Researchers have discovered evidence that there's a lot more water on Mars--at least on parts of Mars--than anyone previously thought. Using new technology, scientists examined the water content in meteorites from the planet, and it points to a lot of it in the Martian mantle.
When the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan in March of last year, seismometer data allowed authorities to issue earthquake earnings within eight seconds of first realizing something was seismologically amiss. But their initial readings were not fully accurate, labeling the 'quake a magnitude 7.1. It took authorities another 20 minutes to revise the magnitude to its real value of 9. Just ten minutes later, the tsunami hit.
Researchers at NASA and a group of universities think they can issue more accurate readings faster using global positioning data, thus allowing officials to more accurately assess risks and issue better-informed warnings up to ten times faster.
First they were thought to be impossible on Earth, then when they were grown in the lab they were thought to be so novel that they earned their discoverer a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Now, it turns out the quasicrystals--unusually structured crystals that break several rules of crystalline symmetry and exhibit strange physical properties--unearthed in Russia’s Koryak mountains a couple of years ago are probably from outer space.
It’s long been known that the stone monoliths that make up the mysterious Stonehenge site in the UK traveled a great distance to get there, but up to this point the exact origin of the stones was unknown. Now, a team of British geologists have found the exact site from which the innermost circle of bluestone rocks were quarried.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 6:04 pm 0 Comments
It’s been about 50 million years since the Indian tectonic plate began colliding with Asia, and the Tien Shan mountain range in Western China is still shaking. The region compresses horizontally at a rate of about a quarter-inch per year, pushing the mountains ever higher and resulting in frequent magnitude-6 and -7 earthquakes. In 2006, Caltech’s Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) dispatched a 21-person team, mostly students, to a barren region near Urumqui to figure out how faults in the foothills increased their seismic activity.
Scientists measuring the subatomic particles flowing from Earth’s interior have taken the most precise measurement ever gathered of the home planet’s radioactivity. It turns out nearly half of the Earth’s total heat output comes form decaying radioactive elements like thorium and uranium in the Earth’s crust. But that’s an answer that begets more questions.
It’s no Eyjafjallajokull (neither when measured by impact of eruption, nor in difficulty of pronunciation), but Iceland’s Grimsvötn volcano is still establishing a visual presence over the North Atlantic. You can even see it from space. The animation below shows Grimsvötn’s plume piercing the cloud layer above Iceland and spreading its ash plume in the atmosphere above it.
To map the earth’s magnetic field, scientists usually take readings from one of a number of satellites, a process that is expensive and often less-than accurate. Physicists at UC Berkeley have a better idea: measure the earth’s magnetic nuances using a single ground-based laser to examine the spin of sodium atoms 56 miles up in the sky.