After analyzation of a sample of soil underneath the red dust of Mars, scientists at NASA have confirmed that parts of the red planet might once have been home to all kinds of microbial life in the shallow streams of Mars a long, long, long time ago. The sample is gray clay from what used to be a stream bed, and it’s chock full of all kinds of chemicals from a freshwater environment.
It’s not Atlantis, but scientists have discovered a lost mini-continent in the Indian Ocean that disappeared under the waves around 85 million years ago. The chain of islands, now called Mauritia, was once between the southeast coast of Africa and India.
In another outer space tech first, this past week, the Curiosity rover became the first manmade object to drill into the surface of another world when it drilled out a 2.5” deep circle of exposed bedrock on the Martian surface.
Spiegel has an interactive 360 degree helicopter panorama of a nasty, spewing volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. It’s like being there except less lens warping and it probably smells nicer wherever you are.
Now that Curiosity has seen a couple sights and thoroughly tested out much of its equipment, it’s time to get down to serious business. And that serious business is drilling down into the surface of Mars to see what’s under the hood. And since this will be the first time we’ve ever actually drilled down into a rock on the surface of any planet, this could be a really big deal.
While water may not have been as widespread on Mars as some once thought, there is new evidence that some of it was certainly warm enough to have harbored primitive life, so that’s good news.
This is a fascinating read about why Obama has strange swath of strong supporters in the South that happens to exactly mirror the coastline of the southeast corner of America during the Cretaceous era, 129 million years ago. Yes, ancient geology still plays a role in modern American politics.
Italy’s had a long history of putting scientists on trial for incredibly dumb shit. But it’s the 21st century, we should long be over that by now, right? Apparently not. After a deadly earthquake in the city of L’Aquila in 2009, the government blamed a group of geologists, saying they should have more accurately predicted the earthquake. Earlier this week, six of those scientists and a government official were sentenced to five years in jail for manslaughter.
One day, a long long long time from now, the Sun will expand to many times its current size, engulfing the inner planets, including our own Earth, vaporizing our atmosphere and rocks and trees and cute baby deer. What will that look like? Some astronomers at Washington University St. Louis decided to find out.
Geologists keeping an eye on Mt. Fuji say that right now, more pressure has been built up inside the volcano than the last time it erupted in 1707, leading many to believe that a blast is imminent.
Until now, there hasn’t been any evidence of plate tectonics on Mars like we have here on Earth. It’s why Mars’ Olympus Mons is so freakishly tall (14 miles high, 3x as tall as Everest), because the crust doesn’t move, so volcanos can just get bigger and bigger. But now, it looks like there is plate movement on Mars— still not as fast as on Earth, but it’s there.
Whether you’re just looking at the moon from your back yard or watching footage of Apollo astronauts gleefully bouncing along the moon’s surface in low gravity, it looks like a pretty serene place. But new studies on moon dust show exactly how dangerous and toxic the moon is if you were to go frolicking about unprotected.
f you’ve ever wondered where and why earthquakes happen the most, look no further than a new map, which plots more than a century’s worth of nearly every recorded earthquake strong enough to at least rattle the bookshelves. The map shows earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater since 1898; each is marked in a lightning-bug hue that glows brighter with increasing magnitude.