Millions of gallons of pollution poured out of an abandoned mine into the Animas River in Colorado and caused it to look like a giant pool of orange Tang. The Environmental Protection Agency tested the water and found large amounts of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum. The EPA is building a retention pond by the mine to stop the toxic flow, but the pollution in the water will stay until it is diluted or sinks to the bottom.
A new species of anglerfish was found in the deep waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The 95-millimeter fish was found at a crushing depth of around 1,500 meters where the pressure is greater than a ton. If Gonzo the muppet were a fish, this is what I imagine he would look like.
The comet that the Rosetta orbiter is hitching a ride on is heading on a suicidal trajectory toward the sun. As temperatures rise Comet 67P’s ice is boiling off into gas, which let off a “dramatic outburst event” on July 29 that Rosetta was able to capture. The powerful gaseous outburst shot out at 10 meters per second.
Led Zeppelin sang about a stairway to heaven, but artist Cai Guo-Qiang created a fiery ladder to the sky. The Sky Ladder is a 500-meter long firework system lined with quick-burning fuses, hauled up by a huge white helium balloon. Guo-Qiang attempted the Sky Ladder project in Bath, Shanghai, and Los Angeles; however, he was finally able to make it happen on June 15 in Huiyu Island, a small fishing village in China. The installation’s explosive event lasted a total of 150 seconds. “Behind Sky Ladder lies a clear childhood dream of mine,” said Guo-Qiang in a newsletter. “The ladder rose toward the morning sun, carrying hope.”
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft captured a picture of a 4-mile high mountain (seen on the left) on Ceres. The Dawn spacecraft was launched in 2007 with a mission to study three protoplanets of the asteroid belt, Vesta, and Ceres.
Digital Map of Seafloor
The first ever comprehensive digital map of the seafloor’s sediment composition was created by researchers at the University of Sydney. Data taken from around 14,500 marine sediment samples over half a century collected from research cruise ships traveling around the world was used to develop the interactive map. Each type of sediment is marked by a different color. The patterns can help scientists not only learn more about past environmental activity, but aid with predictions about the future impacts of climate change.
California’s Jerusalem Fire
NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of California’s Jerusalem Fire. The image was taken on August 10 when the fire had covered 12,000 acres. As of this morning the fire is at 52 percent containment and has covered a total of 24,555 acres.
The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite is being used to monitor glaciers as they migrate and melt. The above image is of the Jungersen Glacier in northern Greenland. The incredible detailed photographs are also being used to measure rates of deforestation, wildfires, and biodiversity.
51 Eridani b
A new Jupiter-like planet dubbed 51 Eridani b is the first exoplanet spotted by the new Gemini Planet Imager, which was installed on the 8-meter Gemini South Telescope in Chile. The results were published in Science and could provide important information about the formation of planets.