverse.

10 Terrifying #Planets You Don't Want To Visit - Listverse. | Science's | Scoop.it
Space exploration is a grand adventure. Its mystery has always captivated us and the inevitable discoveries to come will add to the many cosmological insights we already have. But let this list serve as a warning for any weary inter-solar travelers. The universe can be a very frightening place. I hope no one should ever find themselves stuck in one of these ten worlds.


Our Planet maintains a high ratio of oxygen to carbon. Carbon actually makes up only about 0.1 percent of earth’s bulk (hence the scarcity of carbon based materials like fossil fuels and diamonds). Near the center of our galaxy however, where carbon is more plentiful than oxygen, Planet  formation is very different. It is here that you find what cosmologists call carbon planets. The morning sky on a carbon world would be anything but crystal clear and blue. Picture a yellow haze with black clouds of soot. As you descend farther down into the atmosphere you find seas made of compounds like crude oil and tar. The surface of the planet bubbles with foul smelling methane pits and black ooze. The weather forecast doesn’t look good either: it’s raining gasoline and asphalt (…no smoking). But there would be an upside to this “oil-well hell.” You may have guessed it. Where carbon is plentiful you also find high quantities of diamond.


On Neptune, one can find constant jet stream winds that whip around the Planet at terrifying speeds. Neptune’s jet-stream winds push frozen clouds of natural gas past the north edge of the planet’s Great Dark Spot, an Earth-size hurricane, at a staggering 1,500 miles per hour. That is more than double the speed needed to break the sound barrier. Such wind forces are clearly beyond what a human could withstand. A person who happened to find himself on Neptune would be most likely be ripped apart and lost forever in these violent and perpetual wind currents. It remains a mystery as to how it gets the energy to drive the fastest planetary winds seen in the solar system, despite it being so far from the sun, at times farther from the sun than Pluto, and having relatively weak internal heat.


Nick-named Bellerophon, in honor of the Greek hero who tamed the winged horse Pegasus, this gas giant is over 150 times as massive as earth and made mostly of hydrogen and helium. The problem is that Bellerophon roasts in the light of its star at over 1800 degrees F (1000 degrees C). Bellerophon’s star is over 100 times closer to it than the Sun is to Earth. For one thing, this heat creates an extremely windy atmosphere. As the hot air rises, cool air rushes down to replace it creating 1000 km per hour winds. The heat also ensures that no water vapor exists. However, that does not mean there is no rain. This leads us to Bellerophon’s main quirk. Such intense heat enables the iron composing the planet to be vaporized. As the vapor rises it forms iron vapor clouds, similar in concept to water vapor clouds here on Earth. The difference though, is that these clouds will then proceed to rain a relentless fury of molten iron down upon the planet (…don’t forget your umbrella).


The densest and most massive exoplanet to date is a world known asCOROT-exo-3b. It is about the size of Jupiter, but 20 times that planet’s mass. This makes COROT-exo-3b about twice as dense as lead. The degree of pressure put upon a human walking the surface of such a planet would be insurmountable. With a mass 20 times that of Jupiter, a human would weigh almost 50 times what they weigh on Earth. That means that a 180 pound man on Earth would weigh 9000 pounds! That amount of stress would crush a human beings skeletal system almost instantly. It would be the equivalent of an elephant sitting on your chest.


On Mars a dust storm can develop in a matter of hours and envelope the entire Planet within a few days. They are the largest and most violent dust storms in our solar system. The Martian dust vortices tower over their earthly counterparts reaching the height of Mount Everest with winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour. After developing, it can take months for a dust storm on Mars to completely expend itself. [Text redacted: see endnote.] Hellas Basin is the deepest impact crater in the Solar System. The temperatures at the bottom of the crater can be 10 degrees warmer than on the surface and the crater is deeply filled with dust. The difference in temperature fuels wind action that picks up the dust, then the storm emerges from the basin.


WASP-12b

Simply put, this Planet is the hottest planet ever discovered. It measures in at about 4,000 degrees F (2,200 degrees C) and orbits its star closer than any other known world. It goes without saying that anything known to man, including man himself, would instantly incinerate in such an atmosphere. To put it in perspective, the Planets’ surface is about half the temperature of the surface of our sun and twice as hot as lava. It also orbits its star at ablistering pace. It completes a full orbit once every Earth day at a distance of only about 2 million miles (3.4 million km).

 

 Jupiter’s atmosphere brews storms twice as wide as the Earth itself. These goliaths generate 400 mph winds and titanic lightning bolts 100 times brighter than ones on Earth. Lurking underneath this frightening and dark atmosphere is a 25,000 mile deep ocean of liquid metallic hydrogen. Here on Earth, hydrogen is a colorless, transparent gas, but in the core of Jupiter, hydrogen transforms into something never seen on our Planet. In Jupiter’s outer layers, hydrogen is a gas just like on Earth. But as you go deeper, the atmospheric pressure sky-rockets. Eventually the pressure becomes so great that it actually squeezes the electrons out of the hydrogen atoms. Under such extreme conditions, the hydrogen transforms into a liquid metal, conducting electricity as well as heat. Also, like a mirror, it reflects light. So if you were immersed in it, and caught under one of those ferocious lightning bolts, you wouldn’t be able to see anything.


(Note: Pluto is technically no longer classified as a Planet). Do not let the picture fool you; this is not a winter wonderland. Pluto is an extremely cold world where frozen nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane blanket the surface like snow during most of its 248 year plutonian year. These ices have been transformed from white to a pinkish-brown due to interactions with gamma rays from deep space and the distant Sun. On a clear day the sun provides about as much heat and light as a full moon does back on earth. With Pluto’s surface temperature of -378 to -396 F (-228 to -238 C) your body would freeze solid instantly.


CoRoT-7b

The temperatures on the star-facing side of this planet are so hot that they can vaporize rock. Scientists who modeled the atmosphere of CoRoT-7bdetermined that the planet likely has no volatile gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen), and is instead likely made up of what could be called vaporized rock. The atmosphere of CoRoT-7b could have weather systems that unlike the watery weather on Earth cause pebbles to condense out of the air and rain rocks onto the molten lava surface of the planet. And if the planet doesn’t already sound inhospitable to life, it also could be a volcanic nightmare. [Text redacted: see endnote.]


Venus

Whoever gave Venus, the second planet from the sun, the nickname “Earth’s Twin” was flat out WRONG. Except where size is concerned, Venus is not really all that similar to Earth.  For starters, Venus’ atmosphere is chock-full of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. These gasses  are responsible for making this planet ‘hellacious’ to the highest regard.

Our atmosphere, which is primarily responsible for distributing the energy (and heat) we receive from the sun, has the opposite effect of Venus. Instead of heating the planet so that it has a more tropical climate (with heaps of water in various forms), Venus’ atmosphere super-heats the planet. It is so hot that it is totally inhospitable for any kind of life that we are familiar with (at least on the surface of the planet).

 

Little was known about the Planet until the Soviets launched the Venera program during the Space Race. Since Venus’ dense atmosphere is opaque to light at visible wavelengths, we couldn’t see what the surface was like. This led some to speculate that the planet was filled with exotic alien life. When the first probe touched down and began transmitting data back to Earth, they [the Soviets] effectively achieved the first landing of a probe on an alien planet and the ONLY successful landing on the surface of Venus to this very day. Unfortunately, there was not alien life. In fact, the terrain was so incredibly volatile that the longest any of the probes lasted was 127 minutes (before it died a terrible, terrible crushing/melting death). Through their observations, we discovered that the ridges and grooves seen on the surface of Venus were the result of tectonic deformations, indicating that Venus might have been geologically active at some point in its 4 billion year life-span (though this is debated, as some geologists believe the grooves were created by dynamic forces within the Planet’s mantle).

 

Also, Venus’s day is longer than its year. Yes, you read that right. It takes more than 243 Earth days for Venus to complete an entire rotation on its axis, while it takes more than 225 Earth days to make a full orbit around the sun.

So, what would it be like to live on Venus? Not fun. Not fun at all. You would be suffocated by the toxic air almost instantly…and crushed by the tremendous atmospheric pressure (it’s so dense that walking on Venus’ surface would be like walking under 3,000 feet of water here on Earth ie., bad, very bad). Oh, and you would also be incinerated by the extreme temperatures and eventually dissolved by the high concentration of sulfuric acid, which actually falls from Venus’ cloud formations (however, the acid never makes it to the surface of the Planet; it evaporates long before).

 

In short, one could cook a 16-inch pizza on Venus in just 7 seconds flat, but you would be dead before you could start your meal. Not cool, Venus. Not cool.

 

 

 



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Abstract - Geology

Abstract. Extremely high-grade, lava-like welded ignimbrites are produced by many large explosive eruptions with volumes typically 101–103 km3. However, understanding of the physical properties of these unusual deposits, ...
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The Science Behind Honey's Eternal Shelf Life | Surprising Science

The Science Behind Honey's Eternal Shelf Life | Surprising Science | Science's | Scoop.it
A slew of factors--its acidity, its lack of water and even the presence of hydrogen peroxide--work in perfect harmony, allowing the sticky treat to last forever.
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New component in the quantum electronics toolbox: Interface between atoms and superconductors

New component in the quantum electronics toolbox: Interface between atoms and superconductors | Science's | Scoop.it

The coherence of quantum systems is the foundation upon which hardware for future information technologies is based. Quantum information is carried by units called quantum bits, or qubits. They can be used to secure electronic communications -- and they enable very fast searches of databases. But qubits are also very unstable. Professors József Fortágh, Dieter Kölle and Reinhold Kleiner of Tübingen's Institute of Physics have developed a new electronic component which will help to deal with this problem. The researchers' long-term goal is to process, transfer and store superposition states such as the overlapping of the binary digits zero and one.

 

Superconducting circuits, which are structured on microchips using standard technology, can process quantum information quickly but cannot store it for very long. By contrast, atoms, nature's smallest electric circuits, can serve as a natural quantum storage unit. "In the future, this combination will allow us to transfer information from superconducting circuits into ensembles of atoms and store it," says Professor József Fortágh.

 

The atoms are trapped in a magnetic field above the surface of the microchip. Because superconductors allow an electric current to flow without resistance, the current does not become weaker in a superconducting ring. Institute of Physics PhD students Helge Hattermann and Daniel Bothner along with postdoctoral researcher Simon Bernon have made use of this to construct a complex superconducting ring-circuit and a particularly stable storage space for atoms. And the researchers can test how long atoms remain in the quantum superposition states within the system -- by using the atoms themselves as a clock.

 

Today's definition of a second is given to us by the caesium atom, with a frequency of approximately nine billion Hertz per second, corresponding to the transition between its two ground states. Rubidium, the atom used for the experiments in Tübingen, is a secondary frequency standard. An atomic clock's precision is based on the constant transition between quantum states. Just like the swinging of the pendulum of a grandfather clock, an atomic clock's oscillations become weaker with time -- when the quantum superpositions decay.

 

The atomic clock integrated into the superconducting chip indicates that the atoms suspended above the chip remain in their quantum superposition states for several seconds. By comparison, solid-state quantum storage retains coherence for only microseconds. "This result paves the way for new quantum electronic components for information processing systems," József Fortágh says. The researchers at the University of Tübingen's CQ Center for Collective Quantum Phenomena are now planning experiments on atoms in superconducting microwave resonators -- which could serve as a shuttle for data between integrated circuits and atoms.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Exploring Golden's Geological Past - The Oredigger Newspaper

Exploring Golden's Geological Past - The Oredigger Newspaper | Science's | Scoop.it
The Oredigger Newspaper
Exploring Golden's Geological Past
The Oredigger Newspaper
To say that the School of Mines is lucky in terms of its location is quite an understatement.
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University of Akron geology and microbiology students conduct research in ... - Plain Dealer

University of Akron geology and microbiology students conduct research in ... - Plain Dealer | Science's | Scoop.it
Plain Dealer
University of Akron geology and microbiology students conduct research in ...
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Canadian Astronaut Thinks Off-Planet Geology ... - Universe Today

Canadian Astronaut Thinks Off-Planet Geology ... - Universe Today | Science's | Scoop.it
It takes gumption to go knee-deep in mud to save a stranded rover. Or to climb up precarious slopes in search of the perfect rock. Oh, and did we mention the location is best accessible by air, with no towns.
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