Posted in Guest Author

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury .

In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war , and is often referred to as the Red Planet because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance that is distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye.  

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere , having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth .

Internal structure

  • Like Earth, Mars has differentiated into a dense metallic core overlaid by less dense materials.
  • This iron(II) sulfide core is thought to be twice as rich in lighter elements as Earth’s.
  • The core is surrounded by a silicate mantle that formed many of the tectonic and volcanic features on the planet.
  • Elements in the Martian crust are iron, magnesium , aluminum , calcium , and potassium .
  • The average thickness of the planet’s crust is about 50 km (31 mi).
  • Earth’s crust averages 40 km (25 mi).

Dynamic routing can be configured in Ghost using YAML files. Read our dynamic routing documentation for further details.

You can further customise your site using Apps & Integrations.

 
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The spectacle before us was indeed sublime

Welcome, it’s great to have you here.

We know that first impressions are important, so we’ve populated your new site with some initial getting started posts that will help you get familiar with everything in no time. This is the first one!

A few things you should know upfront:

  1. Ghost is designed for ambitious, professional publishers who want to actively build a business around their content. That’s who it works best for.
  2. The entire platform can be modified and customised to suit your needs. It’s very powerful, but does require some knowledge of code. Ghost is not necessarily a good platform for beginners or people who just want a simple personal blog.
  3. For the best experience we recommend downloading the Ghost Desktop Appfor your computer, which is the best way to access your Ghost site on a desktop device.
Silhouette of a tree and mountain landscape
 
Posted in Guest Author

A meteor shower was observed during last night

meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories.

Most meteors are smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them disintegrate and never hit the Earth’s surface. Very intense or unusual meteor showers are known as meteor outbursts and meteor storms, which produce at least 1,000 meteors an hour, most notably from the Leonids.

Example Caption

The Meteor Data Centre lists over 900 suspected meteor showers of which about 100 are well established. Several organizations point to viewing opportunities on the Internet.

Historical developments

The first great meteor storm in the modern era was the Leonids of November 1833. One estimate is a peak rate of over one hundred thousand meteors an hour,[4] but another, done as the storm abated, estimated in excess of two hundred thousand meteors during the 9 hours of storm, over the entire region of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

American Denison Olmsted (1791–1859) explained the event most accurately. After spending the last weeks of 1833 collecting information, he presented his findings in January 1834 to the American Journal of Science and Arts, published in January–April 1834, and January 1836.

He noted the shower was of short duration and was not seen in Europe, and that the meteors radiated from a point in the constellation of Leo and he speculated the meteors had originated from a cloud of particles in space.

Work continued, yet coming to understand the annual nature of showers though the occurrences of storms perplexed researchers.

Famous meteor showers:

  • Perseids and Leonids
  • Other meteor showers
  • Established meteor showers

Extraterrestrial meteor showers

Any other solar system body with a reasonably transparent atmosphere can also have meteor showers. As the Moon is in the neighborhood of Earth it can experience the same showers, but will have its own phenomena due to its lack of an atmosphere per se, such as vastly increasing its sodium tail.

NASA now maintains an ongoing database of observed impacts on the moon maintained by the Marshall Space Flight Center whether from a shower or not.

Many planets and moons have impact craters dating back large spans of time. But new craters, perhaps even related to meteor showers are possible. Mars, and thus its moons, is known to have meteor showers.

These have not been observed on other planets as yet but may be presumed to exist. For Mars in particular, although these are different from the ones seen on Earth because the different orbits of Mars and Earth relative to the orbits of comets.

  • The Martian atmosphere has less than one percent of the density of Earth’s at ground level, at their upper edges, where meteoroids strike, the two are more similar.
  • Because of the similar air pressure at altitudes for meteors, the effects are much the same.

Only the relatively slower motion of the meteoroids due to increased distance from the sun should marginally decrease meteor brightness. This is somewhat balanced in that the slower descent means that Martian meteors have more time in which to ablate.

 
Posted in Guest Author

How we choose to use the Moon

The moon has always served as an inspiration for humanity, and there are many potential benefits for further exploration of our planet’s rocky satellite.

But we need to establish guidelines to prevent unethical behavior on the moon, particularly regarding the use of natural resources and off-planet labor.

How humans should interact with space and celestial objects is central to the emerging field of space ethics. It’s something I’ve been involved with since 2015, when I taught my first class on consent for the use of celestial objects at Yale University’s Summer Bioethics Institute.

1. Human settlement on the moon

Some people believe establishing human settlements on the moon — and other bodies — may help lessen the environmental burden of overpopulation on Earth.

While the practical issues of survival and maintaining communication receive a lot of attention in discussions of moon settlements, the ethical considerations are often overlooked.

2. Mining the moon

The moon is already being considered as a mining site, or a base of operations for asteroid mining.

As with all mining projects on Earth, there are concerns about environmental sustainability and whether it is appropriate for mining corporations to profit from the commercialisation of natural resources in space.

3. Medical research on the moon

There is talk of the potential to 3D print organs in zero gravity on board the International Space Station.

3D printing organs on the moon, where gravity is one-sixth that on Earth, could be the next step in addressing the shortage of organs available for transplant. Then there’s the possibility of other medical research on the moon.

There are strict regulations for medical research in most countries on Earth, and experiments on the ISS are done under the watch of the station’s partners. But there is no global system in place to review whether proposed medical studies on the moon are ethically acceptable.

 
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What moon craters can tell us about Earth

Asteroid impacts have a bad reputation here on Earth — it’s the dinosaurs’ signature public relations victory — but it’s the moon that really bears the scars of living in our messy neighborhood.

That’s because Earth has an arsenal of forces that slowly wear away the craters left behind by impacts. And that’s frustrating for scientists who want to better understand the debris hurtling around our solar system.

So a new study uses the pockmarked lunar surface to trace the history of things smashing into both our moon and Earth, finding signs that our neighborhood got a lot messier about 290 million years ago.

“It’s a cool study that talks about our dynamic solar system and it’s good that it’s out there,” Nicolle Zellner, a physicist at Albion College in Michigan who was not involved in the new research, told Space.com. “It’ll get people thinking and testing it, so that’s exciting.”

How the Moon Formed: 5 Wild Lunar Theories

Earth and the moon are close enough on the solar system scale that stray asteroids should crash into each at about the same frequency. (Earth may attract a few extra with its stronger gravity, and Earth likely suffers more hits because of its larger surface area — but in terms of impact per square mile, they should be clocking in about the same.)

Scientists have identified only about 180 impact craters here on Earth, as opposed to hundreds of thousands of lunar impact craters. Earth wipes them away with winds and rainfall, oceans and plate tectonics. “The moon is perfect for studying craters,” Sara Mazrouei, a planetary scientist who led the new research during her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, told Space.com. “Everything stays there.”

 
Posted in Guest Author

Scientists found water on Mars surface


meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories.

Most meteors are smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them disintegrate and never hit the Earth’s surface. Very intense or unusual meteor showers are known as meteor outbursts and meteor storms, which produce at least 1,000 meteors an hour, most notably from the Leonids.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 480016-PGKTGR-852-1024x683.jpg
Example Caption

The Meteor Data Centre lists over 900 suspected meteor showers of which about 100 are well established. Several organizations point to viewing opportunities on the Internet.

Historical developments

The first great meteor storm in the modern era was the Leonids of November 1833. One estimate is a peak rate of over one hundred thousand meteors an hour,[4] but another, done as the storm abated, estimated in excess of two hundred thousand meteors during the 9 hours of storm, over the entire region of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

American Denison Olmsted (1791–1859) explained the event most accurately. After spending the last weeks of 1833 collecting information, he presented his findings in January 1834 to the American Journal of Science and Arts, published in January–April 1834, and January 1836.

He noted the shower was of short duration and was not seen in Europe, and that the meteors radiated from a point in the constellation of Leo and he speculated the meteors had originated from a cloud of particles in space.

Work continued, yet coming to understand the annual nature of showers though the occurrences of storms perplexed researchers.

Famous meteor showers:

  • Perseids and Leonids
  • Other meteor showers
  • Established meteor showers
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 282024-P60RDW-857-1024x683.jpg

Extraterrestrial meteor showers

Any other solar system body with a reasonably transparent atmosphere can also have meteor showers. As the Moon is in the neighborhood of Earth it can experience the same showers, but will have its own phenomena due to its lack of an atmosphere per se, such as vastly increasing its sodium tail.

NASA now maintains an ongoing database of observed impacts on the moon maintained by the Marshall Space Flight Center whether from a shower or not.

Many planets and moons have impact craters dating back large spans of time. But new craters, perhaps even related to meteor showers are possible. Mars, and thus its moons, is known to have meteor showers.

These have not been observed on other planets as yet but may be presumed to exist. For Mars in particular, although these are different from the ones seen on Earth because the different orbits of Mars and Earth relative to the orbits of comets.

  • The Martian atmosphere has less than one percent of the density of Earth’s at ground level, at their upper edges, where meteoroids strike, the two are more similar.
  • Because of the similar air pressure at altitudes for meteors, the effects are much the same.

Only the relatively slower motion of the meteoroids due to increased distance from the sun should marginally decrease meteor brightness. This is somewhat balanced in that the slower descent means that Martian meteors have more time in which to ablate.

 
Posted in Guest Author

On Icy Pluto, Volcanoes May Spout Liquid Water

A whiff of ammonia in reddish ices on Pluto may be evidence of recent geological activity on the dwarf planet, with liquid water spewing out from Pluto’s depths like molten lava would on Earth, a new study finds.

These findings suggest that Pluto may harbor at least some features favorable to the evolution of life, researchers said.

Scientists analyzed data that NASA’s New Horizons probe gathered during its flyby of the dwarf planet in 2015. In this data, they found evidence of ammonia on Pluto’s surface in areas that previous research suggested had experienced tectonic activity.

“In recent years, ammonia has been a bit like the ‘holy grail’ of planetary science,” study lead author Cristina Dalle Ore, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, told Space.com. One reason for this is that ammonia is a key ingredient in chemical reactions underlying life as we know it, “and therefore, when found, it flags [the presence of] an environment that is conducive to life. This does not mean that life is present — and we have not yet found it — but it indicates a place where we should look.”

Ammonia “is a fragile molecule and gets destroyed by ultraviolet irradiation as well as cosmic rays,” Dalle Ore said. “Therefore, when found on a surface, it implies that it had been emplaced there relatively recently, some million years before [being found].”

 
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What Are Skyrmions?

A skyrmion can be described as a swirling quasi-particle, a knot of twisting field lines, or a subatomic hurricane. They’re also one of the most difficult physics concepts for humans to understand. That’s because these nano-size disturbances are easiest to describe mathematically and, despite being known about for nearly 60 years, physicists have only recently started to find practical applications for skyrmions. 

History of skyrmions

Skyrmions are named for British nuclear physicist Tony Skyrme, who first proposed their existence in 1961. His idea was to model subatomic entities like protons and neutrons using convoluted twists in the quantum field that all particles possess, according to the American Physical Society. While the concept was useful in many ways, such as accurately predicting some of the properties of fundamental particles like quarks and gluons, it struggled with other aspects of nuclear behavior. 

The idea was eventually superseded by a theory known as quantum chromo-dynamics, which was more successful at modeling subatomic particles. But skyrmions have been revived by researchers working on magnetic fields, which can also be coaxed into forming vortex-like swirls.

What are skyrmions good for?

Because skyrmions are so small and stable, physicists are interested in controlling these particle-like entities for use in futuristic computers and electronic memory storage, according to Physics Today. Initially, researchers could only induce magnetic skyrmions in materials that had been cooled to very cold temperatures, but they are now routinely produced in room-temperature objects. 

Since it takes relatively little power to maintain and electronically access data stored in magnetic skyrmions, engineers think these particles could make for very efficient memory-storage devices. An emerging field called skyrmionics is now dedicated to creating such next-generation appliances.

 
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Bringing samples back is a considerable challenge

How can we bring a sample of Mars safely back to Earth? With scientists worldwide curious about the Red Planet’s potential for life, NASA and the European Space Agency are working on a future “sample-return” mission to safely study Mars materials.

One possible location for sample hunting could be a Martian spot called Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake — and possibly, also a location for ancient microbes.

While rovers and landers can study Mars when they land there, the challenge is that there is only so much space available on these machines for instruments. On Earth, entire laboratories could study Red Planet regolith (soil) and rocks. But getting the samples back to our planet will be a considerable engineering challenge.

ESA officials said in a statement that the two agencies plan to perform three launches from Earth and one from Mars as part of the mission, which will include two Mars rovers and an autonomous docking in Martian orbit.

“A NASA launch will send the sample return lander mission to land a platform near the Mars 2020 site. From here, a small ESA rover — the Sample Fetch Rover — will head out to retrieve the cached samples,” ESA officials said in another statement.

 
Posted in Guest Author

The Apollo 11 Mission

NASA’s Apollo 11 mission comes to life in 19,000 hours of newly available audio.

Over the eight-day, 3-hour Apollo 11 mission, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins stayed in constant communication with mission control and supporting teams. The back-and-forth conversations, which took place over what are called communication “loops,” were released to the media, because NASA is required to make its work public. But these fragile physical recordings had to be stored in special, climate-controlled vaults. 

Now, thanks to a dedicated collaborative effort between NASA and the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas), all 19,000 hours of audio recordings from the Apollo 11 mission have been converted into a digital format and are available online. [How the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Worked (Infographic)]

NASA collection: https://go.nasa.gov/2yFz8zN