Posts Tagged With: water
Since the discovery of Mars in 1659 we have wondered if life once inhabited the red planet. NASA’s rovers most recent images have enthusiasts really excited, check out these stones that appear to have ancient engravings on them.
The image, taken on mars, seems to show human-like figure carved into it. Many say that it’s only pareidolia, which is type of illusion or misperception where our minds look for symbolism in everything, be it clouds, the silhouette of a cliff, the shape of a tree, wear and tear on rocks etc
With the recent discovery of water on Mars, speculation has been running wild about life existing on the red planet. It’s difficult to know for sure at this time. Could an alien civilization have flourished on Mars in the past? Maybe. Is this rock evidence? Not in the conventional sense, no. But it is pretty fascinating nonetheless. Check out this video:
The Dawn Spacecraft is about to get a close-up view of a potentially habitable planet. The space probe will orbit the dwarf planet Ceres sometime around March 2015. Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter which some scientists feel has the capability of supporting life as we know it.
According to Discovery News, Ceres is of great interest to astronomers and scientists. Not only may it be able to support life as we know it — potentially harboring life in space already — the small dwarf planet may also be the “largest water reservoir in the inner solar system aside from Earth.” Scientists believe that Ceres may be comprised of 40 percent water by volume. However, scientists are unsure how much of that water is actually liquid.
“Ceres is actually the largest water reservoir in the inner solar system other than the Earth. However, it’s unclear at the moment how much, if any, of this water is liquid.”
The potential for liquid water is promising, considering that Ceres has a relatively decent amount of solar heating. Ceres may also have the capability to generate its own internal heat like Jovian moon Europa and the Saturn satellite Enceladus. The internal heating theory, which suggests Ceres is capable of producing its own internal heating through tidal forces, stems from the fact that scientists discovered water vapor emissions coming from Ceres earlier this year. These vapor plumes could be a sign of internal heating and a potential subsurface body of water. However, it could also just be ice water near Ceres surface that is being heated by the sun and evaporating.
However, the Dawn Spacecraft will be able to answer these questions more definitively, once it makes its way into Ceres orbit. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the detailed images that Dawn will be able to capture once in orbit will be significant.
“At that point, Dawn will be able to capture detailed images of the tiny planet, possibly including ice caps, clouds, and ice volcanoes. Astronomers would not be surprised by any of these findings, as they have discovered direct evidence of water on the dwarf planet Ceres in the form of vapor plumes erupting into space, possibly from volcano-like ice geysers on its surface.”
What exactly will the Dawn Spacecraft be looking for in regards to the potential for harboring life on Ceres, aside from a warm alien welcome? Jian-Yang Li, of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, says that life as we know it requires three main ingredients.
“Liquid water, an energy source and certain chemical building blocks (namely, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogren, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur).”
If the Dawn is able to find these three key components, Ceres could very well prove to be home to at least some life in space.
One problem these old miners faced was pumping water out of mines once they dug below the water table. The reverse overshot water wheels were the solution.
The Romans dewatered the mines using several kinds of machine, especially reverse overshot water-wheels. These were used extensively in the copper mines at Rio Tinto in Spain, where one sequence comprised 16 such wheels arranged in pairs, and lifting water about 80 feet. They were worked as treadmills with miners standing on the top slats. Many examples of such devices have been found in old Roman mines and some examples are now preserved in the British Museum and the National Museum of Wales.
U.S. on alert for nuclear blast overhead…….Space launch vehicle’ could put kill electric grid, devastate nation….
U.S. officials quietly are expressing concern that North Korea could use its “space launch vehicle” to explode a high-altitude nuclear device over the United States, creating an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy major portions of the U.S. electrical grid system as well as the nation’s critical infrastructures.
The concern is so great that U.S. officials who watch North Korea closely are continually monitoring the status of the North Korean “space launch vehicle,” whose status could suggest a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States.
They are aware of the three-stage missile North Korea launched last December that also orbited a “package,” which experts say could be a test to orbit a nuclear weapon that then would be deorbited on command anywhere over the U.S. and exploded at a high altitude, creating an EMP effect.
This concern is in addition to North Korea’s latest threat to strike targets in Hawaii and the continental U.S., as well as possible attacks against U.S. bases in South Korea and Japan.
The 28-year-old North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has signed an order for North Korea’s strategic rocket forces to be on standby to fire at U.S. targets.
The signing was against a photo backdrop following an emergency meeting of his senior military leaders showing large maps that were labeled “U.S. mainland strike plan, specifically at Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.”
One WND reader who traced the targeting to Texas said that it really was aimed at the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The latest North Korean threats occurred after the U.S. sent two B-2 stealth bombers to strike targets with inert bombs during joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which Kim considered a major provocation.
“He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on standby to fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea,” according to a statement by the North Korean news agency, KCNA.
The statement added that the B-2 flights showed Washington’s “hostile” intent, and the “reckless” act had gone “beyond the phase of threat and blackmail.”
In response, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemned North Korea’s actions which to date have included dissolving the 1953 armistice between North and South Korea, severing the military hotline with South Korea and putting its artillery forces on high alert and threatening, once again, nuclear strikes against the U.S.
In recent weeks, North Korea also had released three videos showing a nuclear strike on the U.S.
“We’ve made very clear that we have the capability and willingness to protect our interests and our allies in the region,” according to deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He said that the U.S. military exercises with South Korea should offer “pretty clear evidence” that the U.S. can defend its interests and those of its allies in the region.
Sources say that sending the B-2s was in response to the recent North Korean threats to send a message – a message which Russia and China called a “provocative act.”
Russia and China have asked the U.S. to continue talking to North Korea and not to take military action against North Korea.
In response to North Korea’s initial bellicose rhetoric, Hagel ordered the deployment of additional Aegis anti-missile systems for the U.S. West Coast. They originally were destined for Europe. And a second anti-ballistic missile radar is to be installed in Japan.
However, the Aegis anti-missile systems won’t be operational until 2017, although there are some systems already deployed along the West Coast.
North Korea’s continuing threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against U.S. targets suggest to U.S. officials that its military is confident in the capability of its missiles and that its recent nuclear testing for miniaturization of a warhead to be placed on a missile similarly was successful.
These officials are looking at the prospect that upon launch of the missile and a potential nuclear payload, it would take a polar path, clearly out of range of U.S. Aegis anti-missile systems.
The fact that U.S.military officials are expressing quiet but increasing concern that North Korea could launch an EMP attack has raised alarms over the preservation of the U.S. national grid and such critical infrastructures as communications, energy, food and water delivery and space systems.
This concern recently has been reinforced by a little-publicized study by the U.S. Army War College that said a nuclear detonation at altitude above a U.S. city could wipe out the electrical grid for hundreds, possibly thousands of miles around.
“Preparing for months without a commercial source of clean water (city water pressure is often dependent on electric pumping to storage towers) and stoppage of sewage treatment facilities will require net methods of survival particularly in populated areas,” the military study said.
The May 2011 study, titled, “In the Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event,” concluded that there is “very little” in the way of backup capability to the electric grid upon which the communications infrastructure is vitally dependent.
Analysts say that it is apparent that Kim has ignored any advice from its closest friend, China, to stop any further missile or nuclear testing suggesting, as one official described Kim, as a “loose cannon.”
Kim also has been defiant of any United Nations Security Council resolutions similarly condemning the recent missile and nuclear tests. China had joined in approving those resolutions.
“The time has come to settle accounts with the U.S.,” the KCNA agency declared.
“The Obama administration is either clueless or deceiving the American people with false assurances that North Korea’s recent threats to destroy the United States are merely ’empty rhetoric’ because they allegedly ‘lack the capability,'” one former U.S. official told WND.
Some regional analysts, however, believe that Kim is seeking to leverage the U.S. for further concessions while attempting to win favor with his own military to show how tough he can be.
These analysts say that until now Kim has not had the support from the military that his father, Kim Jong-Il, had.
His war-like tone may be indicative of attempts to solidify military support within his country.
At the moment, experts are looking at efforts for preparations at known long-range missile launch sites.
Those signs may be appearing.
“North Korea’s launch sites to fire off mid- and long-range missiles have recently shown increased movement of vehicles and forces,” according to one South Korean official who described the activity at the sites as “brisk.”
“We are closely watching possibilities of missile launches,” the official said.
In this connection, officials have seen several vehicles moving to the Tongchang-ri missile site on the western coast, in what appeared to them to be preparations for testing its long-range missiles.
Some observers, however, believe the latest threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S. remain for now just domestic posturing and efforts to establish military credentials on Kim’s part to show that he is more forceful than his father.
In other efforts to determine warnings and indications of an attack, analysts are looking for major troop movements, although none has been detected to date.
Late last week, a North Korean Mig-21 fighter jet flew near South Korea’s front line airspace, known as the Tactical Action Line,but returned to base, according to a South Korean military official. In response, the South Koreans scrambled a KF-16 fighter.
The TAL is the point between 20 and 50 kilometers north of South Korean airspace that will prompt the South Korea to scramble its fighter jets.
Earthquakes have the Midas touch, a new study claims.
Water in faults vaporizes during an earthquake, depositing gold, according to a model published in the March 17 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. The model provides a quantitative mechanism for the link between gold and quartz seen in many of the world’s gold deposits, said Dion Weatherley, a geophysicist at the University of Queensland in Australia and lead author of the study.
When an earthquake strikes, it moves along a rupture in the ground — a fracture called a fault. Big faults can have many small fractures along their length, connected by jogs that appear as rectangular voids. Water often lubricates faults, filling in fractures and jogs.
About 6 miles (10 kilometers) below the surface, under incredible temperatures and pressures, the water carries high concentrations of carbon dioxide, silica and economically attractive elements like gold.
Shake, rattle and gold
During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider. It’s like pulling the lid off a pressure cooker: The water inside the void instantly vaporizes, flashing to steam and forcing silica, which forms the mineral quartz, and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces, suggest Weatherley and co-author Richard Henley, of the Australian National University in Canberra.
While scientists have long suspected that sudden pressure drops could account for the link between giant gold deposits and ancient faults, the study takes this idea to the extreme, said Jamie Wilkinson, a geochemist at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study.
“To me, it seems pretty plausible. It’s something that people would probably want to model either experimentally or numerically in a bit more detail to see if it would actually work,” Wilkinson told OurAmazingPlanet.
Previously, scientists suspected fluids would effervesce, bubbling like an opened soda bottle, during earthquakes or other pressure changes. This would line underground pockets with gold. Others suggested minerals would simply accumulate slowly over time.
Weatherley said the amount of gold left behind after an earthquake is tiny, because underground fluids carry at most only one part per million of the precious element. But an earthquake zone like New Zealand’s Alpine Fault, one of the world’s fastest, could build a mineable deposit in 100,000 years, he said.
Surprisingly, the quartz doesn’t even have time to crystallize, the study indicates. Instead, the mineral comes out of the fluid in the form of nanoparticles, perhaps even making a gel-like substance on the fracture walls. The quartz nanoparticles then crystallize over time. [Gold Quiz: From Nuggets to Flecks]
Even earthquakes smaller than magnitude 4.0, which may rattle nerves but rarely cause damage, can trigger flash vaporization, the study finds.
“Given that small-magnitude earthquakes are exceptionally frequent in fault systems, this process may be the primary driver for the formation of economic gold deposits,” Weatherley told OurAmazingPlanet.
The hills have gold
Quartz-linked gold has sourced some famous deposits, such as the placer gold that sparked the 19th-century California and Klondike gold rushes. Both deposits had eroded from quartz veins upstream. Placer gold consists of particles, flakes and nuggets mixed in with sand and gravel in stream and river beds. Prospectors traced the gravels back to their sources, where hard-rock mining continues today.
But earthquakes aren’t the only cataclysmic source of gold. Volcanoes and their underground plumbing are just as prolific, if not more so, at producing the precious metal. While Weatherley and Henley suggest that a similar process could take place under volcanoes, Wilkinson, who studies volcano-linked gold, said that’s not the case.
“Beneath volcanoes, most of the gold is not precipitated in faults that are active during earthquakes,” Wilkinson said. “It’s a very different mechanism.”
Understanding how gold forms helps companies prospect for new mines. “This new knowledge on gold-deposit formation mechanisms may assist future gold exploration efforts,” Weatherley said.
In their quest for gold, humans have pulled more than 188,000 tons (171,000 metric tons) of the metal from the ground, exhausting easily accessed sources, according to the World Gold Council, an industry group.
The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster
Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, “Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami,” was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people led. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings — including Oregon’s State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephokilne service or gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30 billion.
The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History’s Biggest Tsunamis]
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault, a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of the fault’s seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is “long overdue,” the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every 3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years ago.
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever since. That isn’t good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes, just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39 km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of readiness: “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” Wacker told the Daily Mail.