Tags: borehole, drilling ship, earth, Geology, Mantle
Geologists will try and tell you that it’s easier to explore the moon and Mars than it is to explore the Earth’s mantle. As a geologist myself, I think they’re full of it, but they do have a point that we don’t know a whole heck of a lot about what’s going on beneath our feet. To find out, an international team wants to drill into Earth’s mantle, 3.7 miles below the ocean.
The mantle, for those of you who were too busy hacking calculators or doodling to pay attention in middle school geology class, is the region of the Earth that’s below the crust (where you are right now) and above the core. The crust, then, is the bit that keeps us from getting to the mantle, and it can be anywhere from 20 to 30 miles thick underneath continents. Under the ocean, though, is where the crust is created, so it’s only about three miles thick, and much easier to get through.
Read More: Dvice
Tags: anti-pirates, drone, fire scout, ladar tech, robot, smart helicopter
Unmanned Navy aircraft will soon be able to distinguish small pirate boats from other vessels, says the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
It’s soon to start testing a new sensor with advanced automatic target recognition software.
The Multi-Mode Sensor Seeker (MMSS) carries high-definition cameras, mid-wave infrared sensors and laser-radar (LADAR) technology, and will be placed on a robotic helicopter called Fire Scout.
Tags: EML-2, lunar base, moon far side, moon outpost, orion capsule
NASA is looking at the possibility of parking a manned outpost beside the Moon as a way station for astronauts on their way to deep space missions.
According to a memo from William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations, cited by Space.com, the agency is putting together a team to assess the possibilities of a potential location on the far side of the Moon known as Earth-Moon libration point 2 (EML-2).
Libration, or Lagrangian, points are parking spots in space where a small object is equally affected by the gravitational pull of two large masses, which cancel each other out, holding the craft in place.
Tags: atomic laser, powerful beam, SLAC, two million degree, x-ray laser
An x-ray laser fired at a sample of aluminum has generated temperatures of 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit — hotter than the sun’s corona.
Scientists achieved the sizzling temperatures using a powerful x-ray laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. By focusing rapid-fire pulses from the beam on a piece of aluminum foil thinner than spider’s silk, they were able to create a material known as hot dense matter.
The advancement represents the first time researchers have been able to produce such plasmas in a controlled way. The findings appear Jan. 25 in Nature.
More on Wired
Tags: contact lenses, inorganic materials, terminator vision, washington university
A new generation of contact lenses that project images in front of the eyes is a step closer after successful animal trials, say scientists.
The technology could allow wearers to read floating texts and emails or augment their sight with computer-generated images, Terminator-syle. Researchers at Washington University who are working on the device say early tests show it is safe and feasible. But there are still wrinkles to iron out, like finding a good power source. Currently, their crude prototype device can only work if it is within centimetres of the wireless battery.
More on BBC
Tags: HRL Lab, microlattice, nano, Nano-fabrication, super-light lattice
Researchers at HRL Laboratories and University of Southern California’s Composites Center have created what they say is the lowest-density material, a lattice of hollow tubes of the metal nickel.
Its volume is 99.99 percent air, and its density is 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimeter–not including the air in or between its tubes. That density is less than a thousandth that of water.
The researchers made it by fabricating structures with features whose dimensions range from millimeters to a ten-thousandth of that. They described their methods in a paper published yesterday in the journal Science.
“The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair,” said Tobias Schaedler, the HRL researcher who’s lead author of the paper. Another HRL author, Bill Carter, likened the design to a small-scale version of the Eiffel Tower: strong, but mostly air.
More on Cnet
Tags: cern, light travel, neutrino, neutron beam, speed of light
There is a lot of talk over what it will mean if Cern’s latest scientific headline-maker turns out to be real. Researchers on the Opera experiment (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) seem to have managed to send a beam of particles four hundred miles at (very slightly) faster than the speed of light. If true, it messes with our ideas of time and causality – lightspeed is the absolute speed limit of the universe. It is, according to everything we know, literally and entirely impossible for events at point A to affect events at point B unless there has been time for light to pass between the two.
Subir Sarkar, head of particle theory at Oxford University, probably ran away with the “best quote” award when he told The Guardian: “Cause cannot come after effect and that is absolutely fundamental to our construction of the physical universe. If we do not have causality, we are buggered.”
Tags: Eurasia, Furry Rhinoceros, oldest specimen discovered, Pleistocene Epoch, woolly rhino
A woolly rhino fossil dug up on the Tibetan Plateau is believed to be the oldest specimen of its kind yet found.
The creature lived some 3.6 million years ago – long before similar beasts roamed northern Asia and Europe in the ice ages that gripped those regions.
The discovery team says the existence of this ancient rhino supports the idea that the frosty Tibetan foothills of the Himalayas were the evolutionary cradle for these later animals.
Read on BBC
Tags: 8.7 million pennies, animals stats, earth species, life on earth, nature's library
Even after centuries of effort, some 86 percent of Earth’s species have yet to be fully described, according to new study that predicts our planet is home to 8.7 million species.
That means scientists have cataloged less than 15 percent of species now alive—and current extinction rates mean many unknown organisms will wink out of existence before they can be recorded.
The study was driven by a simple question: “Are we within reach of finding all species, or are we way off?” said study leader Boris Worm of Canada’s Dalhousie University.
“The answer is, we are way off.”
A new hypothesis claims the Earth may once have had two moons, which eventually crashed together forming our current celestial partner.
This new idea, reported in the journal Nature, could explain a long standing puzzle about the differences between the near and far sides of the lunar surface.
The near side is relatively low and flat with many large dark basalt mare, while the far side is high and mountainous, with thicker crust.
The work, based on computer simulations undertaken by planetary scientists Erik Asphaug and Martin Jutzi from the University of California, Santa Cruz, claims the lunar far side highlands, are the solid remains of a collision with a smaller companion moon.
More on Discovery