Back in 2008, researchers discovered a massive hydrothermal vent system in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, between Greenland and Norway. This is basically a group of enormous undersea volcanoes, more than 7,500 feet underwater, shooting out superheated water in 40-foot plumes of sulfides. They were christened "Loki's Castle," and there's nothing else quite like them on the planet--and now Norway is considering protecting them by naming them a national park.
Space researchers uses deserts, valleys, and freezing lakes to test equipment and simulate procedures on space missions. Here's where they put future exploration to the test - without leaving our planet
By Katharine GammonPosted 02.24.2012 at 12:40 pm 5 Comments
To get into space, we have to practice at home. That's the idea behind NASA's Earth Analogs program, which tests people, ideas and technology at a variety of inhospitable places around the world. Finding places on Earth with physical similarities to space sites isn't easy - but the space agency has located desert, volcanic, arctic, lake and ocean locations for testing all manner of things.
When most people think of simulating a volcano, they think of baking soda, vinegar, and third grade science fair projects. A team of British researchers are thinking more along the lines of a giant balloon the size of a soccer stadium and a 12-mile garden hose that can pipe chemicals into the stratosphere to slow global warming. And they’re planning to test their hypothesis soon, sending a scaled down version of their sky-hose-balloon-thing skyward in the next few months.
Volcanic eruptions are often an economic nuisance (remember Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull?) and sometimes burgeon into major natural disasters resulting in loss of life. But like many of the natural world's most violent and disruptive events, they sure do make for some incredible photo ops. Chile's Puyehue, which began erupting on Saturday, is no exception.