Archive for March, 2008
Gregory Jenkins, assistant professor of meteorology at Penn State, thinks that a large planetoid — the same one that fractured to create the moon — crashed into the Earth four and a half billion years ago, tilting it 70 degrees from vertical.
Wysession says that in the future, the Earth will be farther away from the sun in winter and closer to it in the summer, causing more severe temperature swings in these two seasons. This will happen about 12,000 years from now.
Early Wednesday brings more intense or colorful dreams for many. It may or may not be a meaningful dream, but if you experiment with incubating dreams, what comes may be surprisingly healing (either physically or emotionally). Go to dreams.ca for instructions on how to incubate a dream.
Mercury is more colorful than we knew. NASA high-tech enhancement techniques revealed delicate colors. Mercury also had a
fiery past in the form of heavy volcanic activity. We used to think that Mercury was just a bigger version of our Moon, until these photos revealed more intimate details of the planet’s past. “It has very subtle red and blue areas,” said instrument scientist Louise Prockter of Johns Hopkins University, which runs the Messenger mission for NASA. “Mercury doesn’t look like the moon.” Planetary scientist Robert Strom, who was part of both the Mariner 10 and Messenger teams, said, “This is a whole new planet we’re looking at.” And Prockter noted, “there are some features we haven’t been able to explain yet.”
Mercury is shrinking. As the planet contracts, bits of crust are pushed over another, forming what Prockter calls “wrinkle ridges.” As the core of Mercury cools, it contracts and the whole planet becomes smaller. It was once believed that this could also be why Earth has mountains, but the idea was later proven to be wrong in regards to Earth. However, the theory does appear to hold true for Mercury, Solomon said. Remnants of past volcanoes are scattered across the landscape, and at least one crater seems to be filled with Mercury’s own version of lava, Prockter said.
For the whole story go to — http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/02/mystery-of-merc.htm
The solar system now is thought to be composed of three zones instead of two, according to NASA’s Dr. Alan Stern at a recent meeting.
The four rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) make up the inner zone. The gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) form a “middle solar system.” Beyond them lies an enormous third zone composed of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, both named for the astronomers who predicted their existence.
Scientists studying images from the U-of-Arizona-led High Resolution Imaging Experiment camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have discovered a possibly once-habitable ancient lake on Mars at a place called Holden crater (NASA image).
Mars’ placid Holden crater lake are topped with layers of great boulders, apparently left by water flooding the Holden crater rim and eroding the older lake sediments.
The Holden crater lake could have been larger than Lake Huron, holding an estimated 4,000 cubic kilometers of water.
“The volume of water that poured through during this flood must have been spectacular,” said John Grant of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.